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Daniil Khomenko, Talent and Development Lead in Europe, and Anastasiya Volkova, Diversity and Inclusion Lead in Europe, discuss why and how AB InBev is partnering with BetterUp to support employees before, during and after family leave.
Striking a healthy work-life balance, while no easy task, is especially difficult for parents: In 2019, working mothers of one to two children were up to 40 percent more stressed than their childless female colleagues. It’s no secret that an enormous challenge of early parenthood is navigating the return to work.
Daniil Khomenko, AB InBev’s Europe Talent & Development Lead, sees this challenge as an opportunity to support employees. “Maternity and paternity leave is a special moment for our colleagues, and an amazing moment to discover what we as a company can offer.”
Anastasiya Volkova, Diversity and Inclusion Lead for Europe, agrees: “Retention is one of our focus areas,” she said. “We want to give people fair treatment once they go back to work after such an important life event, and coaching is an opportunity to do that.”
Role models for progressive and inclusive workforce development initiatives, Volkova and Khomenko have experienced the value of coaching firsthand. “I’m a super happy user of the [BetterUp] platform,” Volkova said. “I think I’ve developed more in the last two months than in the last year. I love seeing it rolled out to different areas of the company.”
"Coaching offers a first step to recognizing your own biases, strengths, and weaknesses,” Khomenko added. “I think it’s amazing that you can do it anytime, from anywhere.” Additionally, facilitating the program on the backend enables Khomenko to “recognize the great work of the team and of the tool itself.”
Catalyzed by the added challenges of the global pandemic, Khomenko and Volkova have empowered new parents with BetterUp coaching. Throughout leave, parents can work with a dedicated coach as well as specialty coaching on self-care, sleep, stress management, and more. Parents also benefit from BetterUp’s extensive library of resources and tools for micro-learning and goal setting, tailored to their needs.
BetterUp’s wide-ranging resources support the evolving needs of new parents through the entire journey. During leave, popular focus areas are well being, work-life balance, stress management, physical health, and self-care. “As they start preparing to come back,” said Khomenko, “we see that they focus on career planning, incorporating their new role as parent into how they will perform as a leader.”
Participating employees have already seen significant progress: “[My coach] has been driving me to understand the results of my daily efforts at work and as a new father,” one new parent said. “Coaching helps me overcome the typical stress in a period like this. It gives me confidence that this new journey will be an amazing success.” Another, who is intent on maintaining healthy habits after maternity leave, said that her coach “helped me to think about healthy food organization when I’m back at work.”
This program is the latest example of AB InBev’s global investment in personalized learning and development. Together with BetterUp, the company delivered a coaching program last spring for 150 women employees around the world. More than two thousand coaching sessions later, 96% of AB InBev’s participants reported that coaching made them more effective at their job. “Our people are the very core of everything we are doing,” said Khomenko. “It’s really about the employee experience.”
Khomenko and Volkova plan to build on the success of the new parents program. “The pilot showed us that [coaching] is really valuable for employees’ well-being,” Khomenko said. “[BetterUp] is one of the best partnerships that I’ve seen in the learning and development area for AB InBev,” Volkova added.
Empower new parents to thrive