Employee Benefit Needs have Evolved

March 17, 2023by Jennifer Murray0

Over the past few years, employee benefits have evolved. The pandemic necessitated telemedicine and prompted many organizations to add mental health coverage. Leading organizations have also modified their parental leave policies and added fertility benefits. As you consider the demographics in your organization and connect with your team members, you may discover that elder care needs have increased. In this podcast, we discuss the sandwich generation – team members that stretch between childcare and eldercare, while they continue to work. It is a stressor that has created a feeling of burnout or motivated some team members to accept early retirement.

The Triangle Business Journal conducted a study on the State of Women in the Workplace. The data revealed insights on some of the factors that are challenging working women. Specifically, 80% of women are constantly or sometimes stressed at work. Some of the stress is financial: 42% want help paying for child care and 39% want help paying for elder care. We have reviewed hundreds of employee survey tools on employee culture, benefits, and engagement. Historically, it was rare for a survey tool to explore elder care needs. The US population is aging, and elder care needs are more likely to impact employee engagement in the near-term.

When we consider employee retention strategies, we start by understanding the workplace dynamics. Obtaining data specific to your organization will help you make the most informed decisions. Looking back at 2020 and 2021, team members and leaders learned a lot about children and pets over web meetings. Additionally, they often heard about wedding plans, graduations, new babies, and the joy that adoptive parents chose to share with their team members. Prior to the office shutdowns, some teams celebrated birthdays with a broad communication, a card, cake, lunch, or happy hour.

How often do team members hear from a colleague that is juggling work life with eldercare? It may come up in a quiet discussion with a small circle of friends in the break area. It is less likely to be common knowledge in a wider circle, yet navigating the options and selecting a solution can take a significant amount of time and create an emotional burden that impacts a team member’s productivity. Presenteeism is difficult to measure, but we know it reduces the average productivity per person and caregiving is becoming a more common contributor.

Unlike childcare, caregiving for an adult dependent often requires research and evaluation without advance notice. It may be the result of a diagnosis that was just shared with a spouse. It might be a sudden illness that impacted a parent’s ability to maintain independent living. If the parent lives outside of the area, the geographic distance layers on additional complexities. In any of these situations, a universal playbook doesn’t exist. Financial situations vary. Capacity is limited at many facilities, and impacted individuals may be resistant to a change in their living situation. A series of phone calls with medical specialists and organizations that provide different levels of care typically consume the individual. Many of the resources are only available during the typical workday. If the best solution is to have a caregiver come to the house, in-person interviews are the likely next step. Each of these tasks consumes time and headspace.

When you determine that you have employees that are distracted, stressed, or struggling to keep up with work demands due to eldercare, there are numerous benefits to evaluate. Here are some that you can explore proactively.

Start with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). They often have resources to help team members identify service providers. They may also include counseling services to help team members work through the life changes within their families. Next, examine your policies and determine if additional flexibility in hours or work location would be helpful. Additionally, do you have an extended leave policy that could help? When you estimate the number of individuals that may be dealing with aging parents, you may choose to assess the level of interest in an Employee Resource Group (ERG). Finally, as discussed in the podcast, a subsidy for eldercare may be a strategic benefit that enhances your retention strategy, and sets you apart from other organizations competing for talent.

 

 

 

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Headquarters
230 Hampton Woods Lane, Suite 101 Raleigh, NC 27607
Satellite Office
2929 Breezewood Ave. Suite 101, Fayetteville, NC. 28303
Where to find us
https://onboardwithus.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/img-footer-map1.jpg