Having previously looked at both the reasons for taking menopause in the workplace seriously, as well as, the cost of not doing so, it is important to look at practical solutions in tackling the issue of menopause in the workplace. Because that is how ‘many’ employers view menopause – as an issue. But it needn’t be. With the right strategies, you can ensure you are not only adhering to your diversity and inclusion responsibilities, but also protecting and supporting the demographic of employees that bring knowledge, talent, and experience to the business.
Menopause can bring more than 62 symptoms of physical and psychological challenges for women in the workplace. To create a supportive environment that values and protects this demographic of employees, it is essential to address menopause issues in the workplace proactively. In this article, we will explore practical solutions that can help your organization create a menopause-friendly work environment.
Communicate openly and often:
A confidential, named point of contact for support and advice can help women deal with any menopause-related issues that arise in the workplace. Employers can use various forms of communication, such as dedicated benefits platforms, company intranet, posters, seminars, presentations, and online videos, to promote this support system. Educating employees on menopause symptoms can help women understand what they are experiencing and seek help or treatment. Employers should make it easy for employees to talk about menopause as it is a natural stage of life.
Revise absentee policy:
Some menopause symptoms, such as night sweats, headaches, itchiness, depression, etc. can affect employees’ productivity because they affect sleep. Employers can review their absentee policy and make sure it includes menopause symptoms as a legitimate reason for sick leave or working from home when necessary. They can also introduce policies that offer flexible working arrangements, such as the option to work from home or adjust working hours. This can help women manage their symptoms, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve their wellbeing. Employers can also consider providing private and comfortable spaces for women to take a break or rest if needed.
Assess your physical workspace:
Employers can make simple changes to their physical workspace to accommodate employees going through menopause. They can offer reasonable adjustments, such as keeping extra floor and desk fans around to maintain a pleasant temperature, access to cold water, and natural, breathable uniforms that are not tight-fitting. Providing nutritious food can also help relieve menopause symptoms, and employers can bring in nutritional experts to provide advice. Small changes can often make a BIG difference, offering diet related support may bring greater benefits to the whole team or business as it will certainly impact an individual’s productivity.
Provide training and resources:
Training is fundamental to tackle the taboo around menopause and provide education so that everyone understands the symptoms and can offer support and understanding to colleagues going through the transition. Employers can organize a training program for managers and staff at all levels, such as running a ‘lunch and learn’ introduction session to menopause. Access to healthcare services, such as counseling or access to Nutrition for menopause specialists to run in-house workshops, can also help women manage their symptoms and find ways to cope with the physical and emotional changes that occur during menopause.
Investing in the well-being of your employees is an investment in the future of your company:
Creating a menopause-friendly work environment is crucial for valuing and supporting female employees. By implementing these practical solutions, employers can not only adhere to diversity and inclusion responsibilities but also retain the knowledge, talent, and experience that menopausal women bring to the business.
By delivering Nutrition for Menopause training to businesses, we have been able to become part of best practices in place in businesses, encourage creative thinking, as well as being able to help identify where employers can still improve provisions to get the very best from their employees.
I hope this article helps to highlight that there is a plethora of places your company can start to be more menopause friendly with just some quick and easy changes to practices and culture. Find out how we can add value to your menopause training and support program here.
Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.