Free HR Webinar on Work-Life Balance
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Ascentis recently hosted a free HR webinar titled The Sandwich Generation – Helping Employees Improve Work-Life Balance. This free HR webinar recording is approved for 1.0 free SHRM credit and 1.0 free HRCI credit and available to watch here. Our expert speaker from this webinar, Ruth Baylis from Mercer People Pro, wrote the below reflection on this topic.
The Sandwich Generation – it’s No Bologna
by Ruth Baylis
In a recent free HR webinar, I discuss the sandwich generation. Specifically, pressure from both sides – taking care of aging parents and many times children also – is a new phenomenon affecting the workforce. Workers are no longer in a position to only think about taking care of themselves and immediate needs of children living with them, but they are now taking on the care of their parents and even adult children.
It can be overwhelming, to say the least. In fact, according to a study done by MetLife and Pew Research Center, it is estimated that 60% of working adults fall into this category. This is when an employee’s personal business suddenly can become the company’s concern. Your team may be less productive, distracted, experiencing an increase in absenteeism and even higher turnover as people may leave their jobs. As a result, you can imagine, companies are losing tens of billions of dollars. Do you see the warning signs – increased absenteeism, unusual behaviors from otherwise steadfast employees, increased injury rates, higher turnover?
So what is the solution? It really comes down to flexibility and creativity. Don’t be stuck on the idea that everyone must be in the office to be productive. Remote work, even just one day a week, can be helpful. In addition to flexibility on being in the office, can people be flexible with their hours? Can they cut down to 4 days a week? The companies’ goal is to get the work done and keep terrific employees. By giving people additional flexibility you may find that they are more productive and also are even more appreciative of where they work.
Time is not always what people need, so think outside of the box. Maybe you should have some new employee resource groups designed, have a mindfulness program, design stress relief walking programs, financial planning counseling – the list is endless. If you are stumped for ideas, or time, call your EAP or Benefits Broker and see if they have ideas or have resources/programs you can implement quickly.
As always, communication is key. It’s not good to have resources for your employees if no one knows about them. Sounds obvious, but it is always worth mentioning! An additional manifestation of having and communicating these programs is that even if people do not take advantage of them and/or need them, a good impression of the type of company they work for is solidified. One company I worked for had a garden and a gardening group. I am not someone who likes to dig around where there are worms and bugs, however, my impression of my company was elevated as I loved the idea of reaching out to different people in different ways.
Making sure you are meeting the personal needs of the team will result in higher productivity, a greater allegiance to the company, and the war for talent, the ability to keep organizational knowledge where it should be. Take small steps, ask people what they might like because in the end, it will affect your company and its ability to stay competitive.
If you want to learn more, click here to view our free HR webinar recording to earn free HRCI & SHRM credits.
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