Children, spouses, parents, loved ones — most people have cared for one of these groups at some point in their lives. Often times, the pressure of finding professionals you trust to care for those loved ones, and paying for that care, becomes insurmountable.
The majority of your employees are likely going through those same inner battles — no matter their age. And, unfortunately, it could be why some of your talented medical sales reps have left or plan on leaving your organization.
In fact, in a new Harvard Business School report, 50 percent of employees aged 26-35 and 27 percent of employees aged 18-25 reported they already left a job due to caregiving responsibilities. Another 80 percent of employees with caregiving responsibilities admitted that caregiving affected their productivity.
These alarming statistics are cause for concern for company leaders everywhere. They’re also the reason Harvard Business School has declared we’re in the middle of a caregiving crisis.
The good news is, you have the power to change your employees’ lives and remove a large portion of their caregiving-related stress. The added bonus is that you’ll be providing a competitive benefit to retain talent and entice other top medical sales reps to join your team.
Here are the small but mighty steps you can take to help employees through the caregiving crisis:
1. Offer subsidies for childcare and elder care services
Working caregivers have the immeasurable pressure of finding trustworthy care for their loved ones. Once parents and children caring for their aging parents find a place they approve of, the monthly bills start rolling in.
Even though the majority of employees have these financial responsibilities, only 19 percent of companies offer subsidies for childcare services, according to the previously mentioned Harvard Business School report. Additionally, just 8 percent offer subsidies for elder care services.
Financial burdens tied to caregiving costs don’t just add stress to your employees. A lack of funds could cause them to look for a higher-paying role or decide to cut fees altogether by becoming a stay-at-home caregiver.
In order to start a caregiving subsidy, you must first understand your budget. Then, bring employees into the conversation. Let them know you’re paying attention to what’s impacting them outside of work. If necessary, start building your program slowly until you and your team find a solution that works best for your employees’ needs.
2. Share and encourage counseling services
Depending on the type of caregiving individual employees are in charge of, there’s a possibility of a huge mental burden. They’re sacrificing time and money and, in some cases, are watching their loved ones struggle. The feeling of helplessness or being overwhelmed can lead to depression and anxiety.
Considering, the previously mentioned Harvard Business School research found only 39 percent of companies offer counseling services to employees, it’s clear there’s still a great need for this benefit. Providing counseling services to employees gives them necessary mental support and also shows you’re supportive of them taking well-being measures.
Share counseling services that specialize in helping caregivers. Send monthly emails with updates on providers and testimonials from employees who are willing to share their positive experiences. This encourages others in need to consider the benefits of reaching out and accepting counseling help.
3. Offer career progression support
There’s a stereotype found in many organizations about caregivers. They are commonly perceived as not having the time, focus, or dedication to excel in a promoted role.
Unfortunately, 52 percent of caregivers are feeling the pain of this stigma. That’s the number of caregivers in the Harvard Business School report who said the culture of their organization is not as supportive as it could be around the career progression of caregivers.
Squashing the caregiver stereotype begins with you and your leadership team. Employees need to feel they’re part of a culture where they can hit their career goals — no matter what’s going on at home. Start by offering career progression support to your entire team. Reimburse employees for continuing education courses to help caregivers who have large financial responsibilities.
Don’t forget to add a touch of personalization. Create a network of mentors who are or have been caregivers at one point in their career. Allow employees to dedicate a few hours a week with mentors to discuss career progression and how to balance caregiving with increasing work responsibilities.
How do you help caregiving employees? Let us know!