If you’re an owner or manager, your bottom line is affected by your employees’ struggles with caregiving/work balance.
One out of four American households includes a family caregiver. That’s 46 million people. Nearly two-thirds of these caregivers work outside the home in a full or part-time job – and their numbers are growing.
So, it’s not a matter of whether or not your business will feel the impact of caregiving/work balance issues. It’s a matter of how effectively you will address these challenges.
Whether you have 10 employees or 10,000, you can take steps right now to prevent or minimize productivity and turnover losses due to caregiving/work stress among your employees.
Why support employees who are involved in caregiving?
In today’s tight labor market, a key to business success is attracting and retaining great employees. We know that millennials are looking for work/life balance. So are the millions of baby boomers, many of whom lost retirement savings in the 2008 economic meltdown and are extending their working years to make ends meet.
With the aging of the population, employees of all ages are feeling the pressure of the caregiving/work balance act.
- The average family caregiver is a 46-year-old woman who is also raising a teenage child.
- Nearly 15% of employed caregivers are 20-somethings who have been thrust into caring for a grandparent because of a parent’s divorce or other family circumstances.
- Research shows that, when left unaddressed, the stresses of caregiving/work balance costs American businesses billions of dollars annually.
The cost of caregiving in terms of lost productivity to U.S. businesses is $17.1 to $33 billion annually. These costs include absenteeism ($5.1 billion), shifts from full-time to part-time work ($4.8 billion), replacing employees ($6.6 billion), and workday adjustments ($6.3 billion). Many of these losses can be prevented by providing working caregivers with timely information, job schedule flexibility, and emotional support. Source: Research by Family Caregiving Alliance and AARP
Caregivers Don’t Self-Identify
Many employees don’t realize they are family caregivers – they don’t self-identify. So, the quickest, most effective first step you can take as a business leader is to
- recognize their reality by highlighting the existence of their struggles in company communications and
- empower your employees. Give them the information and tools to create their own plan for personal balance, starting with Caregiver Works’ unique workbook Caregivers Work: A Six Step Guide to Balancing Work and Family – Elder Care Edition.
Caregivers Work can provide a customized, branded version of this workbook. Contact us today at (720) 768-5416 to learn how simple it is to offer this cost-effective, empowering guide to your employees.
By taking an informed approach to supporting employees who are juggling responsibilities for caregiving and work, you seize an opportunity to achieve a valuable win-win-win outcome:
- A win for your business by reducing turnover, minimizing avoidable productivity losses, and better controlling health care costs,
- A win for your employees who remain gainfully employed and productive, and
- A win for the communities in which your employees live by strengthening family ties and contributing to economic stability.
A comprehensive approach includes paying attention to:
- Corporate Culture: leaders need to “walk the talk,” showing by their actions you’re truly a Caring Company
- Managers’ awareness of caregiving/work balance issues
- Managers’ skills at identifying and taking effective action to minimize caregiving/work balance conflicts
- Shaping and communicating employment practices and benefit offerings to match the four top needs of employed family caregivers: time, timely information, financial solutions, and emotional support
- Supporting community care options via loaned resources and corporate giving
A thorough review of policies and practices will include:
- Community Partnerships
- Management Training
See the Resources section for other sources of information and services that help you create a more family caregiver-friendly workplace.
Help your business get ahead of the Caregiving Curve. Join the conversation on inventing solutions that work – sign up today and add your voice to the Caregiver Friendly Workplace Action Forum.