Caregiving obligations take a toll personally and professionally on employees. You have a unique opportunity to provide your employees with the tools, benefits, and resources they need to feel supported as a working caregiver. Not only will this give you a competitive edge in retaining and recruiting employees, you will also experience a more productive, engaged, and loyal workforce.

Caregiving crisis: increased challenges and demands for working caregivers

A caregiver is responsible for helping others with daily living activities or medical tasks. Tasks can range from assisting a relative or friend with picking up medications or providing transportation—to fundamental activities such as helping with dressing and eating.

Caregivers spend an average of nearly 24 hours a week providing care. Working caregivers often remain silent about their responsibilities out of fear that they may be perceived as less committed or available. They are concerned about missing out on potential career promotions or being considered for other opportunities. Furthermore, working caregivers face challenges managing their own personal time and have difficulties setting boundaries. 

Not feeling like they are able to share their demands leaves 72 percent of caregivers reporting clinical signs of depression due to the isolation they face. Consequently, loneliness and isolation are correlated to an increased risk for chronic health conditions.

Why you should care for your caregivers: supporting employees managing caregiving responsibilities

You may not realize the extent of how much caregiving affects performance. According to Harvard Business School, only 24 percent of employers claimed caregiving impacted workers’ performance. However, 80 percent of workers with caregiving responsibilities said it affected their work performance and their ability to bring their best selves to work. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Measure the extent to which employees are burdened with caregiving responsibilities
  • Offer flexible work schedule arrangements so that caregivers have the space to solve problems and create more stability and flexibility at work
  • Make a commitment to change the workplace culture to be more responsive to caregiving employees’ needs
  • Eliminate any assumptions about caregiving such as the notion that having caregiving responsibilities means an employee is less committed
  • Provide training to supervisors and managers on what constitutes caregiver discrimination
  • Offer support services, resources, and referral sources to help alleviate stress

By making your workplace caregiving-friendly, you can reduce indirect workplace costs, and improve employees’ physical and emotional health.

How WorkLife Partnership can help

At WorkLife Partnership, our Resource Navigators are experts at solving the kinds of personal challenges that show up at work. Navigators can help your working caregivers with things like goal-setting, building healthy habits, managing stress, and practicing self-care. We are ready to connect them to free, unlimited, and personalized support—no matter what life throws their way. Offering benefits that increases loyalty, employee satisfaction, and productivity is incredibly valuable. In a time when businesses across the country are short-handed and face hiring and retention challenges, 71 percent of workers say they are more likely to stay at their company because the Resource Navigation service was available.

Want to learn more about WorkLife’s Resource Navigation Services? Contact us.