In a new Harvard Business School report titled “The Caring Company”, authors Joseph B. Fuller and Manjari Raman find that American businesses are facing a caregiving crisis. Due to rising healthcare costs and changing demographics, American employees are experiencing a growing pressure to balance work life with their caregiving responsibilities. However, employers are failing to recognize this challenge, as the authors state in their report, “The economics of care are misaligned in most companies. Employees don’t get the support they need for their caregiving responsibilities and employers pay the hidden costs, including turnover, rehiring, presenteeism, and absenteeism.”
Fuller and Raman warn that businesses will suffer if they do not start to offer benefits that will help employees manage their caregiving responsibilities. They suggest that companies should try to become “Corporate Care Leaders” and provide support services for employees that will alleviate some of pressure on their work-life balance. In doing so, companies will be able to maintain productivity and profit levels in addition to attracting the best workers in the field.
The report was based on the national survey of 301 human resource professionals and business owners who perform HR duties as well as 1,547 employees who identified as caregivers or anticipated becoming caregivers in their personal lives.
Here are some other key highlights from the report:
- One third of employee respondents said they left a job in order to take care of an older adult
- Almost three-quarters of the employee respondents said they currently had some type of caregiving responsibility
- Most significant factors contributing to workers quitting their jobs for caregiving reasons: unaffordable costs of paid help (53%), inability to finds trustworthy and qualified paid help (44%), and the inability to meet work responsibilities due to increase caregiving responsibilities (40%)
To read the full report, please visit the Harvard Business School’s website.