The Caring Company-Harvard’s Landmark Study on Caregiving in the Workforce

Harvard’s Landmark Study on Caregiving in the Workforce

I wanted to call your attention to a groundbreaking study by Harvard that was recently published called The Caring Company – How employers can help employees manage their caregiving responsibilities—while reducing costs and increasing productivity.

The study is here – and an article by Howard Gleckman of the Urban Institute can be found in Forbes here –

The study offers a sobering view of caregiving in the workforce and particularly couches it as a talent drain, reporting that 32% of all employees had voluntarily left a job during their career due to caregiving responsibilities and the vast majority were employees in senior management roles with men actually outnumbering women. A third of employees who left a position reported taking care of an elder with daily living needs as a reason for leaving their job.

More than half of the companies surveyed don’t even try to measure the effects of caregiving on their employees. Thus they have no idea how much time caregiving takes, or of the emotional or physical burden it places on their staffs. This “employer indifference” as Harvard refers to it not only hurts workers, but firms pay a price as well in excessive turnover, high rates of absenteeism, and wasted dollars on poorly designed benefits.

By not offering benefits that employees actually want—and by not encouraging employees to use the benefits they do offer—companies incur millions of dollars of hidden costs due to turnover, loss of institutional knowledge, temporary hiring, in addition to substantial productivity costs such as absenteeism and presenteeism.

The study concludes that In a “caring company,” management will have to demonstrate commitment both by acknowledging its employees’ care concerns and by investing in innovative solutions. The era of employers’ indifference as to how their employees strike a balance between their personal and professional lives is ending.

They encouraged companies to add additional benefits that address unmet needs on an experimental or permanent basis; while customizing care benefits by adding those that are meaningful to employees.

Our suite of caregiving services – and meet the unmet needs of the caregiving employee. As a company cited as a benckmark in the industry for caring for employee caregivers, I believe we have a set of solutions that can enhance that commitment even more.

P.S. You might be interested in this NYTimes piece – – on readmissions. The One Page Helpers offered in our platform are ideal discharge planning tools that can assist both patients and the public.