Supporting families through Returnity
Updated: Mar 27
Returnity | [re-turn-ity] | a Stryker program rooted in our mission, with this initiative we target all our values: Integrity, Accountability, People, and Performance with a focus on parents to be/returning parents and their close circle managers and colleagues.
Stryker was built on Dr. Homer Stryker’s philosophy that if your tools don’t work, you make them work. If you can’t make them work, make tools that will. This spirit of innovation lives on in every single Stryker employee to this day. For some, their innovation is channeled into product development, others through sales and customer service, and for some, their innovative spirit presents by suggesting programs to make working at Stryker even better.
Becoming a parent is a pivotal moment in anyone’s life. It's also often one of their most vulnerable moments. How companies support their employees during these moments lay the foundation of trust and long-term employee engagement.
Three members of Stryker’s Women’s Network (SWN) in the Netherlands felt the challenges new parents faced for themselves and their colleagues. These experiences led to their partnership and creation of one of Stryker’s first Returnity programs*, rolling out in The Netherlands.
Hanna S., one of the founding members of Returnity noted “As a company, Stryker has established parental leave policies, but we have an opportunity to educate and empower employees, teams, and managers with a toolbox as they transition out and back into the workforce following a parental leave. And this is exactly what this program Returnity is all about.”
Returnity focuses on providing awareness, support, and tools to create engaging parental returns and a smooth process for all involved. Through the Returnity program, expecting parents are given a “toolkit” to help make sure they’re prepared and supported ahead of their parental leave, during leave, and when they’re ready to return.
Returnity helps deliver on Stryker values through:
Supporting employees to have clear communication
Removing bias due to assumption
Allowing each individual to develop to their strength and ability and empowering the individual stakeholders to develop the best plan for their transition
Supporting the development for engaged and performing long-term employees
What Returnity means to our team:
“As a manager, I believe we play a very important role in achieving successful and engaging parental leaves and returns for our employees .” – Lupina V. | Returnity Co-Founder
“The Returnity project makes sure that everyone has a sense of belonging no matter what or how different their career paths may be at Stryker. I am so glad that the Returnity project included the LGBTQIA+ point of view, so everyone can be their authentic selves at work”
– John A. | Returnity Program Supporter
"The Returnity program created the awareness that returning back to work after going out on parental-related leave can be quite a challenging time for employees. The tools provided, e.g. FAQs, checklists, and templates to prepare hand-over and transition plans, are a huge help to make the transition easier. It feels great to be part of a community of other parents who are transitioning back to work after having a child, share experiences, and learn from each other!" - Yessie P. | Returnity Program User
"I am extremely grateful to Returnity for giving me an opportunity to help other people. Being an active member of this great initiative lets me have meaningful conversations with (future) parents, and organize educational meetings. I am also grateful for the support of other Returnity members." - Olga V. | Returnity Program Supporter and User
“When I was back after my parental leave, I was totally unprepared. I underestimated what it meant. I was worried people would think I couldn’t handle my parenting responsibilities and job. A colleague told me it was OK to bring my baby to a call with me and helped me feel more confident in my new role as a parent. “– Marina V. | Returnity Program User
How else is SWN making Stryker a career destination for women?
*Stryker benefits and programs vary by location