Dear Human Resource Manager – I have Two Jobs – I am a Caregiver Too!
It is estimated that 1 in 6 employees in the United States are caregivers for a family member. How productive is an employee when they are in the office worrying about their loved one at home who needs caregiving support? Many caregivers in this situation find themselves caught in the middle of offering care to their family and keeping up with their work responsibilities at the same time. An emotional roller coaster of guilt and economics. It is now essential that HR departments maintain good communication with employees who are juggling their home and work responsibilities.
How Can Managers Help?
As a manager or Human Resources specialist, it is important that your role is clearly defined. By offering the employee support to help find balance between their work schedule and care giving responsibilities at home, the result will be both a more productive employee and a better caregiver.
To start, it is essential to have an empowering and positive conversation with the employee to understand the issues they are facing. This communication is beneficial to create a non-threatening environment where employees are comfortable talking with management about their concerns. In many situations, the employer may not aware of the situation which causes a high level of stress on part of the employee.
Offering Support Services
Begin to implement programs to support the needs of the employees. Small adjustments to work schedules or flex time can make a big difference to provide the person with the support needed to care for their family member at home. Support the employee by providing respite opportunity through the various non-profit organizations in your community. Provide opportunities through educational workshops and one-on-one meetings with licensed social workers who can guide and assist both employer and employee through a very difficult time that has no end period.
Keep in mind that caregiving is becoming the new normal. If you aren’t already working with a caregiving employee, then it is inevitable that it will happen soon. By demonstrating flexibility in the workplace, and providing educational, respite, and counseling opportunity, you can improve employee satisfaction and increase retention.
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