How to prep your team when someone goes on parental leave

January 11, 2023

The California burger chain In-n-Out recently announced their plans to expand operations to Nashville in 2026. Could they be coming to your city next? Burger lovers, keep your fingers crossed.

Hot off the SMB press this week:

  • Prepping your workplace for parental leave (with a free policy template!).
  • Should your business adopt on-demand pay?

But first, here are some headlines that caught our attention this week.


This week's highlight reel

  • Going back to Cali. California’s made it official: According to a new law that took effect last week, companies with over 15 employees are now required to post pay scales on job listings. But businesses are gonna business — Netflix currently has a job up that pays between $90K and (get this) $900K. 
  • Noma Nomo’. The world’s best restaurant is getting ready to plate its last “hauntingly beautiful” duck wing. Copenhagen’s Noma will be closing its dinner service come winter 2024 to focus on pushing culinary boundaries in its test kitchen. Proving that even when you’re at the top of your game, shifting your business’ priorities can work to keep you there.
  • AI in Hollywood. ChatGPT is getting the celeb treatment from none other than actor, Deadpool-impersonator, and business owner, Ryan Reynolds. The actor recently released an ad written by ChatGPT for his mobile network company Mint Mobile. The results: “Mildly terrifying… but compelling.”
  • Move over, TopGolf. Pickleball had its hottest year in 2022, with over 36M people picking up the sport, including Tom Brady, Lebron James, and Kevin Durant. Already popping up: pickleball restaurant-entertainment models by enterprising entrepreneurs. May the best dink shot win.


The best way to prepare your team for parental leave

A woman reading "The Mommy Playbook" with a stroller.

Any time a team member takes an extended leave from your business — think: illnesses, sabbaticals, extended vacations — it impacts your company’s productivity, right?

Uff. Yes. It’s painful.
In the case of parental (maternity/paternity) leave, we come bearing good news: It doesn't have to be. Much like you would prepare for an extended vacation, you can equip the parents-to-be with tools that ensure they have a smooth transition in and out of the business. That way, the rest of your team doesn’t skip a beat while they’re away.

There are four simple phases you can follow to set your team up for success when a key player takes parental leave:

1. Identify key pieces of information.
First, ask your team member a few questions: How long is the leave? How long do you have to prepare?

Ideally, there should be about as much prep time as leave time. So, if someone plans on being away from the business for 12 weeks, you should allow for about 12 weeks to prep the plan, create material, and roll things out to the team.

2. Audit what you currently have.
When you begin creating training modules, SOPs (standard operating procedures), and other behind-the-scenes elements of your business, they’re likely scattered. (Business hack: Trainual comes in clutch for organizing your company’s onboarding, training, process docs, and SOPs in one easy-to-navigate app.)

If you don’t happen to have Trainual, crack open the drive or Dropbox files for your company’s need-to-knows and organize them into three categories: content ready to be implemented, content that needs updating, and content that isn’t created yet.

Use the list of content you created in the identification section and be really critical about what content you have to support it. (And if you’re not sure how to get started, check out our free parental leave planning checklist and template.)

👉 Check out the last 2 phases.


Should SMBs consider on-demand pay?

A woman saying, "We gettin' money."

So, what’s on-demand pay?
It’s an earned wage access (EWA) service where providers pay an employee’s earned wages when they need it instead of on payday. The provider will then collect payment from the company at the end of the month — with an additional fee, of course.

Do employees actually use it?
The data says yes — banking association The Clearing House reported that instant payroll transactions spiked 300% over the past year. On-demand pay is also a pretty popular incentive in the retention game — employers who offered retail workers on-demand pay saw a 24% increase in retention rates.

Okay, but what’s the catch?
While not the same, EWA services are similar enough to payday loans — which charge unreasonable interest rates for money over a short period of time — that some employers are skeptical. It doesn’t help that some EWA programs also charge employees for early access to funds and other hidden fees.

Plus, there’s debate over whether EWA services simply offer lines of credit while charging users for access. Basically, regulators are still determining how to police the industry.

So, should you consider on-demand pay?
There are definitely pros and cons, but small businesses should do their own research before offering EWA as an employee benefit. While it might help you retain talent, the last thing you want to do is offer a service that actually costs your employees in the long run.


This week on Organize Chaos

Conventional wisdom says that business advice doesn’t come cheap. That’s where Organize Chaos begs to differ.

Throughout the week, founder and CEO of Trainual, Chris Ronzio, offers up free entrepreneurial and small business leadership advice on the podcast, covering everything from people to processes to productivity — and how to organize your life around it all. The best part? Each bite-sized episode is less than 10 minutes.

Check out some of our most recent episodes:

Organize the chaos
of your small business