Keep In Touch (KIT) and Shared Parental Leave In Touch (SPLIT) Days are an optional, but for many, essential tool in stepping back into the world of work.
When planned and executed well, they allow you to dip your toe back into daily working life, keep up to date with what’s been happening in the workplace and for many to ease themselves into their new life as a working parent.
Employees can work up to 10 days during their maternity or adoption leave. These days are called ‘keeping in touch days’. Keeping in touch days are optional - both the employee and employer need to agree to them - GOVT website
Here I have compiled my top 5 tips to help you make the most of your KIT/SPLIT days
1. Set yourself a clear outcome from the day
Knowing what you want to gain from the day will keep you focussed and can help to keep emotions at bay. Whatever outcome you decide to set, this is a great chance to be strategic and give yourself some thinking space about your return before you get stuck into the day-to-day. Some ideas of outcomes include: connecting with key people, getting up to speed with business plans, refresher training and planning your workload.
2. Ask your colleagues for support
Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues to help plan your days, they may have knowledge that you don't and they are a useful source to ensure you get the most out of your day. Ask them to help you to book meetings and check availability of key stakeholders.
3. Iron out the practicalities
As well as the chance to think strategically about your return to work, KIT/SPLIT Days can also provide an opportunity to get to on top of your practical to-do list such as ensuring your technology is up and running, or that mandatory training is completed, particularly in a remote working world.
4. Reconnect with key people
As well meeting with your manager and participating in team meetings, another way to use your days is to re-ignite your professional network. It could also be a good way to reach out to a mentor - to connect with someone who has already been through the process of returning to work as a working parents.
By using your days to meet with stakeholders you can also combat the 'out of sight, out of mind' feelings that you may be experiencing. Make sure that before any meeting you prepare questions in advance so that you feel calm and confident in what you want to say and the information you want to take away from each meeting.
5. Enjoy yourself
My final tip is to make time to enjoy yourself. Yes it is important to get focussed on business and your work again but do make time to appreciate the time you now have to enjoy a hot coffee, wear different clothes and have conversations that aren't all about baby food and sleep patterns (or lack of!)