The experience of becoming a new parent can be confusing for employees in the workplace. Often, people are unsure about their companies’ parental leave policies, and they might even feel scared about asking for the time off, for fear of losing their jobs. Lower employees’ anxiety by clearly explaining your parental leave policies. Employees who clearly understand how your company supports new parents will feel more confident in their ability to perform their job with a child on the way.
Not sure how to explain your policies? Video, especially animated video, is an ideal medium for teaching the guidelines. You can break down the complicated details of these policies visually, making them easier to understand.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the creation of a parental leave policy video, from planning in pre-production to distribution in post-production.
Planning Your Parental Leave Policy Video
It’s important to include the details. You should mention eligibility requirements, the duration, and compensation plans of your policies for the video to be helpful. Ensure that you include all of your policy’s key information by carefully planning your video with the following strategies.
Decide what policy details to emphasize
Parental leave policies and the laws surrounding them are loaded with details that can overwhelm employees. For example, Harvard includes its parental leave policy with other leave of absence options on one web page. This demonstrates the relationship between the internal policy and state and federal regulations surrounding parental leave, but the amount of detail can be overwhelming and confusing.
Your video is an opportunity to demystify this policy information.
Use your video to highlight the most important parts of your policy for employees. Examples of essential details include eligibility requirements for employees and how many weeks of unpaid leave or paid parental leave you offer. By focusing on the key details, employees are more likely to understand and remember how your company supports new parents.
To decide which information you want to include, review the most current documentation on your parental leave policies. Take notes on three key policy factors—eligibility, duration, and compensation—to identify the most essential details. Here are a few questions to guide your research:
- Are only full-time employees eligible, or are part-time employees eligible as well?
- Do employees need to have worked at your company for a minimum amount of time to be eligible?
- Do you offer leave only for employees who give birth (maternity leave) or also for employees whose partners give birth (bonding leave)?
- Do you offer leave for the adoption of a child?
- How many weeks of unpaid leave and/or paid leave do you offer?
- Do you offer weeks of sick leave for employees during their pregnancy and/or after the birth of a child?
- Do you offer paid leave or unpaid leave, or both?
- Does your compensation plan vary by employee type?
- Are employees allowed or expected to use their paid time off (PTO) during their parental leave?
- Are employees expected to use short term disability benefits in lieu of or in addition to other compensation?
Pulling out this core information, you’ll know which information is critical to share in your video.
Understand how your policy (and video) can vary by state
If your business has multiple locations, you may need to plan several versions of your video based on state regulations.
While there are federal laws that regulate parental leave policies across the US—the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act—each state also has its own unique regulations. You must understand how parental leave laws vary in states where your business is located to plan how your video messaging will need to change for each location.
Here is a step-by-step plan for reviewing current regulations and adapting your messaging for different laws:
- Review parental leave laws in states where your business is located. You can reference this resource to learn about regulations in each state.
- Note differences in regulations for each state where your business is located. For example, three states—New Jersey, Rhode Island, and California—support paid family leave, while the remaining states do not.
- Plan to create multiple video versions for each location. You will only need to make slight adjustments to the text to reflect different eligibility, compensation, and duration regulations. For example, employees in Minnesota need to have worked for 12 months to be eligible for leave, while New York employees must have worked for at least 26 weeks.
Vyond protip: Our studio’s drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to adjust a single video for different states. Just click on your video’s text boxes, and then type the information you want to add.
Stay informed on unique parental leave regulations in your business’s locations and you’ll know how to adapt your message for each of your employee bases.
Creating Your Parental Leave Policy Video
After planning the content of your video, it’s time to begin production. While we won’t go into every technical step of making a video (you can learn more about that here), we will explain several tactics that relate to parental leave policies specifically. Use these strategies to create a video that clearly explains your policy in an inclusive and engaging way.
Be inclusive with casting
Your employees’ personal lives are going to vary quite a bit from person to person—that diversity is what makes your company a rich and interesting place to work. In your video, be sure to depict parenting in ways that leave all of your employees feeling included, regardless of their background.
Whether you’re creating a live-action or animated video, casting is a powerful way to make your video inclusive. Here are a few casting tips to show characters that represent a wide range of experiences and backgrounds:
- Portray a variety of parenting styles. Show characters that are in heterosexual and same-sex relationships, as well as a single-parent scenario.
- Use gender-neutral language to describe characters in your video. This sample parental leave policy includes all genders by using the phrase “the employee” instead of pronouns.
- Show a diverse range of characters. With this casting, your video won’t leave any current or future employee feeling excluded.
Vyond protip: Our studio features a custom character creator, allowing you to easily create unique characters of all backgrounds.
The Vyond Studio Character Creator
Cast a wide range of characters in your video and every employee will feel like they are being represented as they watch.
Balance policy details with visuals
Viewers need to understand specific details of your parental leave policy that visuals can’t fully communicate. To communicate this information, your video will need to feature text.
With that said, you don’t want to overwhelm employees with too many words or you’ll quickly lose their attention. You need a fairly even mix of visuals and text to keep viewers both engaged and informed. Here are a few tips to achieve that balance:
- Use icons to quickly and simply convey information. While text takes time to read and comprehend, an icon’s meaning is immediately recognizable. Use icons to complement the text in your video and avoid cognitive overload for viewers.
- Focus on one area of your policy at a time. If you try to describe every aspect of your policy in one frame, the screen will be overflowing with text and images.
- Discuss one aspect—employee eligibility, compensation, leave duration—and your video will be easy for employees to follow.
- Limit policy descriptions to one sentence. As you focus on each area of your policy, limit your text to one sentence or just a few words to keep viewers engaged. If you need to fit in more information, use narration to explain what you want to say.
- Balance the amount of text and visuals in your video to keep employees engaged while still teaching them about your policy.
Vyond protip: Create your parental leave policy video in no time with our free Vyond video template. (You must have an active Vyond free trial or paid account to access the template.)
Sharing your Parental Leave Policy Video
The power of your parental leave policy video depends on how well you distribute it. If you widely and actively share your video, a large number of employees will understand how your parental leave policy works. To help you distribute the video you’ve created, we’ve outlined three strategies below for sharing.
Make your video a company-wide resource
Every employee should watch your parental leave policy video. If they ever decide to become a parent, they will know what type of support to expect from your company. Even if an employee doesn’t plan on becoming a parent, they should watch your video to understand how their fellow team members’ roles will be adjusted if they have a child.
Encourage every employee to watch your video with these two methods:
- Send the video via Slack or email. Once you’ve finished creating the video, share it through your company’s main messaging method with all employees. Include a note to explain the key features of your policy for employees to skim over before watching.
- Save the video in a company database. Upload your video to an internal knowledge-sharing platform, such as Tettra, so your entire team can return to the resource when they want to refresh their knowledge about your policy.
By sharing your video widely, you’ll help every employee understand how your parental leave policy works.
Integrate your video into employee onboarding
New employees who join your company should watch your parental leave policy video as a part of their training. Even if they currently aren’t planning to become parents, they should still be aware of your parental leave policy in case they do become parents later.
Integrate your video into your company’s onboarding plan by coordinating with other human resources team members. Explain that you would like to show this policy video during the section of onboarding that teaches new hires about company benefits.
If new employees are expected to watch onboarding videos at home, consider sending a quick, simple quiz to check their understanding of your parental leave policies. To save time, you could create one quiz with other HR team members to quiz new hires on all of your company’s HR policies taught in onboarding.
Send to employees who are expecting
In the weeks and months after watching your video, employees will remember the key details of your company’s parental leave policy. But by the time they decide to become parents, employees may have trouble recalling some of the policy information that they learned.
Refresh their memory by sending along your video when they announce that they are expecting a child and request leave. You can email the video to employees with a brief message that includes the following:
- Your congratulations
- A summary of the core information of your policy
- An invitation for the employee to reach out with any questions they may have
Sending your video to employees who are expecting a new child not only keeps them informed but also shows employees that their workplace fully supports them and their careers as they become new parents.
Educate Your Employees with a Parental Leave Policy Video
When an employee is expecting a child, reading through parental leave policy documentation can be confusing and stressful. Often, the language of these policies is especially detailed, so it’s hard for employees to know what to expect from their employer as they become new parents.
Make the transition of welcoming a child easier for your employees by creating a parental leave policy video. Using this guide, you can create a compelling video that simplifies your policy information by breaking it down visually. Watching your video, employees who are expecting can feel confident about their future at your workplace as they go through a major life change.
Parental Leave Video Template
Follow these steps to access the template video at the top of this post:
- Log into your free trial or Vyond account.
- Click this link.
- The video project will open in your account for you to customize. Customers can download and share.