Organizations often offer various policies designed to facilitate employees’ work-life balance (e.g., paid parental leave, on-site childcare). One relatively new policy that some organizations have begun to offer is egg freezing coverage. This refers to a procedure in which a woman’s eggs are extracted and frozen so that they may be used in the future. This potentially extends the amount of time in which a woman would be able to have a biological child.
It is important to consider how employees may react to organizations that offer egg freezing coverage as this procedure becomes more common and more organizations begin to offer coverage for it.
EMPLOYEE REACTIONS TO EGG FREEZING COVERAGE
Researchers (Flynn & Leslie, 2022) conducted a series of six studies in which they examined how employees react to egg freezing coverage being offered as a work-life policy by organizations.
Interestingly, they found that employees had more negative attitudes toward egg freezing coverage compared to other work-life policies that organizations may offer, such as coverage for in vitro fertilization (IVF), onsite childcare, paid parental leave, and flextime. Employees also had more negative attitudes toward egg freezing coverage compared to organizations that had no work-life policy at all. This is because egg freezing coverage may signal that the organization encourages employees to sacrifice their personal-life, while offering fewer benefits to employees and costing more for organizations.
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS FOR ORGANIZATIONS
These findings have practical implications for organizations. The authors caution that although egg freezing coverage may evoke negative reactions from employees, this does not mean that organizations should not offer it at all. In fact, it may still provide a valuable service for employees, especially for those who cannot afford to pay for it on their own. Instead, the authors suggest that organizations should try to reduce the negative reactions that the policy may elicit. For example, organizations could state that they expect the policy to be used by relatively few employees. They could also refrain from advertising their egg freezing policies to potential employees and others outside of the organization. Instead organizations could focus on advertising policies that typically receive more positive reactions, such as paid parental leave or flextime.
Flynn, E., & Leslie, L. M. (2022). Progressive or pressuring? The signaling effects of egg freezing coverage and other work–life policies. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication.
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