The Harvard Business School recently published a stunning and timely report on how companies in the U.S. are largely failing to do anything to address the growing care crisis and how it is hurting their bottom line.
The report, "The Caring Company", authored by Joseph B. Fuller and Manjari Raman, should be mandatory reading for all employers and serve as a rallying cry to make care support a core benefit.
We highly encourage everyone to read the full report, and we've pulled 10 quotes from the report to get you started.
1. A growing problem for the "sandwich" generation.
As more Americans enter the “sandwich” generation—in which they will provide care for both children and seniors simultaneously—the physical, emotional, and financial burdens of workers entering their prime earning years will grow markedly.
2. From entry level to C-suite.
Women in the United States shoulder a disproportionate share of the unpaid caregiving workload. Despite the rate of labor-force participation for American women aged 25−54 rising from 50% in the 1970s to nearly 75% by 2017, women are still an overwhelming majority (75%) of caregivers...
Employers will need to attract and retain female talent throughout their career paths—from entry to middle management to the C-suite. For that ambition to be realized, employers will need to reconsider how they support women through the spectrum of care events over the entirety of their careers, far beyond maternity and adoption events.
3. Who is effected most may surprise you.
The survey revealed that workers in the upper reaches of an organization—those with the highest incomes and titles— were the most likely to leave a company...
4. At home or at preschool, the cost is high...
The average childcare service center costs nearly $10,000, more than 30% of the nation’s median individual income. At-home childcare is even more expensive. According to Care.com’s “Care Index,” the average cost of such services is $28,354 per year, and in big cities, like Boston and San Francisco, can exceed $34,000 a year.
5. And talk is cheap.
While employees hear their employers proclaim that they are concerned about their colleagues’ caregiving needs, they do not see management “walk the talk.” ... While everyone in principle believes in and expresses support for nostrums about “inclusion” and “fairness,” in practice employees believe that many of their colleagues pay a substantial price because of having caregiving responsibilities.
6. In reality, most employers have no idea about their employees' caregiving needs.
Just over a third of all employers surveyed (38%) believed that caregiving responsibilities had no impact on employee performance at their organization. Another 38% were on the fence or professed not to know.... By contrast, when employees were asked whether caregiving affected their ability to perform at their best, they acknowledged that caregiving responsibilities took a toll on the quality of their work. Of those employees who currently had caregiving responsibilities, four out of five employees acknowledged that caregiving affected their ability to perform their best at work...
7. There's a reason employers don't think they have a "care" problem.
Employers must recognize that employees are reluctant to acknowledge their care needs and express skepticism as to the firms’ commitment to supporting workers with care obligations.
8. It pays to discover.
Winning the war for talent will require this type of innovation. Companies that fail to do so will risk losing more than just their best employees; they will risk their very competitiveness. The solution: understanding the hidden costs that erode productivity and making prudent investments to offset them.
9. Supporting care works.
Across all of the 16 [care] benefits we analyzed—without any exceptions—a majority of employees who utilized a benefit reported that it was “very effective” in supporting their performance at work.
10. A crisis is an opportunity in disguise.
For caring companies, the care advantage goes well beyond improving employee engagement. It has the potential to be an important source of competitive advantage.Would you would like to learn more about how BridgeCare is helping companies become "Caring Companies"?