Three in four workers are caregivers — responsible for the safety and well-being of someone other than themselves, while also striving to be a productive employee. Businesses have experienced the impact of this caregiving reality, losing $23 billion annually in productivity costs due to childcare challenges faced by their workforce.
Sara Redington brings nearly 20 years of strategic planning, business development, and communications experience to her role. Today, she connects Best Place for Working Parents and The Miles Foundation with their respective missions by spearheading strategic initiatives that amplify community impact, engage key stakeholders in a whole-community approach, and align organization practices with long-term success.
The future of a thriving workplace ecosystem — where businesses maximize productivity and profitability, and employees achieve the coveted “work-life” balance — hinges on modern, smart workplace policies that address the needs of a growing caregiving generation, while enabling business leaders to attract and retain top talent.
Recent research shows that family-friendly policies can measurably benefit caregiving employees and increase talent attraction, retention, motivation, and performance. And one size does not fit all — there is an array of research-backed policies that range in implementation cost and complexity, so every business, no matter the size, has viable options to boost organizational and employee success.
For business leaders who are ready to integrate caregiving benefits into their workplace strategy, four steps can help build an effective family-friendly culture that encourages employees to succeed and STAY for the long-term:
Survey to assess your business’s unique employee needs
A short employee survey can help determine where your employees are on the caregiving continuum and which policies would be most beneficial, rather than implementing benefits that may not be as impactful for their specific needs. It’s important to determine your specific workforce’s priorities before implementing any policy to ensure maximized ROI.
Take (small) actions quickly, build toward bigger
Based on employee feedback, what is the smallest action you can take? A Dependent Care FSA is a low-cost caregiver benefit that can save employers up to $382.50 per employee, while flexibility and remote work are both no-cost policies that have been shown to improve employee retention and loyalty.
Assess employee awareness and usage
Many employers offer policies that their employees simply aren’t aware of, so making it a habit to check in with employees regularly is vital. Some employers host weekly calls where employees can ask questions about their benefits, while others regularly update their benefits based on employee feedback.
You are a model for your culture
Employees are more apt to follow how policies are modeled in the office day-to-day versus written policies. Leaders should be mindful of creating a culture that practices those family-friendly policies defined in writing to ensure the maximum benefit for their employees and the organization.