Some parents say having a baby is easier the second time because you know what to expect.
For Ben Morgan, who works as a BSA / AML Operations Manager for Regions Bank in Birmingham, Alabama, knowing what to expect was only part of why it seemed easier when his second child was born in April. Morgan believes having the opportunity to help his wife take care of their newborn during those first few weeks made an even bigger difference.
“Having six weeks of paid parental leave to take care of my family definitely made it easier,” Morgan said. “I was able to take care of our baby so my wife could rest or spend time with our 5-year-old. Knowing another person was available to help made a tremendous difference for all of us. Parental leave gave me a chance to be completely focused on caring for our new baby. I didn’t have that option with our first child.”
Giving associates like Morgan more paid time away from work to care for their newborn babies or newly adopted children is one way a growing number of companies are helping employees achieve balance in their professional and personal lives. Earlier this year, Regions expanded its leave benefits for new and adoptive parents to better reflect a commitment to families and the importance of work-life balance.
We’re investing in our team. We believe we can care deeply about our families and our jobs, and that’s what work-life balance is all about.
Dave Keenan, head of Human Resources for Regions
“In the first six months of this year, 86 fathers have taken parental leave,” said Dave Keenan, head of Human Resources for Regions. “Expanding our leave benefit to include six weeks of paid leave for fathers and adoptive parents to bond with a new child is an example of how we’re investing in our team. We believe we can care deeply about our families and our jobs, and that’s what work-life balance is all about.”
For Tim Monk, a priority banker in Pensacola, Florida, working for a company that cares about associates’ families means a great deal. When he learned about Regions’ new paid parental leave, Monk immediately knew he wanted those six weeks at home with his wife and baby. However, he did wonder about the reaction his manager would have in response to his absence.
“My manager and teammates were extremely supportive of my taking time away to be with our new baby,” Monk shared. “And when I returned from leave, they were so encouraging and helpful. The whole experience was positive in every way.”
The Boston College Center for Work & Family reports that 76 percent of fathers take one week off or less following the birth of a child. Working for an organization that offers paid parental leave, and encourages fathers to take it, is a win for all involved. The whole family benefits, and fathers return to work feeling good about the extra time they had to bond with their babies.
Monk’s manager, Jason Haddox, believes everyone benefits from the expanded leave policy.
“Managers who encourage fathers to take paid parental leave are doing what’s right for families and, ultimately, the company, too,” he said. “I believe benefits like these strengthen associate engagement, and I was happy to support Tim’s decision to take time off with his family and bond with his baby.”