Care needs have evolved beyond backup and medical care for a traditional nuclear family. Not adapting to the needs of modern-day families, like single-parent and multigenerational households costs $44 billion as caregivers miss work and eventually leave their jobs to care for themselves and their loved ones.


At From Day One’s Silicon Valley conference, co-founder and CEO of Grayce, Julia Cohen Sebastien offered profound insight into family care and its effectiveness in today’s workforce. The findings show that family care services need a thorough reassessment and relaunch.


Today’s households challenge employers to consider more than offering standard and traditional senior care, childcare, and medical services. Because non-inclusive and inadequate care services remain the top reason talent leaves the workplace, people leaders must restrategize care programs to accommodate workers with unique family care needs. In a thought leadership spotlight, Cohen Sebastien emphasized five key shifts needed in family care to support the well-being of workers today.


Five Key Strategic Shifts

  1. Think across and beyond life stages for all family members. People with disabilities or illnesses who are also caretakers don’t fit into age or stage categorizations. Focusing on child care and senior care leaves out individuals who aren’t in either group.
  2. Be inclusive of extended family. Extended family can include immediate and non-immediate relatives and chosen family such as godparents.
  3. Foster local and global connections. Many families care for loved ones in different states and countries. Employers can offer more virtual support programs that workers can use for distant loved ones.
  4. Think beyond backup and physical care. In many cultures, individuals do not seek people outside their families to care for their loved ones. Other services to consider instead are financial, legal, and other medical support.
  5. Review and address DEI. Different familial structures and cultural expectations impact workers’ likelihood of using specific care services provided by their employer.


What Effective Family Care Looks Like

Grayce helps caregivers find support and assists employers in developing personalized care plans for a range of stages, like pregnancy, complex adult care, and grief and bereavement. “Normal looks pretty different than what we see in the movies from 50 plus years ago, and more changes are coming,” Cohen Sebastien said.


Julia Cohen Sebastien of Grayce led the thought leadership spotlight about effective family care


For example, a study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research has shown that marriage has declined by 60% since 1970. Other shifts Cohen Sebastien highlighted include a declining birth rate of 56 births per 1000 women in the United States.


Two-parent households are decreasing, while childcare today still costs two incomes. More workers require care for multigenerational households and extended families in other states and countries. Effective family care encompasses all household structures and care needs, she says.


“If you want your company to be a high-performing company, it’s not just a benefits program. It’s not just about leave,” Cohen Sebastien emphasized. “It’s really about how we help people to be successful at home and to be successful at work, recognizing the economic backdrop that we have now.”


Defining Metrics for ROI Improvements

Today’s leaders are creating adaptive strategies to support workers’ well-being. Traditional HR strategies to find and build talent evolved to navigating the employee experience, implementing DEI measures, providing well-being services, offering leave and flexibility.


However, Cohen Sebastien suggests taking a deeper dive into creating and implementing programs and services that accurately reflect the unique needs of individual employees and are more likely to be used. As modern-day households continue to evolve, care benefits must provide for a more diverse population with nontraditional family structures.


Companies can measure their success in worker well-being with a broader view of family care and by taking a more analytical approach. This approach requires reviewing who uses specific care programs to determine ROI and make substantial improvements in benefits and care programs offered to workers.


“What are the data points we should look at in which employees are benefiting? And for those who did not come forward: why not? Ask the question, and you’ll find the unexpected,” Cohen Sebastien said. “That’s where you find progress.”


Watch the full session below!