November is “National Family Caregivers Month,” a time to honor and recognize family caregivers.
An estimated 53 million adults in the United States — more than one in five Americans — are caregivers. Yet, employers are not focused enough on how that outside responsibility affects their workforce and their employees’ performance. But they should be.
Today’s workforce is performing a precarious juggling act: balancing health care, finances, work, children, aging loved ones and more. We saw the tremendous pressure that COVID-19 put on families trying to balance homeschooling with child and parental care when an estimated 3 million women left the workforce.
What kind of effect does providing care for an aging loved one have on working adults, and what can we do to help retain them in our workforce?
Recently, our VP of Marketing, Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin, explored this topic in an article for Workspan Magazine.
Here are some key take-a-ways to consider:
- Employers are not widely aware of or focused on how those outside caregiving responsibilities impact their workforce and workforce performance.
- Supporting aging loved ones is a multi-year, long-term commitment.
- As people age, they increasingly rely on their adult children or family members to run errands, coordinate services, research products, answer questions, lend financial and emotional support, and more.
- Despite the growing need/demand for employee benefits that support caregivers, most employers are either not offering those benefits or not communicating about such benefits, but change may be afoot.
- When HR teams are considering a portfolio of benefits that are “must haves,” choosing the right caregiver benefit should be at, or near, the top of the list.
- Smart companies will recognize the impact caregiving has on their employees’ well-being and their company’s bottom line and do the right thing.