How Your DE&I Strategy Directly Impacts Employee Caregivers

The majority of family caregivers (61%) throughout history and still today are women. With the Great Resignation upon us, many female caregivers have been forced to leave the workforce due to lack of childcare or to take on additional caregiving duties with aging loved parents. Resignation rates have been even higher among women of color. As such, it’s no secret that the national caregiver crisis is a diversity, equity, and inclusion crisis.

As employers double down on their investments in Diversity Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) in 2022, one of the most equitable ways they can support their workforce is with caregiver support. In our blog post, “It’s Time Employers See Themselves as Caregivers,” we state:

It’s no surprise that, in the corporate world, creating a culture of caring has been an urgent priority for HR executives. But creating a culture of caring isn’t as simple as doling out half-day Fridays or monthly, virtual happy hours. Today, employers need to start seeing themselves as the caregivers of their own workforce, responsible for supporting their employees through major life events. And it’s going to take more than a handful of flashy perks to fill those shoes.

The first step to creating a culture of caring is to evaluate the who, what, and how of your internal communications. From middle management to the C-suite, leaders across the organization need to clearly and loudly communicate that the health, safety, and wellbeing of their workforce comes first. Employees need to know that leaving their jobs is their very last option during a crisis.

Second, your policies and your actions must be an authentic reflection of your company values and what you communicate. For example, consider reducing the workload for employees who are dealing with an imminent crisis. Offer a flexible work schedule to accommodate at-home responsibilities. Review and revise your short- and long-term disability policies.

Lastly, double down on your wellbeing benefits. EAPs can be a great resource for individuals struggling with a short-term challenge, but problems like the caregiver crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic are messy and complex, and they require more innovative solutions with a focus on outcomes. Fortunately, there are employee caregiver support solutions that offer accessible resources and expertise to those in need.

Tune in every week for Torchlight’s Caregiver Tips and Quips for 1-2 minute parodies on the challenges of family caregiving and ways employers can help.

 Aimee Gindin, Head of Marketing at Torchlight, a LifeSpeak company. Aimee can be reached at: [email protected].

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