Emerging Trend: Boosting Employee Caregiver Support to Strengthen Productivity and Increase Competitive Stance

Insight By
Michael LoVasco
Topic
Employee Benefits

As employers reimagine the workplace of tomorrow, a new trend is emerging: Employers realize the value in stepping up their commitment to support employee caregivers. The past year and a half has helped unmask the subtle yet powerful drain in productivity due to employees who are silently struggling to balance their work responsibilities while caring for children and aging or disabled family members.  

In fact, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving, one in five Americans (equaling over 53 million people) provide ongoing care for children and aging adults. That equates to approximately 45% of the workforce. Nearly half of those surveyed reported feeling they have no choice about taking on these responsibilities. These numbers are only expected to grow—making caregiving a critical workplace issue.  

Whether it’s providing transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, managing finances, paying bills, or other hands-on responsibilities, employees who have caregiving responsibilities are more likely to experience:

  • Stress and burnout
  • Absences from work
  • Presentism  
  • Lower productivity
  • Health problems

Going above and beyond by taking care of employees who are caregivers will be one of the key ways employers increase employee engagement, boost productivity, and stand out from competitors in the current war for talent.  

4 Ways Employers are Making a Difference

Like most programs, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting employee caregivers at work. Understanding the unique needs of caregivers in your workforce will reveal opportunities for you to implement programs and policies that provide the most relevant support.

In addition to the common foundational caregiver benefits, such as Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs), consider adding some of these emerging benefits that are growing in popularity:

  1. Eldercare benefits. Eldercare benefits let you help your employees as they deal with the physical, mental, and logistical strains of caregiving. For example, Homethrive specializes in supporting employees caring for aging loved ones. From navigating hard conversations to setting up home care, and everything in between, they are there to help.  
  1. Back Up Care for Children and Adults. Various vendors offer stopgap coverage for unplanned breakdowns in care arrangements. Whether the school closes due to weather, the sitter leaves unexpectedly, or a last-minute business trip gets in the way, these services dispatch a vetted, experienced caregiver in or out-of-home when an emergency arises. One of the leading vendors for this type of service is Care.com.
  1. Long Term Care benefits. Nearly 70% of 65-year-old people will need long-term care services or support, according to 2020 data from the Administration for Community Living. Long-term care refers to a host of services that aren’t covered by regular health insurance. This includes assistance with routine daily activities, like bathing, dressing or getting in and out of bed. Offering long-term care insurance helps employees cover the costs of that type of care when they have a chronic medical condition, a disability, or a disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease. Most policies reimburse the employee for care given in a variety of places, such as one’s home, a nursing home, an assisted living facility or an adult day care center.
  1. Legal benefits. Typically, this type of voluntary benefit provides employees with easy to use, cost effective legal services at no cost to your organization. Services support caregiving responsibilities related to estate planning, guardianship, living wills, medical directives and more.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Establishing benefits and resources are only helpful if your employees know they are available. Be sure to create a comprehensive awareness-building campaign to ensure the word gets out. One great way to spread the word is through showcasing employee testimonials. Whether it’s promoting new benefits, sharing links to community services, or connecting employees with other resources, encouraging your employees to access available resources can help them in their caregiving role and ultimately enable them to perform better at work.

A Small Investment with a Big Impact

When valuable employees lose valuable time caregiving, everyone is impacted. With a small investment, your company can reinforce your commitment to caregiving employees and their physical and mental health. Taking these steps also helps you create an inclusive work environment where employees can refocus on work knowing that they have the support they need to help their loved ones.

If employers want to retain top-end talent and high performers, then dedicating more attention to the employee caregiver is a must. To learn more about the potential benefits and resources available, contact LoVasco.

Insight By
Michael LoVasco
Executive Vice President
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Topic
Employee Benefits
Published on

August 24, 2021

updated on

August 24, 2021

Disclosure

This article is for educational purposes only. The tax and legal references attached herein are designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered and are provided with the understanding that LoVasco Consulting Group is not engaged in rendering tax or legal services. If tax or legal advice is required, you should consult your accountant or attorney. LoVasco Consulting Group does not replace those advisors.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc., a registered broker dealer and Investment Advisor, member FINRA / SIPC. LoVasco Consulting Group is independently owned and operated.

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