Scheduling to Help Employees Balance Work and Caregiving

Posted on September 10th, 2012

Most workers struggle to some extent with juggling their personal and professional commitments, but when a close relative or friend’s health is at stake, balancing priorities can wear on employees as well as their employers. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, being a caregiver to an aging family member has become “the new normal” for many Americans.

Caregivers make up 29% of the population, which includes 43.5 million people caring for someone over 50, and 14.9 million caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimers. In addition to being emotionally draining, most people also must deal with some level of professional conflict; in fact, nearly 60% of caregivers said that they either work or had worked while providing care.

Since the caregiver population will increase as baby boomers evolve from caregivers into those needing care, employers need to mitigate the conflict and make caregiving more convenient for their employees. Figuring out a system that allows employees to balance their personal commitments is key to increasing employee retention and reducing turnover. HR.BLR.com  recently featured an article with tips on how employers can adjust their systems to simplify the lives of caregivers, and help them be more productive. Here are our top 3 picks from the list:

  1. Review Policies that limit employee flexibility. Reevaluate these policies, and ask if they’re truly necessary. Flexibility won’t just help caregivers, but it may improve the job satisfaction for all of your employees.
  2. Post schedules as soon as possible. This is especially important if your employees are shift workers. Schedules that change frequently make it more difficult to schedule care, so posting your schedule early will allow employees to make necessary arrangements.
  3. Make overtime requirements as family-friendly as possible. Consider voluntary overtime so those who are interested may take the extra shifts. If that’s not possible, allowing employees to schedule overtime in advance will give them the opportunity to make necessary arrangements for their loved ones.

Check out the full article and read through all the tips here.

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