City of Tyler program allows employees to bring babies to work
Program aims to support working families, retain employees
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In an effort to support their employees, the City of Tyler is allowing parents to bring their babies to work.
The pilot program is designed to support employees of working families with the transition to parenthood by allowing them to bring their infant children to work with them until they are about six months old.
“The program seeks to improve work-life integration for City of Tyler employees by providing a positive work environment that recognizes a parent and/or caregiver’s responsibility to both their job and their newborn,” said a city spokesperson.
Among the program’s participants: Utilities Director Kate Dietz and her daughter Livia. Dietz said she likely wouldn’t have returned to work as early if the program wasn’t offered.
“I probably would have taken all 12 weeks,” she said.
Dietz is assisted during meetings and other important work by two other employees designated as “helpers.”
“They help out when I’m having a meeting that maybe she’s not enjoying so much and needs to leave, or if I’m presenting to council or something like that. I have two people that I work with here that volunteered that wanted to help me out,” Dietz said.
The city’s director of organizational development, Regina Moss, said the program, while still in its infancy, has proven to be successful so far.
“It’s a win-win,” Moss said. “I just think it’s a great program for retention. It’s a great program for recruiting and just to let people know in the city and here that work for us that we value that as a whole person.”
Both Moss and Dietz agree the program has not only been beneficial for parents and the city. It seems city employees are finding it hard to be in a bad mood with such adorable coworkers.
“You wouldn’t believe the smiles it generates and the morale boost that a baby can bring to the workplace,” Moss said.
And while Dietz’s office will eventually look less like a daycare, Livia will likely be a frequent visitor...if not a city employee herself one day.
“Some companies that have been doing this for much longer than us have had 20-year reunions where all the babies have come back and they’ve actually started hiring them,” Moss said.
Following completion of the program, the babies even get an official “retirement ceremony” at a city council meeting.
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