Setting up an online space

Setting up a closed group on a company intranet or a social media platform such as Facebook can be a great way to communicate with employees. Online events can be arranged whereby HR staff can be present to answer questions that employees may have from the comfort of their homes and these approaches can be more inclusive of parents working flexibly.

It is important that only members of the parenting group are able to access this online space so there are some considerations to be made when creating and managing this space. Also, be mindful of being inclusive when naming and signposting the group – reassuring employees that all types of parents and prospective parents are welcome and being clear about the norms and confidentiality of the group (which should be agreed with members).

While there are advantages to hosting a group on a company intranet site where this is not possible or desirable there are other options. For example, Facebook offers a ‘Workplace’ function which enables people to participate within an online space without having to have a personal Facebook account; this ensures that the online platform is inclusive for all employees who have internet access. There are facilities to host webinars and to communicate with employees in a ‘Newsfeed’ layout. Furthermore, Facebook offers a simple step by step guide in creating an account for this to be utilised by your organisation. This is a free, effective way to be communicating with employees whilst offering a space where support can be offered and shared amongst peers, colleagues and Champions.