‘Pawternity’ Leave Has Tails Wagging

(Kseniya Ivanova/Shutterstock)

Your chief human resources officer (CHRO) comes up to you one day and asks: “Have you have seen the most recent HR KPIs? Our employee engagement score is dropping like a rock. Do you have any ideas how to turn that around?”

You respond confidently, “I have an idea that could improve employee engagement by up to 30% percent with very little costs. It is called ‘furternity’ (or pawternity) leave it is so new no one has settled for a common term yet.”

The CHRO looks at you funny and suggests, quite wryly, that you might be violating the company’s new cannabis policy.  “What the heck is ‘furternity’ leave?”

You state “it is part of a new benefit trend that seems to be catching on with employers and engaging employees.”  The CHRO says that it is nonsense and you hand them a copy of this study.

Click here to read the workplace wellness study.

Furternity leave is a paid leave so an employee can take time off or work from home if they have a new pet.  It is part of an even larger trend called the “pet effect” on workplace wellness.

To enlighten the CHRO, on some of this study’s findings about companies with pet friendly policies, you state the following list of statistics:

  • A significant positive increase in employee engagement from 65% to 91%
  • Employees feel their work is more rewarding from 46% to 83%
  • Retention: employees would decline a similar job offer from 44% to 72%
  • And the topper: improvement in the relationship with their bosses increased from 14% to 52%

Paid leave to take care of a new pet is just one possible benefits. Others include pet insurance as part of the company’s benefit package, stress reduction by having pets in the workplace, and some even say, better customer relations.

The CHRO says, “I had no idea. Prepare me a proposal of how we could implement pet friendly policies in our workplace and have it on my desk by next week. Don’t forget to include the research.”

And off you go back to your office wagging your tail behind you.

Discussion Questions:

Research two companies that have pet friendly workplace polices and create a list of the most common pet friendly policies.

From that list, create a 5-minute PowerPoint presentation, which you could present to your CHRO on the benefits and drawbacks of implementing pet-friendly policies.