How parental leave policies influence employee engagement

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Gävle/Företagsekonomi

Abstract: Abstract   Title: How parental leave policies influence employee engagement   Level: Student thesis, final assignment for Bachelor Degree in Business Administration   Author: Patrick Hammer and Rickard Palmgren   Supervisor: Tomas Källquist and Pär Vilhelmsson   Date: 2019 – June     Aim: Several studies have found that perceived flexibility and the ability to manage the demands of work and personal life are related to higher levels of employee engagement and expected retention. However, little research have been done to explore the relationship between parental leave (a component of work-life balance) and employee engagement and retention. The aim of this study is to increase the understanding about how parental leave influence employee engagement, and subsequent employee retention.   Method: This study is based on a social constructive and hermeneutic perspective. Empirical data was collected through 18 semi-structured interviews with employees in Sweden and the United States. The findings were compared to previous research with an abductive approach. Theoretical and empirical findings were combined and resulted in a new model based on the aim of this study.   Result & Conclusions: Our model illustrates how parental leave influence employee engagement and retention from an employee perspective. Parental leave was found to influence employee engagement and retention in four main ways (themes), which are relationship with manager, salary and career opportunities, alignment of values, and well-being.   Contribution of the thesis: From a theoretical perspective, the model we developed is useful as it highlights how employee engagement is influenced by parental leave policies. From a practical perspective, this model can be used by managers and leaders in organizations worldwide that are looking to understand drivers of employee engagement and how to increase employee retention.   Suggestions for future research: Further research is needed to test this model in different contexts to confirm its accuracy. For future research, this model can be tested from the manager or management perspective, which could identify new components that can be added to the model.   Key words: Parental leave, employee engagement, employee retention, work-life balance, family friendly policies

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