For HR professionals and managers, understanding and supporting employees navigating the menopause while managing their work responsibilities is crucial. Despite being a significant portion of the workforce, menopausal women often feel a lack of understanding and support from their employers during this transition.

Research indicates that menopausal symptoms significantly impact women’s work performance, including difficulty concentrating, hot flushes, reduced confidence, fatigue, forgetfulness, brain fog, and anxiety.

According to a recent survey by Gen-M:

  • 90% of women reported that their menopausal symptoms negatively affected their work.
  • Over half of career women felt invisible due to the perimenopause.
  • Only 1 in 5 women believed their employers were well-informed about menopause’s impact.
  • 88% expressed the need for better workplace support for menopausal women.

These findings highlight the urgent need for workplaces to better accommodate and support menopausal women to prevent them from feeling unsupported, struggling with symptoms, and worrying about job security. Unfortunately, many women even consider leaving their jobs due to the challenges they face during this transition.

To effectively support menopausal employees in the workplace, HR professionals and managers can consider the following tips:

Create a menopause policy:

A well-crafted menopause policy can promote inclusivity, understanding, and workplace wellness.

  • The policy should be available to all employees to access – signpost information clearly, such as through a HR system so employees can access it confidentially if they wish.
  • Ensure that policies are inclusive and responsive to the needs of menopausal employees – ask your employees what they need so the policy can be tailored to your specific organisational departments.
  • Regularly review and update the menopause policy based on feedback and evolving needs.

The policy could include:

  • Information on the impact of the menopause.
  • Training available for managers and employees.
  • Information on how to get support through the menopause and starting the conversation.
  • Flexible working options.
  • Reasonable adjustments that can be made to help with symptoms.
  • Signpost all support resources.

Encourage a culture of transparency and support:

  • Create an organisational culture where employees feel comfortable discussing sensitive personal challenges, such as mental health, menopause and infertility.
  • Reduce the taboo in the organisation by sharing information openly and running awareness campaigns.
  • Encourage open and supportive communication between managers and employees about menopausal experiences and challenges.
  • Create a safe space for women to discuss their symptoms, concerns, and needs without fear of judgment or discrimination.

Provide training to managers and employees:

  • Conduct training sessions for managers and colleagues on menopause awareness and sensitivity.
  • Equip them with the knowledge to offer appropriate support and understanding to menopausal employees.
  • Educate them about common symptoms, challenges, and effective strategies for managing them at work.
  • Provide training sessions to employees on managing menopausal symptoms, both in and out of work.

Provide access to wellbeing support:

  • Implement wellness initiatives that focus on promoting physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
  • Offer resources such as mindfulness workshops, stress management techniques, and access to counselling services to support women during this transition. Create links to safe and trusted professionals.
  • Provide access to support blogs and information on managing menopausal symptoms.

Implementing a menopause policy demonstrates organisational commitment to employee wellbeing and diversity.

By creating a supportive and inclusive environment, organisations can empower menopausal employees to thrive professionally while managing the physical and emotional aspects of this life stage.

Ready to create a menopause-friendly workplace and empower your team with knowledge and support?

Guest blog written by Sarah Banks, Director at Sarah Banks Coaching.

Director, Sarah Banks Coaching | IVF Positivity Planner | Menopause Positivity Planner

Sarah is a qualified personal development coach, and author of the bestselling IVF Positivity Planner, and the Menopause Positivity Planner, unique coaching journals that help people feel stronger and more in control while going through challenging life events.

She has been working in the field of fertility for 7 years, raising the awareness of infertility and the need for support, and she is the co-author of the EFS Fertility Patients Care Guidance.

Sarah partners with organisations to provide support for management and employees navigating fertility treatment and menopause, offering training sessions, workshops, and strategy sessions to promote employee well-being and productivity in the workplace.

Through her work and her own personal IVF journey, Sarah has a deep understanding of the impact to emotional and mental health that infertility causes, and the support that is needed.

She has consulted with, and delivered training to many organisations, including Marie Curie, National Grid, Nat West, Aviva, NHS, Matalan, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Merck, and fertility clinics across the world.

Director, Sarah Banks Coaching | IVF Positivity Planner | Menopause Positivity Planner