Easy Ways to Create Engagement in your Working Parents' Chat Group

Looking to boost the online parent community at your workplace? Try these easy ideas to increase engagement!

Whether you’re using Slack, Microsoft Teams, Twist, Google Hangouts, or some other team chat app, the “Parents @ (fill-in-the-bank-company)” can be one of the best offerings for working parent employees.

For those employees who facilitate or manage your online community, here are quick and easy ways to up the engagement level within the group.

Ask for recommendations. Parents often turn to other parents to get the inside scoop on all kinds of things. Create a routine “Best of” post - best park, library, lunchbox, winter gear, educational app, etc. - to get the crowdsourcing going. Even better - offer access to an editable spreadsheet where parents can easily add recommendations for local resources. (How many parents are wondering where to find the best pediatrician, daycare, or school? Hint: most of them.)

Ride the hand-me-down train. Hand-me-downs are a parent’s best friend. Toys, clothes, books, anything parents can get or pass on to another family with ease is a win. Encourage parents to use the chat group to facilitate the hand-off of outgrown items. Bonus - Meeting other working parents in the office face-to-face helps create a sense of community.

Make home life easier. Ask group members to share their top tips for making the most of their time at home. From meal planning ideas to ways to unplug, one of the best ways to learn new strategies is to hear how others are making it work.

Promote connections. Even if your company doesn’t have an official parent council or employee resource group, you can still plan get-togethers. Use the chat group to plan lunch gatherings once a quarter. Even quick, 20-minute lunches can be valuable for putting names to faces and building relationships.

Highlight perks. Working parents are looking for quick, impactful ways to ease stress. Showcase any perks your company offers to make their lives easier. Offer a discount on boxed meal services? Promote it. Provide MilkStork support to nursing mothers? Make sure they know about it. Have a relevant lunch and learn speaker coming soon? Advertise it.

Work the room. If you’re on an HR, benefits, talent, or ERG team, knowing what the working parents in your company are thinking and wanting is valuable information. Use the group to ask for input or solicit feedback. Create a poll to understand what resources the working parents in your company would like to see brought in.

And last but not least, use the group to raise ideas. If you have an idea for improving the working parent culture at your office, bring it up in the group - but not to complain! Gather support, and organize and present a proposal to your parent council, ERG, or HR team. Don’t doubt the power of one voice with one good idea.

What trends are you seeing with your company’s working parent chat group? How are parents utilizing the group? What topics tend to gain the most traction?