Having worked with children and families for over twenty years, Anika Vassell recognised that parents and carers of older children were not getting the same level of support or consideration as those who raised younger children.
This was despite the wide range of highly stressful ‘teen issues’ that arise during the adolescent years, that then detrimentally reflect in the workplace through absenteeism, loss in productivity, and losses in retention.
She joined the Ingenuity Programme in 2019 to gain a greater understanding of how to run a socially motivated start-up that would empower both parents and employers. Her innovative idea was the first of its kind – a business that addresses the negative relationship between adolescent age-related parenting demands, working-parent wellbeing, and business profitability. At Ingenuity’s annual Impact Evening, she was awarded the Research-Related Enterprise Award and the Smallwood Trust Innovation Prize for her ‘Teen Behaviour’ business.
Anika now works with People Leaders within organisations who come to understand both the wellbeing and productivity benefits of supporting their colleagues from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, who raise children aged between 9-19yrs. In particular, Anika supports those organisations who are committed to addressing workplace gender differences, and with those who are committed to supporting women into leadership roles.
“My investigations revealed that it is women who continue to take on the bulk of the care responsibility – even as their children grow older. The means that it is mainly women who take time off work, reduce their working hours, or who leave careers altogether to cater for the needs of their adolescent-aged children.”
The further integration of work and home domains, and the increased pressures on mental health as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, means that it’s vital for employers to look further than traditional wellbeing support, and offer services of a more diverse nature that create workplace cultures of true belonging.
Teen Behaviour provides cost effective, easy to implement services that empower working parents and carers with the confidence, knowledge, and tools to make impactful change before family crisis point, and therefore mitigating the negative impact on business.