Babble Health

The importance of employee menopause support

Staff retention is something that all organisations, no matter their size, should be concerned with

As employees become savvier, and we’re no longer in a world where having one company on our CV is considered best, staff know their worth. They can compare the deal they get from their employer with others and if necessary, move on.

Having a high staff turnover rate isn’t good for your bottom line

Recruiting the best staff and then training them in their role and company policies is an expensive business.

Therefore, retaining good staff (and attracting them in the first place) by having an excellent benefits package is essential.

One of the most important factors is healthcare coverage, and for women, this includes having the right cover and support for them as they go through the perimenopause and menopause

This might be something that your business hasn’t considered before, but like the growing trend for healthcare insurance plans to cover assisted fertility treatments, there’s now a demand for menopause consideration in the workplace.

The perimenopause and menopause can cause upsetting and distressing symptoms that can affect how some women mentally and physically function, potentially causing real struggles day to day – that until very recently have normally been kept covered up.

Common menopause symptoms include hot flushes, mood swings, night sweats, disturbed sleep, brain fog, concentration problems and anxiety. A lack of decent sleep in particular can lead to a reduced performance at work (and that’s aside from the impacts in a woman’s personal life), frustration, feelings of embarrassment and worthlessness and stress caused by trying to muddle on through.

But now, with the conversation around the menopause and all its symptoms thankfully being normalised, it’s time these struggles were both recognised and supported

It is a natural life event after all. And with women over 50 years old making up 1 in 3 employees in the UK, it’s high time the workplace was more menopause friendly.

Making it so will benefit both employee and employer through minimising time off work with symptoms, to increasing engagement and productivity – a definite boost to the emotional wellbeing of a woman struggling with feelings of not being “good enough”.

The menopause is an inevitable stage of a woman’s life, so 50% of the adult population will experience it. Supporting employees going through this transition is paramount. But how?

Ensuring an open policy for employees to seek help either from line managers, HR or an approved external network is key, as is avoiding the workplace being a toxic, overly competitive environment

Connecting staff with healthcare professionals trained in the relevant skills so that face to face and virtual appointments can be readily made is also an important staff benefit. Making staff feel heard, respected and supported cannot be underestimated.

Educating all staff in the menopause, regardless of gender or age is also vital in creating an understanding workplace and to help reduce discomfort and taboo around the subject of gender related health.

Flexible working patterns, later starts and earlier finishes can be helpful for those seeking medical appointments outside of work, or to allow all staff to work the hours that best suit their productivity. Access to cold water, desk fans and cool areas is also helpful.

Creating a female friendly workplace that also includes transgender and LGBTQ+ people is something that should be high on the agenda of companies wishing to retain quality staff and not alienate women going through the menopause

Women bring a unique perspective to a workplace, and retaining them and their valuable and individual insight could be the cornerstone of your business, and is certainly worth the investment in helping your staff through their middle years.


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