Why Caregiving is Everybody’s Business

FindWRK Team

Categories: Worker Wellness

October 3, 2022

Caregivers make up 35% of the Canadian workforce, and 1 in 3 caregivers report their careers have been negatively impacted. You might be asking yourself, as an employer, why is it your problem? Since when did managing staff mean caring about whether their dog needs to go for a walk, their parent is undergoing cancer treatment, or their young adult is struggling with substance use? 

The truth is that the output of your staff, the connection between your team, and the drive of your employees to reach a common goal are only as durable as your acknowledgement that life is messy and complex. When your team feels heard and valued, it’s easier to manage triggers and fatigue and redirect wandering thoughts. You may find that your team is private but by offering resources, flexibility, and acknowledging that life doesn’t fit in tidy boxes, you’ll give them the resilience and peace of mind to manage work and caregiving. 

This article will define caregiving and provide actionable steps you can take as an employer to support caregivers in your workplace.

What is Caregiving?

Many people think of caregiving as parents taking care of small children. This is only one of the many groups of caregivers you may find working at your company. Here is a more detailed list of different types of caregivers:

  1. A parent or adult responsible for a child

  2. A person caring for someone with developmental needs

  3. A person caring for someone with cognitive challenges

  4. A person caring for an elderly person

  5. A person caring for someone with an injury or recovering from a physical ailment

  6. A person caring for someone with a mental health or addiction concern

  7. A person caring for a pet

How You Can Support a Caregiver at Work

Taking small steps to support caregivers in the workplace can bring your team increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism (being there but not really there), reduced stress and sick leave, increased loyalty, cost savings, and improved job satisfaction and morale. 

Some small steps you can take to support caregivers in the workplace include:

  1. Make it clear caregiving is the norm and not a risk to their employment.

  2. Build one-on-one relationships with your employees to navigate small tweaks in flexibility around scheduling, connecting, tasks, and deliverables

  3. Check in and let them know that you care.

  4. Don’t just talk business; small talk builds trust and strengthens relationships.

  5. Draw on your own experiences to build your empathy muscle when managing

  6. Try not to jump to judgments or conclusions—offer the benefit of the doubt unless proven otherwise

In the emerging age of quiet quitting, it seems like a no-brainer. Take the initiative to acknowledge, talk about, and support caregiving in your workplace, and you’ll strengthen your relationships and productivity.