It’s time to start getting involved in your employees’ personal lives.
Your organization invests in resources for employees to delegate or automate work-related tasks because it’s essential to your company’s success. Could investing in resources for your employees to delegate outside of work be just as crucial?
In this article, we’re discussing:
- How COVID-19 has deepened employers’ human capital challenges creating an urgent demand for benefits that help employees with child care and other household responsibilities.
- The cost of not expanding support for employers and employees.
- Steps organizations can take to support its workforce in 2021.
Employees Are Time-Bankrupt: The Help-at-Home Crisis
If we had a penny for every client and customer, men and women alike, that’s whispered to us, “What I really need is a housewife, a stay-at-home husband or to clone myself,” we’d be millionaires.
What they mean is between work and home and partners and kids and aging parents, there is no time.
It’s 2022, and we’re still trying to adapt to a work world modeled after mid-century norms; the male-breadwinning household, where stay-at-home moms held down the fort so dad could be anywhere, anytime for his employer.
Teresa Tanner, founder and CEO of Reserve Squad, a comprehensive talent solution that helps companies retain one of their most valuable assets – a highly-trained female workforce, said, “I think employers have an obligation to walk alongside their employees and say:
‘Hey, we’ve got to support you in different ways than we ever have. You’re trying to juggle too much. There is no way you can be a full-time employee, a mother, a spouse, a daughter, a teacher to educate your kids, and worry every day about your family’s health.’”
Help-at-Home in the Mid-Century
In the 1960s only 20% of U.S. mothers worked outside the home. Today women comprise almost 50% of the U.S. labor force and a third having children under the age of 18.
Seventy percent of children live in households where both parents are in the workforce, and single parent households have tripled. In fact, the U.S. has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households.
All this to say, family structure in the U.S. has radically changed over the last half century.
As a result of these rapid changes, our country is struggling to navigate an uncomfortable truth: our modern workplace was unknowingly built on the premise that employees had full-time personal and domestic support at home.
And without new support systems in place, we’re inadvertently asking employees to sacrifice their personal lives altogether.
As a result, we’re all losing; employees and employers alike.
How the Help-at-Home Crisis Costs Employers:
- 95% of companies are affected by employee burnout.
- 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to half of annual workforce turnover.
- 43% of women leave the workforce after having a child due to the unrealistic and unrelenting pressure of work and home demands.
- The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary, which is a conservative estimate.
- Burnout costs an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare costs. Consider this: by 2015, General Motors was spending more on healthcare than steel.
- Productivity losses stemming from absenteeism cost U.S. employers $225.8 billion each year, or $1,685 per employee: CDC Foundation.
The Cost to Employees:
- 60% of working parents in the U.S. are experiencing burnout.
- Millennials, the largest working generation, have the highest overall stress levels on record.
- Workplace stress contributes to a staggering 120,000 deaths a year and accounts for 5 – 8% of annual healthcare costs.
The pandemic has exacerbated these challenges creating an urgent demand for increased flexibility and other work-life balance benefits that help parents with domestic duties and child care.
What Employers Can Do to Help Employees at Home
The first step to better benefits is bridging the gap between what your employees need and what your company thinks they need. Because oftentimes, the gap is so large, leadership doesn’t have the information they need to make informed choices.
This information gap is most extensive in the employee benefits arena. For instance, only 24% of employers believe caregiving influences their workers’ performance, and before COVID-19 only 4% of employers offered:
- Programs and services that directly help employees offload personal errands and help with household tasks.
- Elder care resources or subsidies.
- Back-up child care resources or company-affiliated, on-site child care.
- 80% of employees with caregiving responsibilities admitted it affects their productivity.
- 80% of working parents say their responsibilities at home keep them from doing their best at work.
- Almost 32% of working parents have left a job because they couldn’t balance work and family duties.
- The biggest reason working parents and caregivers give for leaving is “unaffordable costs of paid help.”
Today, we have a once-in-a-century opportunity to give ourselves and our workplaces a refresh. Now is the time to create a new normal that works for everybody. Moving into this year, invest in resources that help employees at home and in their personal and family lives. Listen to your employees and make benefit selections that will match their needs. Lastly, incorporate benefits that help working parents, women and caregivers, but offer them to all employees.
Best Upon Request: A Benefit to Consider
Adopting Best Upon Request is the ultimate way to lower workplace stress by helping your valuable employees manage their work and home lives. Our concierge service allows them to focus on their work without having to worry about life’s big and little problems getting in the way. Contact us today at 1-800-781-7871 to discuss ways to transform your business.