Workshop on 'Building a caring culture' to focus on how employers can better support caregivers
HRD Australia is proud to announce that the highly anticipated HRD Wellbeing Summit Australia is taking place this May.
Featuring a unique agenda specially designed to address the workforce challenges HR leaders care about most, as well as some of the biggest names in HR, this event has the insights you need to overcome your top challenges.
Embrace your workforce’s full potential and conquer the hurdles that stand in your way – reserve your seat today.
Workshop: Building a caring culture
As part of the event, an insightful day of workshops will be held on May 31. These will cover a range of topics including employee burnout, wellbeing strategies, mental health and the pursuit of happiness.
In addition, workshop three will cover “Building a caring culture – from family forming to caregiver inclusion.”
This session will look at how leading organisations are enhancing their caring culture by integrating ageing-caregiver support into their EVP and the significantly under-estimated impact this support has for both employees and employer.
A caring culture has become an important competitive advantage for many employers, according to Will Burkitt, executive director at Mercer, who will be hosting the workshop.
“The environment for employers has shifted dramatically in a short space of time. There has been a rising expectation amongst employees and prospective talent with respect to the culture and values of an organisation, which was significantly accelerated by COVID. This includes the support provided for employees to help them thrive in their work role and environment, as well as home environment as a result of the hybrid working arrangements.”
For employers, one of the great revelations during COVID was how much care-giving responsibilities their employees actually take on, he said.
“No longer can employers rely on a focus in supporting ‘family forming’ needs of a group of employees. And they are being told by employees they must also support the continuum of ‘care-giver’ responsibilities as well. Organisations who make this step change and also support care-givers are able to help a much wider representative portion of their employees and prospective talent to thrive, thus, enhancing their employee value proposition and gaining a crucial advantage in their quest to retain and attract the necessary employees they require to thrive as an organization.”
Aging caregivers face several challenges, according to Burkitt — and they frequently carry their responsibilities without discussing them openly at work.
“Often, these employees don’t consider themselves a carer but rather a child looking after their ageing loved one. The impact for the carer and wider family is enormous with significant stress, loss of sleep and presenteeism as they need to carry out tasks during the working day, [along with] absenteeism through increased leave.”
This can lead to deteriorating health, career disruption due to reduced working hours or dropping out of the workforce altogether, and a financial impact due to covering costs not paid for by the government, he said.
“An organization supporting their employees who have ageing-carer responsibilities with specific policies and benefits will be supporting between 7% - 17% of their workforce at any point in time,” said Burkitt, citing the fact that 70% of primary carers are women, according to Carers Australia, typically aged between 40 – 65 years.
“Given the emotionally stressful circumstances, this has proved to not only materially boost the loyalty and productivity of that employee but surrounding colleagues who care for the culture of their employer as well.”
When it comes to employers better supporting care-givers, the best starting point is to seek advice from their own employees, key stakeholder groups and prospective future talent, according to Burkitt.
“This allows the employer to calibrate their employee value proposition and align policies and programs to deliver to that.”
In developing a caring culture, a holistic framework will value, include and support caregivers, he said, and elements will include: leave and flexibility policies, programs providing tangible advice and support, manager and workforce training, employee resource groups and anti-discrimination efforts.
“It is critical that there is genuine executive sponsorship and ongoing employee input to maintain the caring culture framework. There are now sophisticated yet low-cost programs available, such as Care & Living with Mercer, which allow employers to genuinely support their employees who have ageing-carer responsibilities.”
Don’t miss out on this insightful workshop, and others – reserve your seat today.