The Relationship of Expectant Mothers and Supervisors in Small Organizations in Switzerland
The importance of the relationship
Many employment relationships are breaking down around pregnancy. According to mothers and supervisors, the most challenging part is to agree on how to continue working together after the disclosure of pregnancy. Supervisors can help to reduce work-family conflict and workplace stress. While trying to reach an agreement, the relationship can change, causing negative anxiety and stress for both parties due to high financial risk and uncertainty about the pregnancy. Maternity management can be challenging, especially for small firms and is a significant factor in gendering work.
The addressed challenges Managing the new situation involves navigating multiple facets, including the family system and the workplace. These are influenced by regulations, mindsets, and organizational culture. Misunderstandings about regulations and lack of communication are common problems. Counselors, supervisors, and mothers were interviewed to gain an understanding of the situation from various perspectives.
Supporting communication and engaged decision making
The created concept consists of two parts the Let’s Familiarize Platform and the Mama Works Suitcase. The platform provides a place where expectant mothers and supervisors can learn from the experiences of others who have undergone similar journeys, as well as receive assistance during the learning process. The physical toolbox is the Mama Works Suitcase, which includes preparation cards featuring stories, and questions designed to assist, along with a roadmap and conversation tools to facilitate engagement and communication. In addition to reducing stress associated with finding an agreement for both parties, the concept captures experiences for future use. The tool is accompanied by the goal that even if things do not work out as planned, it is important to part ways respectfully for both parties.
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