As menopause training and support in the workplace becomes an increasingly hot topic, very often it’s HR professionals who are asked to lead the initiative internally.
HR and People teams are expected to produce menopause policy and guidance documents, update benefits packages, provide support for colleagues, implement menopause training for managers, create a menopause champion networks and secure senior buy in and budget – very often without any personal experience of menopause or subject matter knowledge.
I regularly run training sessions for HR professionals. They’re tailored to your organisation and designed to encourage discussion, build subject matter expertise and ensure the HR team are well placed to support the business, your managers and your employees all within current legal guidelines.
There are a few questions that regularly come up in these training sessions and the most common is ‘where do we start’. As with menopause itself there’s no one size fits all but there’s a few things to consider from the outset:
1 Build the business case
Building your business case is key to securing senior buy in and budget. Start by running your numbers to demonstrate how many people are impacted by menopause across the business – not only people experiencing symptoms but those living with them too including partners and young adults.
2 Review existing policies, guidance & risk assessments
Can your current framework of documents be updated to include menopause or do you need to create a new suite of documents to outline your company approach, the support available and guidance for managers etc. Liaise with Occupational Health, Facilities Management and your Health & Safety team – you don’t have to do this alone!
3 Identify reasonable adjustments
Consider all role types within your organisation and compile a list of universal accommodations that recognise the needs of all your employees whether they’re desk based, client facing, peripatetic or operational. What adjustments are currently recommended to cultivate equity among your employees – check in with your EDI team and tap into their expertise too.
4 Raise awareness & engagement
Provide multiple platforms for the sharing of menopause stories and start the conversation by sharing one of your own if you have one. Stories are one of the fastest ways we learn as humans and curating a rich tapestry of diverse lived experiences will accelerate engagement throughout your organisation.
5 Provide training for managers
It’s crucial to provide training for managers so they can confidently and competently conduct conversations, review working conditions and consider adjustments. Employment tribunals related to menopause have tripled in the last three years – you don’t want one of those landing in your lap!
6 Collate internal and external resources
Work with your comms team to collate both internal and external resources and make sure they’re publicised and easily accessible. Be sure to leverage what you’ve already got in place such as EAP, MHFAs and your employee networks.
Ultimately remember everyone has a role to play when it comes to introducing a long term menopause inclusive programme. And when you take an integrated, collaborative approach across HR, OH, FM, Comms and EDI you’ll produce consistent messaging, support and inclusivity across all your training, policies and resources and create a menopause awareness and support programme that will set you apart as an employer of choice.
If you’d like to discuss where your organisation is in terms of creating a menopause framework and get insights on how you can arrange the best support for all employees moving forward, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a convenient time to chat.