Chances are we will all take on a caring role during our lifetime. Lots of people have care roles; for example, grown children take care of their elderly parents, parents look after their children, and people care for relatives and friends who are unwell or are recovering from an accident.
While these roles can bring much joy, they can also be incredibly challenging. Thanks to this, employers must find ways to support employees who are carers. With that in mind, here are some of the ways employers can do this:
Listen and Understand
In order to support your employees who are carers, you must first listen to them and understand what they are going through. Once you know this information, you will be able to take appropriate action to support them. For example, if they tell you they are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, you can think of ways to make their roles more manageable.
Provide Mental Health Support
Caring for others can be extremely tough for people to cope with, particularly when working full-time. In fact, over 80% of carers who work full-time report issues with their mental health. For this reason, it’s essential to offer your employees mental health support.
Support Flexible and Agile Working Patterns
It’s important to understand that carers have a tremendous amount of responsibility. They often have to care for someone daily while also caring for their home and family and holding down a job. On top of this, they may have to deal with any emergencies that occur. Because of this, employers need to consider offering these employees flexible working. Flexible working gives your employees the freedom to do their jobs while allowing time for their caring responsibilities.
Find Ways to Lessen the Load
Employees aren’t robots. They have feelings and struggle from time to time. If one of your employees has a lot going on, try and find ways to make their lives easier, for example, by letting them finish early or by allowing them to make personal calls during working hours.
Help Them Find the Right Care for Their Loved One
Although some carers continue to care for their loved ones until they pass away, many reach a point where they can no longer offer their loved ones the care they need. If your employee has reached this point with the person they care for, take some time to meet with them and offer your support. You can do this by listening to them and helping them to find the right care for their loved one. This might be by helping them to find extra carers to help reduce the load on your employee or by looking into a senior living facility that offers skilled nursing.
Set Up a Support Group
Although life as a carer can be rewarding, it can also be very lonely and exhausting. Sometimes, the only thing carers want is to know that they’re not the only person in this position and they have someone to talk to and confide in about how they feel. However, most carers don’t feel like they have this support. If you have carers in your workplace, set up a support group for them and encourage them to meet regularly. Alternatively, encourage your employees to join an online forum with other carers.
Business owners must do everything possible to support employees who are carers. By taking care of vital employees, you remove the need to undertake recruitment, which is both time-consuming and costly. Protecting and valuing all employees is crucial, and the tips above can help with this.