Three big ideas for 2022: Caregivers are your greatest asset — and they’re waiting for you to act

Nearly three-quarters of the American workforce actively care for others in addition to their work as managers and contributors to our businesses. Our current — and far outdated — ways of working have never served them, and in fact, have disadvantaged them and their families for decades.

As the number of older Americans continues to rise, so too does the number of employees providing unpaid care to them.

The article is a positive call for businesses to better accommodate their employees who are caregivers and how they can do that.

A majority of your employees are caregivers

The fact that three in four employees have some type of caregiving responsibilities in addition to their paid work is a staggering reality that may come as a surprise. It isn’t information tracked by most employers because caregiving isn’t the exclusive domain of parents. More than 1 in 6 American workers care for an elderly or dependent adult.

Moreover, working parents and other caregivers tend to hold key managerial and skill-based roles. Losing these workers can be particularly damaging to institutional knowledge, business continuity, and leave a leadership void. Women managers, in particular, play an outsized role in supporting employee wellbeing, adding to the acute deficits felt in their absence from the workplace.

The health and wellbeing of their families impact your bottom line

As pediatric health concerns rise, in particular around mental health and neurodivergence, employers are taking note. Dependents’ health and wellness not only impacts their caregivers, it has implications for employers’ health spending. Furthermore, lacking adequate support, the demands on caregivers also translate to losses in productivity and increased attrition. One estimate places the loss to U.S. businesses between $17.1 to $33 billion annually.

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Andy Cramer

Andy Cramer

Our new company, ExendaTouch, is free and enables family caregivers to connect anonymously, find non-profit resources close by and read our daily blog.