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Now that you have your lactation program in place, you will need to determine the value and progress of your program to see the return on the investment. This will help quantify the success of your lactation program to ensure continued support and funding. Collecting data and documenting it will help develop a process of ongoing improvement to the program. You can set up a process for getting employee feedback, data, and evaluating the process for continuous improvement. Below are some ways to gather information to assess the value that your program is adding to your company.
Have records for how many mothers use the room and how many hours it is occupied. This will help you determine if the company is providing the right number of mother’s room or pumping stations for your employees. For larger companies, it can also tell you where more mother’s rooms may be needed. In areas that have more usage, you can plan to have more rooms so fewer mothers are waiting to pump, thereby increasing their efficiency.
From program managers and HR, you can collect data that can help you quantify the progress and success of your program. Gather data on the rates of absenteeism and turnover of employees who are using the program. You can also collect data on the health care costs of those employees using the program to see how the program is impacting the company’s bottom line.
Collecting feedback from mothers will help you measure the satisfaction of the lactation program and the mother’s rooms. It will let you know of any problems with the room, and suggestions for improvement to fit the needs of the employees at the company. Ask which benefits mothers find to be the most helpful and what attributes do they value most. Specific questions will also give you insight into how well the program is working how it could be improved. Do they find the breastfeeding seminars useful? Are the rooms adequately stocked? Is it easy to get a lactation consultation? Should anything be added to the program? Some other examples of questions could be about mother’s room access, cleanliness of the room and pump, and the amenities in the room. Other program questions could be regarding the willingness of the manager or department in supporting the mother or how easy or difficult it is to get medical coverage for breastfeeding issues. If your company program includes the partner of male employees who can take advantage of the lactation program, you can also invite them to give feedback on the areas they use such as education and support.
It’s important to get feedback from co-workers about the program. Ask them if they are aware of the program and if they see it as a benefit to the company. Find out what concerns they may have to see how the program is being accepted. Also find out how you can include them in the program to ensure they can benefits. By knowing what the attitudes of the employees are toward the lactation program, you will know how to address any issues to improve the working environment for both the mothers and their co-workers.
Don’t forget to ask your employees for their ideas and suggestions on how to the make the program even better and give them plenty of space in the survey for this. Ask for examples on what program improvements they would like to see, or what benefit would have helped them even more. As you collect the information, you may find a large response asking for certain additions or benefits to the program. Those would be areas for your program to grow and make it more effective for your company.
Collecting good data is vital to knowing how well your lactation program is helping both your employees and the company. It is important to have data to quantify progress and helps retain support and funding for the program. It also lets you know what areas of the program may need improvement, or what kind of additional benefits are needed to make the program even better. If you would like to find out more about putting together a process evaluation for your lactation program, contact Healthy Horizons Corporate Lactation Services to put together a process specific to your company’s needs.