Parenting is an adventure in and of itself, but it can also bring a new set of valuable skills and perspectives to the workplace. Our Transitions Programme will give you the tools you need to channel your exciting parenting experience into positive professional growth.
Download our brochures here to learn more about our services for business partners and employees.
Here are answers to some of our most common questions. Don’t see yours here? Feel free to send us a note!
I’m a new parent. Why should I participate in this programme?
It’s commonplace for new parents to feel as if they’re losing a sense of identity - this is particularly true for a primary care giver. Time away from work often means the temporary loss of important networks of peers and colleagues.
Our Transitions Programme brings together parents from a diverse range of organisations so that they can build networks with like-minded professionals. You’ll gain an extended personal and professional network, as well as access to some of the best coaching in the world. You can be confident in our services; we’ve trialled our programmes with employees from one of the UK’s largest employers, which has led to fantastic results.
Our programme is open to anyone who is starting or growing a family. (That includes seasoned parents as well!) We’ll provide an open and welcoming forum that helps you channel your parenting experience into professional growth and positive change within your organisation.
When should I join the programme, and what is the time commitment?
Participants are encouraged to join phase 1 of the programme (“Preparing to leave”) four months before their planned departure date for parental leave. This first phase develops your support network and helps you understand the psychological phases of your forthcoming transition.
Keep in mind: the WOMBA Transitions programme is voluntary. All of the workshops offer valuable insights and learning, and we hope that you will be able to attend them all. But we also recognise that starting a family is a busy and complicated time, so we are completely flexible. We’ll accommodate for your schedule, and will ensure that you don’t miss out on important content.
Our workshops are baby-friendly as well — if your group decides to meet face-to-face, feel free to bring your little ones along!
Will my employer give me time off for this programme when I’m already taking time out for ante natal appointments? Do these workshops count as Keeping in Touch days?
Most of our participants are funded directly by their employers. By offering you a place in the programme they are confirming their support. This is a commercial decision; their investment in you is a demonstration of their commitment to your career.
In our experience most employers are happy to count your participation in the programme as KIT days, but you will need to check with your employer to be certain. We can provide confirmation of your attendance to your employer if needed.
I’m not sure my employer will pay for me to come. How can I convince my employer this is a good idea? Can I pay for the programme myself?
If you wish to self-fund the programme, we are happy to accommodate you. We are also happy to have a conversation with your employer to explain the benefits of the programme.
By investing in employees who are becoming new parents, your employer is acknowledging this unique learning opportunity, and demonstrating their commitment to your career. We will also share emerging themes and patterns from our programmes with your employers whilst protecting the confidentiality and anonymity of our participants. You can highlight the benefits of the WOMBA Transitions Programme by sharing the Employer Q&A with your employer or by requesting one of our brochures.
We realize that budget is often a challenge for charities and small businesses; we are also willing to consider discounted prices to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from our programme.
What if I decide I don’t want to go back to work? Won’t this be a waste of money?
We make it clear to all of our participating organisations that the programme is not intended to persuade participants to return to work. We respect and support the right of all participants to make that choice for themselves and their families. If your decision requires that you drop out of the programme early, we will negotiate directly with your employer for a partial refund of fees.
Which companies are signed up for this, and can I recommend your programme to my friends?
We have a growing number of businesses interested in our programme, and we are always happy to take on more. Please do recommend us to friends and family! We have the majority of our programmes in London, but with a good word from you, we can spread our services across the country.
At this moment in time we have not sought permission from our partner companies to use their details in promotional material, but hope to be able to showcase our partner organisations in the near future.
Why should my employee come on this programme?
The WOMBA Transitions Programme is an investment in employee retention and development. It is focussed on enhancing the invaluable skills parents gain after welcoming a new addition to their families, and supporting participants as they balance the joys of parenthood and their professional ambitions.
If they choose to, participants will return to work with clarity about their personal and professional boundaries, increased confidence in their value to the workplace, and a stronger belief in their ability to make positive career decisions.
Each organisation will receive anonymised feedback from participants in order to further support employee development and improve internal processes and training.
How is the programme structured and delivered?
Our programme has been thoughtfully designed in collaboration with new parents, experts in leadership development, and leading academics from some of the world's most prestigious business schools.
The programme brings together parents from a diverse range of organisations for a series of workshops, all facilitated by elite leadership coaches in an open and honest environment. Our programme is delivered in three phases, each consisting of two half day sessions. The three phases cover preparing to leave work, preparing to return and learning to thrive after returning to the workplace (Arriving, Surviving and Thriving).
Our partner companies typically explain to their employees that the programme is available and share basic information about our work (e.g., brochure, website, Q&A’s). They then pass their employees’ contact details to us so that we can explain the programme in more detail and answer any questions directly. The employee then decides whether or not to join our programme without receiving any pressure from our team or the employer; participation is not mandatory.
Which of my employees should I offer this programme to? Do I need to commit a specific number of employees?
The programme is designed for employees who plan on taking time out of their careers for the benefits of parental leave. Although the programme is available to all, first time parents will get the most out of the programme. Participants are usually high potential employees who have shown steady growth in their careers.
If you are uncertain whether the profile of a potential participant feels right for the programme, you can discuss your concerns in further detail with a member of our WOMBA team.
Our programme is designed to be open and flexible, which means we don’t require our partner businesses to meet a strict head count. That said, we greatly appreciate when our partner businesses provide forecasts of their likely number of attendees; these forecasts help us plan the number of programmes we must run to ensure proper accommodation of all participants.
What happens if something unexpected happens? If, for instance, my employee doesn’t return to work, will I receive a full refund?
Alongside our core team of elite coaches, we have a network of qualified counsellors to whom participants can be referred if they need and want support. If participants notify us of a change in their circumstances (e.g., their health and wellbeing), we would encourage them to engage with their employer before recommending any other course of action. If they are unable or unwilling to do so, then we have a duty to respond to their needs, and to respect their request for confidentiality. In these circumstances we will cover the cost of any support with the programme fees.
From the outset we make it clear that we are not trying to persuade participants to return to work. Our programmes respect the rights of parents to make the positive choices that are right for them and their families. If their decisions mean that they miss part of the programme, we will offer a partial refund of the programme fee, after all of the programme costs have been deducted.
At WOMBA, our goal is to transform the experience of becoming a parent into an incredible professional development opportunity and, in so doing, to help companies retain and grow their pipeline of talented women and men.
We’re changing perceptions about parenting. For parents. For business.
If you’ve got questions, or would just like more information, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at 07557 969 481.