Disruption has hit us all over the past couple of years. While a lot of things are back to normal, some employees are still struggling with major obstacles in the form of reliable care for children and aging parents. As an employer, you may offer family and caregiving benefits that are amazing. But the very people these benefits and resources are designed to help are too busy juggling to take notice.
If your current method of sharing information with parents and caregivers is a find-it-yourself approach to learning about what’s offered from multiple providers, that’s not going to cut it. Parents and caregivers are notoriously busy and overwhelmed—now, even more so, with 70% reporting adverse mental health symptoms. Access to information and support needs to be as easy as possible—if it’s not, your employees won’t have time to seek it out, find it, or benefit from it.
To make sure you’re creating the most helpful parent and caregiver support experience, you must make sure it’s accessible by connecting and integrating family benefits. There are many ways to do this: digital guides created for each specific caregiving need, a microsite that holds all your guides and vendor details, targeted campaigns—the sky’s the limit. The mode and media depend on your population’s communication preferences. By consolidating vendor materials into information packages and creating environments for parents and caregivers to learn about what’s offered, you’ll make it easier to both communicate what’s offered and provide your employees with easily accessible materials.
So how do you reach them and communicate your company’s willingness to provide more support? Here are 5 things you need to know.
Listen to your employees before you start to communicate. Then, you can better connect the needs expressed by parents and caregiving employees with the resources you have for support. With usage metrics, you’ll also be able to measure qualitatively, as well as quantitatively, the impact of your outreach, giving you rich data to build a business case for enhanced support when needed.
Before you start sending mass communications to employees, bring together all involved parties to share what’s offered and discuss how different types of benefits may integrate with or complement each other. This includes your vendors and employee resource groups (ERGs).
Your ERGs are also an invaluable avenue of support and feedback. Plan to partner with ERG leadership to improve awareness of and ability to speak knowledgeably about available parenting and caregiving benefits. As part of your outreach plan, you may include:
By engaging with ERGs, you’ll reach a focused audience whose needs match up with the benefits your company provides. Plus, caregiving benefits are important for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). Parents of color are more likely to experience child-care-related job disruptions. The benefits you provide can make a difference.
It’s one thing to acknowledge the struggles that parents and caregivers have. It’s another to truly connect. There are many ways that parenting and caregiving differ. And there are some employees who are doing both. Here are a few ways to address each employee’s unique situation:
Once you’ve established the mission, met with important partners, and decided on your heartfelt themes, it’s time to bring in the most critical stakeholder of all: your people. Based on what you heard and what you know they need, create opportunities for your employees to engage with support. Depending on your population, your tactics may include:
Is your population largely in person? Then consider adding these elements to the mix:
Prospective new hires want to know that they’ll be supported and able to take care of their loved ones. What better way to do that than by showing the range of your parent, family, and caregiving resources to ensure that your company establishes itself as an employer of choice? Once you’ve demonstrated that you can support your people, you can use parent, family, and caregiving benefits and affinity group relationships to attract and retain top talent. Consider sharing employee testimonials on how benefits support them as they work and care for loved ones.
And don’t forget to measure your success!
Supporting your employees and their families isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it solution. Ensure that you’re providing what’s needed, by setting intentional outcomes that are measured in three phases:
Sharing family and caregiving support is always in style. By getting the word out on what you offer to enhance employee’s lives, you’re telling your people you see them as the vibrant, dynamic, multifaceted individuals they are. You’re a partner in their success. Just as they are in yours.
We're proud to work with organizations that value their people. If you want to learn more, we’d love to talk.
Cassandra Roth, Senior Communications Consultant, is an award-winning innovator in using augmented reality for employee engagement and in developing results-driven campaigns.