Many employers are expanding benefits for their employees who are also family caregivers. But implementing a successful program to support employees with complex family caregiving responsibilities can be a challenge. Understanding employees’ diverse and evolving needs will help HR leaders offer comprehensive programs that can improve quality of life, increase retention, establish a competitive advantage in hiring, and ultimately benefit their bottom line.


Case study: Insights from the Okta and Grayce partnership

In a recent webinar, Angelina Shamborska, Senior Director of Global Benefits at Okta and Julia Cohen Sebastian, co-founder and CEO of Grayce, sat down to explore the 4 core components of their successful rollout of a family care benefit program across Okta’s international workforce of over 6,000 employees:


  1. Understanding the business case for providing family care support
  2. Engaging employees to learn what their needs are
  3. Choosing a program that meets the diverse needs of your workforce
  4. Monitoring and evaluating the program for success


Make the business case for comprehensive family care benefits

Like many companies, Okta’s workforce faced an increasing burden of caregiving for family members due to rising complex and chronic healthcare issues. They also saw an increase in aging populations and fallout from COVID. How to care for those family members was top of mind for Okta’s employees:


“Care support was a top-three ask from employees [alongside 401k match and employer recognition]. Whether from employee surveys, our focus groups, or ERGs, we kept hearing the consistent message that their needs were evolving, and they needed more support.”

—Angelina Shamborska, Senior Director of Global Benefits at Okta


A 2022 report by the New York Office for the Aging states that 70% of working caregivers in the US suffer work-related difficulties due to their caregiving responsibilities. This shows up as increased absenteeism, workers taking more leaves of absence, quitting, and increased medical expenses from conditions associated with the stress of caregiving.


Beyond the financial impact of lower productivity, the case for supporting caregiving benefits is ultimately one of culture. When employees know their employer understands the challenges they face outside of work and steps up to support them, it builds a culture of inclusion, trust, and ultimately, loyalty. This gives an invaluable advantage to companies competing to hire, engage, and retain a quality workforce.


Engage employees to understand their unique needs

Before implementing any type of family care benefit plan, it is essential to understand the types of caregiving challenges your employees are facing. What are they struggling with now and what are they worried about in the future? Okta engages employees individually, through surveys, as well as group settings like employee-resource groups (ERGs). The detailed feedback they obtain brings to light a diverse set of family care challenges.


“In the past, the focus was predominantly on family-forming and young working families. But the shift in population needs is dictating what we expand, where we expand the support, and we need to include really robust and meaningful caregiver needs.” —Angelina Shamborska


For Okta, supporting family caregivers means providing the full spectrum of services across a wide range of care needs. Grayce employs experienced social workers to help manage care needs as diverse as support for neurodiverse children to help navigating complex end-of-life medical conditions in different countries or cultures.


Choose a family care partner that fits your needs

With a large, international workforce located in more than 20 countries, the ability to address cross-border caregiving scenarios was top priority for Okta. Ultimately, they chose to partner with Grayce because of its end-to-end service offerings and the fact that Grayce offers global support for its clients.


Grayce provides its clients’ overseas employees—as well as US employees who provide care for their families in other countries—with financial, legal, and logistical support in every continent and in countries such as India, Australia, and Ukraine. This has been a game changer for Okta, with a 40% utilization rate by its workforce.


Measure and evaluate for success

Tracking the key metrics of employee retention, leave, and medical costs for caregivers will help you calculate ROI for your family care program. Grayce systematically monitors retention for its clients, who benefit from an average 38% higher retention rate among employees who utilize Grayce’s program. Nearly half (49%) of all users report that Grayce’s services have reduced their need to take leave.


Staying on top of the evolving needs of your employee caregivers is an ongoing process. In Okta’s experience, that has meant putting a system of check-ins in place—such as employee surveys and ERGs—that has kept them ahead of the same family care trends affecting so many in today’s workforce. Grayce then leverages this ongoing feedback to continue enhancing its services for all of the employees it supports.


“At Okta, caregiving is truly not simply a nice-to-have— it’s one of the needs [we can meet] that is really meaningful to employees.” —Angelina Shamborska


Click below to watch the full webinar about about the partnership between Okta and Grayce.


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