The career-boosting benefits of an employer that anticipates your needs

April 8, 2024
your needs at work

How much better would your career be if your employer not only supported your needs but anticipated them?

Emma Yabsley, a Commercial Director for Rheinmetall, will gladly tell you the answer.

Having joined Rheinmetall soon after having her first child, Emma learned just how valuable a supportive and empathetic employer can be – both personally and professionally.

And as she discovered before she even started there, such an employer can make all the difference.

New parent, new start

After ten years of working with her previous employer (her first job since she was a graduate), Emma felt it was time for a change.

With a young daughter now in her care, Emma’s motivations were mainly practical at first.

“It was fantastic to have such an opportunity here in Brisbane and be able to work directly with senior leaders on location, as my previous company had their headquarters in Melbourne.

While Emma was on parental leave from her previous employer and when her daughter Elodie was just five months old, she applied at Rheinmetall.

“It was nerve-wracking to make this change. I had been in my previous role since I was a graduate. But after my interviews with Rheinmetall, I walked away really wanting to work with them.”

The real clincher for Emma though, was its approach to onboarding and managing her transition back to full-time work.

Getting just what she needed

From her first interview, Emma could tell that Rheinmetall would be a great fit.

“The role was advertised as a full-time position. But in my interviews, we discussed how I was still on parental leave. They then initiated the flexible working options in the discussion.” 

Let us just repeat that last part again: Rheinmetall initiated the discussion on flexible working options in the first interview. Emma explains further:

“When Yasmin (my General Manager) found out I had a young child when I applied for the role, she offered for me to start on a part-time basis. I was able to do that for about five months until my little girl was 12 months old and ready to start at daycare.”

This, perhaps more than anything, was what sold the company to Emma.

“Right from the start, they understood what I would need. Not having to ask for considerations and having options offered up front – that was really key.”

Working with people who understood the demands and realities of working parents was something Emma was truly grateful for.

“I started working part-time at Rheinmetall when Elodie was eight months old. I think it’s amazing that a company would give that flexibility to a new hire. I didn’t need to qualify or prove myself.”

With formalized policies for flexible working arrangements, inclusive hiring practices, and generous parental leave, Rheinmetall offers an exceptional workplace for working parents and those with caring responsibilities.

Learn more 

Supporting her transition

When her parental leave ended, Emma wasn’t sure what her experience back to work would be like, especially in a new company.

But to her pleasant surprise, it went better than she expected.

“It was very interesting starting at a new company when returning to work after parental leave. Returning part-time in a role that was also new in the team probably eased my way back in.” 

Emma recalls:

“I started two days a week, very flexible, and open-ended. The initial intent was that I would ramp up to full-time after a few months. But I underestimated how difficult getting daycare placement was, and I ended up staying part-time for five months.”

That flexibility proved to be incredibly valuable as she navigated the demands of caring for her young child.

Much of this flexibility, Emma emphasizes, was shaped by her manager and the people she works with.

“Yasmin was instrumental in both establishing my part-time role and building it up to full-time. She considered both my needs and the company’s, and she was hugely supportive in helping me set boundaries in what I could, and could not, commit to while I was working two days per week.”

She adds:

“Working directly with a program director and a manager who are both mothers really created a lot of empathy and a supportive environment. The team were all very welcoming and respectful of my initial part-time work boundaries.”

New policies – Supportive of working parents

That story, by itself, would have been impressive enough.

But what makes Emma’s journey even more remarkable is the fact that all this support wasn’t even part of the company’s parental leave benefits. The flexibility, support, and constant awareness of their employees’ needs – all these are just hardwired in the company’s ways of working.

That’s not to say its parental leave benefits are lacking.

On the contrary, Rheinmetall’s parental leave benefits got even better recently, much to Emma’s delight.

“The company recently released new policies which are excellent – they’re great offerings. If I have any more children, I’m really happy to know they’re there.”

She adds:

“My experience starting a new role and returning to work at Rheinmetall definitely makes it easier for me to feel that I would be supported if I choose to expand my family and take more time off in the future.”

The results speak for themselves

So, how much better off are Emma and the company because it anticipated her needs and initiated the support she needed?

As it turns out, drastically better.

Emma has only been with Rheinmetall for a little over a year, but she’s already been promoted to the senior role of Commercial Director.

By giving her the flexibility, space, and tools to manage her work and family the way she wanted (and needed), Rheinmetall empowered Emma to perform at her best.

And its steady support, solidarity, and empathy have been crucial to Emma tackling bigger and greater challenges.

She shared one moment that perfectly encapsulated this.

“When Yasmin told me I was the preferred candidate for the promotion role I applied to, I was simultaneously stoked and nervous about the scale of the role I would be taking on, especially with my little daughter at home.” 

But nervousness quickly turned into excitement and drive, thanks to encouragement from her team.

“I was really touched when it was announced I was successful in getting the role. Many of my team reached out to let me know that they were very happy that I was taking it on.”

Today, it’s no surprise that Emma continues to shine at Rheinmetall.

And she’s confident that no matter what personal and professional challenges lie ahead, the company will be there to support her – even without asking.

Want to learn more about the benefits of a career at Rheinmetall?

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About the Author

Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

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