Family building benefits are one way employers demonstrate how deeply they value employees and their families. Though as demographics shift and fewer people choose to grow their families, employers are recognizing that the needs of employee families have changed. Not only has the composition of the family changed, even the traditional definition of the family has changed, and the supporting programs and solutions must follow.
Companies that give people support they can’t get anywhere else, that changes their family’s lives are what employee brands are made of. Those are the brands that attract and retain the best talent. Many companies offering support for employees who want to form families are now considering innovative ways they can round out and enhance support to help sustain families, too.
Adapting family building benefits to keep up with the times
Globally, demographic shifts show a slowing growth rate for families while the fastest-growing population segment consists of those 65 or older. U.S. trends follow a similar trajectory. While fewer children are born in the modern family, multigenerational households are increasing and there are more single-parent households than ever. In fact, supporting an aging population is so challenging that one out of every three family members who are caregivers have to leave the workforce because they can no longer uphold the same commitment to their careers while juggling family responsibilities.
These demographic changes affect every population group. Family caregiving has moved beyond just finding child care or elder care. though of course those are consistent concerns. The needs of the modern family include the challenges of daily living activities as well as more extensive responsibilities that come with caring for a family member suffering from chronic and complex health conditions.
Nearly every employee has a family they care for, whether biological or chosen loved ones. There are babies born, children to raise, and spouses and partners who need care. Providing benefits that help employees fulfill their caregiving role makes for a more inclusive workplace, especially when we recognize that caregiving can also apply to siblings, aging parents, extended relatives and ourselves.
A growing number of employers offer fertility benefits, for example, but as family compositions change, employers face additional considerations. While roughly 2% of U.S. employees start or grow a family using fertility treatments each year, 76% of employees already have families they care for. Companies have spent time and money helping employees grow their families. The time has come to discuss and expand the ways we also sustain families.
Family building + family sustaining = business growth
Companies are increasingly interested in offering caregiving benefits across the spectrum of family needs. Family sustaining benefits are a logical next step after family building benefits as employers aim to grow their businesses and attract and retain employees.
In our 2023 Economic Impact and Value Report, we found that the financial impact of providing comprehensive family caregiving support is crucial to the bottom line of a business. Offering benefits for care can produce a 6-to-1 return on investment through reducing turnover and improving productivity. It’s also essential to consider the cost of a caregiver’s own health care, both mental and physical, as employee caregivers often delay their own care because their family member takes priority.
HR leaders focused on diversity and inclusion recognize supporting families inclusively is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for business. A larger “family” tent — family building benefits in conjunction with caregiving benefits that support and sustain employees through every life stage — helps companies attract and retain top talent. Supporting all care scenarios and stages also drives employee engagement and supports a company’s brand and culture.
Evolve beyond building, and sustain families with comprehensive family care benefits
We know employers are innovating and adjusting the benefits they offer to employees, wherever they may be in their family journey. We also know all employees will navigate challenges to sustain their family, in whatever form family takes, throughout their career. They’ll require support to balance the demands of work and home life.
Grayce, with its experts and technology, helps employers offer resources and support for employee caregivers throughout every life stage. Beyond coaching and referrals, caring for and sustaining a family involves working with an expert, developing a path forward and sharing responsibility for actions that employee caregivers must take. We help employee caregivers with the “heavy lifting” needed to close care gaps, keep families intact and help employees manage what comes next.
We’re here to help you find solutions that provide the full range of care support for your employees and their families. Contact us here to find out more.