You’re keen for your employee to use her KIT days, but she’s reluctant to come in. How can you persuade her that it will be time well spent?
Confidence to Return has got 7 great reasons why these days can be used to structure her return to work, boosting her confidence and cutting her stress.
Explaining ‘keeping in touch’ days
Employees can work up to 10 days during their maternity, adoption or additional paternity leave. These days are ‘keeping in touch’ – or KIT – days. KIT days are optional and both you as the employee and your employee need to agree to them.
Why parents decide against KIT days
New parents skip KIT days because they want as much time with their baby as possible. They don’t want work to get in the way, and that’s understandable, especially if it’s their first baby.
But at Confidence to Return, we think KIT days ensure parents get more quality time with their baby – before and after their return. The new mum might be saying ‘hey, I can just pick up where I left off’, while actually feeling lots of negative emotions about going back. KIT days reduce uncertainty and worry. And life’s just more fun without those.
So, here’s our top 7 reasons why KIT days offer personal, practical and professional benefits.
1) Catch up with colleagues
New mums can use KIT days to catch up with well-meaning colleagues. Everyone can do the baby talk and office gossip, without eating into work time. And it’s a great opportunity for the new parent to explain their new schedule. This can help avoid stress when leaving for ‘pick ups’, and stop work building up in the first week back. It makes colleagues feel involved, lets them get used to the change, ask questions and offer solutions.
2) Catch up with important clients
Nurturing relationships with clients and suppliers is key to good business, so getting in touch lets them know they matter. Return dates and new schedules can be confirmed, and your employee can hear ‘we’re glad to have you back’. It’s about reconnecting and finding familiarity. It’s also an opportunity to talk to new clients.
3) Catch up with the business
KIT days can give your employee time to delve into the intranet and learn what’s going on. What’s the buzz? What’s happening in company ‘news’? Who’s been promoted or left? What’s the date for the next work social event? It’s a great way to track what’s important to the business, rather than just picking up the urgent, and to avoid feeling left out of conversations.
4) Learn new IT
After 52 weeks away, the office computer system might have changed. Having to ask colleagues ‘how do I…?’ all the time adds to anxiety and lowers confidence. So, KIT days are great for working through the basics and updating passwords. And your employee can make friends with the IT help desk if you have one. Again, a bit of knowledge in advance can save time and boost confidence.
5) Clear the email backlog
Who wants to spend their first week back, head down, wading through emails? It isn’t a great way to reconnect with the team. KIT days can be used to tackle the inbox – prioritise, delegate, delete or answer – to avoid overwhelm on the first day
6) Work out breast milk plan
New mums shouldn’t have to spend day one looking for the breastfeeding room to express milk. KIT day time can be used to find the room and plan a route. She can also time the whole ‘get there-express – store – get back’ routine to give colleagues an idea of how long she’ll be away each time. Taking control of a practical process is a great way to avoid awkwardness and embarrassment. No fuss needed.
7) Rehearse for the main event
She might have done the commute for years before taking maternity leave – but she hasn’t done it with her baby in the car. Train times and road layouts change too, so it’s worth using KIT time to practise getting to work.
New parents can also check where they are going to sit in the office. Has their corner become a dumping ground for folders? Has it all gone open plan? There might be nice stuff to find out too – new café facilities, or a handy shop that’s opened nearby.
Confidence to Return Parental Programmes can help your employees get the best out of their KIT days.
Our practical mix of coaching and counselling will help them get organised for their return.
We guide them to take ownership of this important life change. Rather than drift back into work passively, they can identify potential challenges and actively, and calmly, seek positive solutions.
Have you got more examples of how you can use KIT days? We’d love to hear how they’ve helped your employees.
Get in touch to find out how Confidence to Return can help you make KIT days a must for new mums.
Confidence to Return – Employee support when you need it most
Call 07939 916779
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