At New England Construction, when I first shared that my husband and I were expecting, the love and support we received from my ‘work family’ was overwhelming! I felt extremely blessed to work in a place where this type of support was outpouring.
When you first find out you are going to have a baby, 40 weeks feels like an extremely long period of time! And then all of sudden, you realize you have 8 weeks left until your life changes forever! And the question becomes, how does someone prepare for maternity leave from a professional perspective? Of course, personally there is so much to do including setting up the nursery, getting the car seat installed in the car, buying diapers and wipes, researching child care options, finding a pediatrician, and so much more.
However, as an active member of the Leadership Team here at New England Construction, my preparation for leave is critical to the organization. Instead of getting overwhelmed, here are some of the steps that I took to ensure the organization would be prepared and so would I:
- Create a Maternity Strategy Plan
- Document all HR processes and procedures
- Review the plan with the Leadership Team for approval
- Meet with appropriate employees regarding areas of the strategy plan that will relate to them
- Communicate, communicate, communicate with vendors, coworkers, clients, etc.
- Try and schedule meetings or trainings in advance to prepare
- Organize files
- Schedule a final meeting with Leadership 2 weeks prior to delivery date to confirm the strategy plan is in place and tie up any loose ends
It’s hard to prepare for any type of leave, but having a baby is life changing and such an exciting occasion. I knew I wanted to begin my maternity leave feeling great about where I left off with my organization so I could return to work with confidence. For me, letting go is challenging since I am career driven and focused. Feeling as though I have set the company up for success and putting this plan in place makes me feel as though I did the best that I could do to prepare the organization for my leave.