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At HubSpot, 27% of employees have children. Here’s how the company is retaining them

September 21, 2022, 11:40 AM UTC
Parent working from home with children
Effective caregiver benefits offer periods for recovery and more wrap-around support.
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When Eimear Marrinan, senior director of culture at CRM platform HubSpot, had her first Zoom meeting with founder and CEO Brian Halligan, she was interrupted by her two toddlers. Instead of getting upset, Halligan burst out laughing. That moment helped her realize she was at a company that not only accommodated parents but valued them. “It was just lovely,” Marrinan recalls. “That is how you normalize being a caregiver of kids.” 

Supporting parents is core to HubSpot’s HR strategy, where 27% of its employees have children, Marrinan says. “We feel strongly that at HubSpot, we need to let parents be parents.” 

Caregiver benefits offer periods for recovery and wrap-around support for parents returning to the workplace. Marrinan spoke with Fortune about how she’s building out HubSpot’s multi-pronged approach to support parents.  

Return to office isn’t for everyone

HubSpot offers its employees three different ways to work: fully remote, fully in-office, and hybrid. But flexibility doesn’t just apply to where employees work, it also applies to when

“Flexibility in terms of your day makes sure that you can be a successful parent and a successful worker,” Marrinan explains. To help empower employees to ask their managers for customized work schedules, HubSpot provides all people leaders with psychological safety training, so they can better create a culture that supports a diverse array of needs.  

Caregiving isn’t just a woman’s issue

Implementing gender-neutral policies helps to “break the stigma that women should shoulder caregiving,” Marrinan says. It also acknowledges the fact that non-hetero and non-traditional family dynamics exist.

Caregiving extends to aging parents, says Marrinan. At HubSpot, parents have a dedicated Slack channel where they can ask for tips on how to make school lunches or, more jovially, share photos of “back-to-school fails,” she says. 

Caregivers returning to work need holistic support 

HubSpot offers employees returning from leave with its 20-week returnship program, which is an onboarding of sorts to help ease them back into work. 

The key though, Marrinan says, is to refrain from putting too much pressure on newly returned workers.

Paolo Confino
paolo.confino@fortune.com
@paolo1000_

Reporter's Notebook

The most compelling data, quotes, and insights from the field.

Employer branding is now key in the fight for talent. So much so that it sometimes seems as though the HR function is an additional marketing arm for companies. So what is it that captures talent's attention when HR leaders are marketing their companies (other than buzzy phrases like “brand promise”)? Transparency—or so says Glassdoor, which released a survey this week that found employees want workplaces that openly share information. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Employees want more transparency about salary, DEI, and the company. Thirty-four percent of employees surveyed say they feel a lack of clear, transparent communication to employees in general.
  • As it turns out, all that employer branding matters. Sixty-nine percent say it’s extremely important that their employer “has a brand they are proud to support.”
  • Most importantly, employees want leaders to mirror the branding and values that HR so carefully markets. Seventy percent of employees say it's extremely important that leadership “actively promotes the company’s values and culture.”

Around the Table

- New York City will lift its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for private companies on Nov. 1. The city originally instituted a vaccine requirement for employees last December, requiring almost all private employers to ban unvaccinated employees from the workplace. Associated Press

- More than 100 major U.S. companies signed a pledge to hire 20,000 refugees over the next three years. Amazon reportedly made the largest commitment, pledging to hire 5,000 refugees. Wall Street Journal

- San Francisco International Airport food workers are the latest group of employees to demand higher pay. Union workers say they haven’t received a wage increase in three years. A union spokesperson said a strike could be imminent. Axios

Watercooler

Everything you need to know from Fortune

Refueling resignation. Employers are worried that workers will feel disconnected in a hybrid workplace, fueling another wave of mass resignations. —Trey Williams

Pandemic leadership. Kristin Peck, CEO of the animal health company Zoetis, says the pandemic shaped her leadership style in a way that helped her better relate to and understand her millennial employees. Millennials want “people who are more empathetic, who really engage with them,” she says. —Alan Murray and David Myer 

RTO showdown. Some would say employers are winning the return-to-office battle. They might be right. A data property management and security firm found that almost half of workers who were in the office pre-pandemic have returned. But office attendance still isn’t near what leaders were hoping for in the fall return. —Chloe Berger

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