World Menopause Day is observed annually on October 18th. For HR professionals, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the work being done within their own organisations on this issue and a chance to foster inclusive workplaces by addressing the unique issues that menopausal employees encounter.
The menopause, a natural phase in a woman’s life typically occurring between the ages of 45 and 55, brings about physical and emotional changes. In the workplace, these changes can manifest in various ways, including hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, and cognitive changes. These symptoms can significantly impact an employee’s performance and well-being.
So, how can we best create a supportive workplace?
- Awareness: The first step for HR professionals is to raise awareness among employees and managers about menopause. Offering workshops or information sessions can help eliminate misconceptions and reduce stigma.
- Flexible working: Consider implementing flexible working arrangements, allowing employees to adapt their schedules to better manage their symptoms. Remote work options, adjusted hours, or reduced workload during difficult periods can make a significant difference.
- Review your policies: Ensure that your organisation’s policies, including sickness absence and performance management, are menopause-friendly. Adapt them if needed and consider introducing a menopause policy.
- Training for managers: Provide training to managers on how to support employees going through the menopause. Encourage open and empathetic conversations, making it easier for employees to discuss their needs.
There are many benefits of a menopause friendly workplace. Providing a supportive work environment is of course best practice. It also has benefits for your organisation, including improving retention rates, reducing absence rates, and improving the engagement of your employees.
World Menopause Day 2023 is a timely reminder for HR professionals to prioritise the well-being the issue of the menopause in the workplace. By taking proactive steps to raise awareness, adapt policies, and provide support, you can create a workplace that empowers women to navigate this natural life transition with confidence and dignity.