With millions of people caring for loved ones, more employers are realizing how important it is to support their employees who are also caregivers. Beyond providing caregiving benefits like flextime, online resources, and counseling, one of the most important things employers can do for working caregivers is to create a supportive culture.
Unlike child care, caregivers for the elderly often do not discuss their caregiving responsibilities at work so the first challenge can be identifying employees who are also caregivers. Many are nervous to discuss caregiving because they’re worried managers or co-workers may see them as less committed if they have other priorities that compete with their job.
Tips for Employers
There are many ways employers can create a caregiver friendly work environment. Here are some tips for employees to consider:
- Create a company-wide caregiving education effort that explains the demands of caregiving and how it can affect employees.
- Ask senior leadership to be vocal about their support for caregivers and to encourage their staff to access caregiving support when they need it. Signals of support from the top can make a big difference in influencing workplace culture. If senior leaders have personal caregiving experience, encourage them to share this in their dialogue with employees.
- Offer training for managers and supervisors on how to respond to the needs of working caregivers. Share ideas on how to create an environment where employees feel they can speak honestly about their caregiving responsibilities. Dispel incorrect assumptions and stereotypes about working caregivers and explain how supporting working caregivers can improve employee engagement and productivity while also reducing absenteeism and healthcare costs.
- Make managers aware of the company’s caregiving benefits, flextime and leave policies and instructing managers to encourage employees to access these supports.
- Reassure employees that taking time off from work or accessing other caregiver benefits will not penalize them or put their job at risk.
- Encourage staff to share ideas on how to find balance between work and caregiving responsibilities.
Supporting Caregivers is Good for Business
Numerous studies have shown that providing caregiver benefits can improve employee productivity, enhance recruitment and retention efforts, and positively impact the bottom line. Creating a supportive culture for caregivers can also differentiate employers by showing employees that they truly care. And as more employees become caregivers, it’s the right thing for employers to do for their people and for their business.
To learn more about Carallel’s comprehensive caregiver support solution or to schedule a demonstration, contact us today.