Copyright 2007-12 Carla Moquin
Implementation Tips (p. 6)
Babies in the Workplace
Companies sometimes have concerns that, if specific alternate providers are designated, those people will be unduly burdened with baby care. The companies that use a designated care system, however, have not had any problems with parents or alternate providers exploiting the system. Designating specific people in advance who voluntarily agree to help with the babies enables parents to feel secure that, if they have an urgent meeting or situation, they have a plan in place for what to do with their baby. It also prevents situations in which parents panic if faced with an urgent situation and beg their nearest coworker to hold the baby, who is likely to feel compelled to agree even if they are not comfortable doing so (which could then result in resentment or tension). In addition, this system prevents occurrences in which parents in management inappropriately ask a subordinate to take care of the baby, which again could lead to the other person agreeing out of fear of job consequences if they refuse.
Utilize Trial Option
Companies that are interested in implementing a baby program but are concerned that it might not work sometimes implement a "pilot" or "trial" program, which is explicitly subject to cancellation if the program doesn't work. Even in trial programs, it is important to set up clear guidelines (and, preferably, a formal, detailed policy) to enhance the likelihood of success.