Most people will care for a loved one at some point in their lives. Today, probably 73% of a company’s employees care for a child and/or an adult in their family. When small business owners create supportive workplaces for caregivers, both their business and employees can thrive.
However, creating a caregiver-friendly culture does not happen overnight. Here are steps you can take over the next six months to strengthen support for carers in your workplace.
Month 1: Gather Information
Focus your first month on collecting information from your healthcare provider employees about their healthcare needs and educating your employees about healthcare delivery and the resources available to them. This could be conducting a self-assessment or surveying your employees, or both. The information you learn about your employees will determine the strategies you will implement in the coming months.
Months 2-4: Create the right structure and train your employees
Continue to educate your employees about informal care so that they better understand what their colleagues may be experiencing. Experiment with implementing new strategies to provide flexibility to caregivers, including telecommuting opportunities and educational events. Use these months as a trial period to see how strategies like flex time and telecommuting work for your business.
Months 5-6: Revise, Revise, and Expand
After educating your employees about informal care and adopting new strategies, it is time to conduct another informal care survey. This survey will help you understand the impact of the new strategies and what other steps you need to take to support your employees. Now is the time to develop more robust programs and strategies, such as a cross-training program, to help caregivers succeed.
Creating a care plan will give you a consistent way to support your working carers
rather than devoting your time and resources to an ad hoc or crisis management style. This approach gives you a way to set one up in six months.