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Beyond Policy – Creating a Menopause Friendly Organisation

As we strive for greater inclusivity and equality in the workplace, it's crucial for organisations to recognise and address the unique challenges that menopausal employees may face. While implementing a menopause policy is a step in the right direction, it's just the tip of the iceberg.

For an organisation to be considered as taking menopause and its impact seriously, there needs to be a holistic approach. In this article we will explore what organisations need to do to create a menopause friendly enviornment.

Employee Awareness Sessions: Knowledge Empowers The first step toward creating a supportive environment is education. Employee awareness sessions about menopause break the silence around the topic, fostering empathy and understanding among colleagues. When employees are informed about menopausal symptoms and challenges, they're better equipped to provide the support and sensitivity needed.

Risk Assessments: Prioritising Health and Safety Risk assessments consider the potential impact of menopause in the workplace. By identifying potential hazards or discomforts, organisations can proactively address them, ensuring the well-being of their menopausal employees.

Senior Leadership Buy-In: Setting the Tone from the Top A strong commitment from senior leadership is essential to creating an inclusive and supportive work culture. When leaders champion menopause support initiatives, it sends a clear message that the organisation values the well-being of all employees and is dedicated to fostering equality and inclusion.

A Support Network: Building a Sense of Community Establishing a support network for menopausal employees provides a safe space for sharing experiences and seeking advice. This network not only offers emotional support but also helps to create a sense of belonging within the organisation.

Menopause Champions: Advocates for Change Having Menopause Champions within the organisation can ensure that menopause-related matters are consistently addressed. Champions are advocates and allies, offering guidance, signposting, resources and assistance to both employees and management.

Regular Staff Training: Keeping Everyone Informed Training sessions that focus on menopause awareness, sensitivity, and effective communication can benefit all employees. These sessions promote an environment of understanding and respect while breaking down stigma surrounding menopause.

Reasonable Adjustments and Accommodations: Personalized Support Every individual's experience of menopause is unique. Offering reasonable adjustments and accommodations such as flexible work hours or temperature control, demonstrates a commitment to meeting employees' specific needs.

An Open and Supportive Environment: Encouraging Dialogue Fostering an open and supportive environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their menopause-related needs is essential. This can be facilitated through regular check-ins, feedback mechanisms, and open-door policies.

Internal & External Resources: Comprehensive Support Equipping employees with resources, both within the organisation and externally, allows them to access the information and assistance they need. This could include access to healthcare professionals, counselling services, and relevant literature.

The good news is, putting all of this in place, doesn’t have to be costly and the benefits are huge:

  • Higher Staff retention: A supportive work environment boosts employee morale, reducing turnover rates.

  • Improved Organisational Culture: Inclusivity and empathy become integral parts of the company's culture, attracting diverse talent.

  • Increased Productivity: Employees who feel understood and supported are more likely to remain focused and engaged.

  • Reduced Absenteeism: A comprehensive support system can reduce the number of sick days taken due to menopause-related issues.

  • Strengthen Equality & Inclusion: Menopause support initiatives reaffirm the organisation's commitment to gender equality and inclusivity.

  • Increased Profits: A happier and healthier workforce contributes to increased productivity and overall organisational success.

With 1 in 10 women leaving work because they aren’t getting the support they need (Fawcett Society report), and the cost of replacing an employee being on average £30,614, it is in an organisations best interest to take this issue seriously.

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