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INSIGHTS & INTUITION: Your organization offers paid maternity and paternity leave. What would you say to an organization that asks, 'Should we begin offering those benefits?'

According to a 2016 nationwide employee-benefits survey, only 26 percent of employers offer paid maternity leave, 21 percent offer paid paternity leave and 20 percent offer paid adoption leave. The bad news is these numbers are low; the good news is, they’re rising each year.  

At Altru, we’re dedicated to offering a total rewards and value program that supports not only our employees, but also their families. Offering a paid parental leave benefit aligns with our commitment to our employees, and we enthusiastically offer this benefit.

For organizations thinking about this, my advice would be, “Just get started.” Your benefit may look different than what’s offered by Altru or others; but even so, just get started thinking about what kind of support you can provide your employees as they choose to become parents.  

Having a child is a life-changing moment, and being able to support your employees during this time builds loyalty and strong connections.

We know this was the right choice for us because of the feedback we hear from our employees.  

We regularly hear from our new parents how wonderful it was to have this time to care for and bond with a newborn or newly adopted child, without the worry of using vacation time or not getting a paycheck.

We’re committed to building strong families and grateful for being able to offer this benefit to our employees.

Jennifer Berg

Compensation & Benefits Manager

Altru Health System

Grand Forks, N.D.

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Family comes first at Eide Bailly. While offering a family-like atmosphere at work is great, it’s also important for employers to realize their people sometimes are needed at home, especially during the transitions that come with a new child.

That’s why we offer fully paid maternity and paternity leave following the birth or adoption of a child. We also offer Milk Stork, a delivery service providing refrigerated, express shipping of breastmilk home when our new moms are traveling for work.

Family-friendly benefits are important to the younger generation of workers and are great for both recruiting and retention.

Kendra Wentworth

Compensation & Benefits Manager

Eide Bailly

Fargo, N.D.

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At Wells Fargo, we consider paid parental leave to be a critical investment in our team members and their families. We’ve found that team members treasure this time to bond with their new children and appreciate the financial support that Wells Fargo provides.

When implementing a parental leave program, it’s important to evaluate staffing impacts and organizational readiness, to ensure that the program is effective both for team members and the company.  

Elli Dai

Head of benefits

Wells Fargo & Co.

Charlotte, N.C.

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At Gate City Bank, we offer fully paid maternity and paternity leave because we believe it is the right thing to do.

We are proud to invest in our team members and their families by providing peace of mind during a transitional period that can be both joyful and stressful. With paid leave, they can spend more time bonding and less time worrying about finances.

Our team members have let us know that these benefits are important to them, and we believe they create a better way of life for everyone involved.

Heather Rye

Vice President of Human Resources

Gate City Bank

Fargo, N.D.

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The culture at Microsoft is one of the most important drivers of our employees’ success. And one of our values is centered around maintaining work-life balance.

Microsoft’s industry-leading maternity, paternity and adoptive-parent leave policies ensure that all new parents have time to get the rest they need and bond with their babies.

Microsoft believes so strongly in the importance of taking time for family that this year, we also announced a requirement that any vendor company with more than 50 employees working for Microsoft must offer its employees a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave for either a birth or adoption.

In a recent blog post on this issue, Microsoft shared how “studies show that paid parental leave enriches the lives of families. Women who take paid maternity leave are more likely to remain in the workforce a year later and earn more than mothers who do not receive paid time off.  Employers who offer paid time off for new mothers experience improved productivity, higher morale and lower turnover rates.

“And, paid parental leave is not solely a benefit for women. Data from California’s paid family leave program shows that men take paternity leave at twice the rate and for longer periods when the leave is paid. This increased bonding and time spent caring for young children is correlated with positive outcomes such as higher test scores for these children.

“Further, when men and women have the opportunity to take paid leave, it can help counteract gender caregiving stereotypes, neutralize stigmas and promote equity in the home and office.”

Katy Avery

Employee Onboarding & Community Outreach Project Manager

Microsoft

Fargo, N.D.

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