Top 10 tips for creating carer-inclusive benefits that get used
It’s estimated that one in five employees are family carers, with an ever-increasing percentage looking after elderly family members. With an ageing workforce, it’s crucial for companies to communicate their benefits packages in a way that is inclusive and supportive of this group.
Parental care support is often well communicated within businesses, but elderly caregiving often remains hidden despite more employees having an elderly dependant over the age of 65 than under 15.
Here are the top 10 tips for HR leaders on how to effectively communicate work benefits to carers within their workforce to increase their uptake and impact.
1. Understand the needs of caregivers
The first step in creating carer-inclusive benefits and a communication strategy to engage this audience is to understand the unique needs of caregivers within your organisation. Conduct surveys or focus groups to gather insights into the challenges they face and the support they require.
2. Review your benefits and map them to carer needs
Once you have a clear understanding of caregivers’ needs, review your benefits packages and identify the resources you have that cater to those needs and any gaps in support.
For example, you may have flexible work arrangements, paid leave, and access to resources like counselling, legal hours, or well-being resources. Don’t forget to include wellness programmes as these offer valuable support to caregivers dealing with stress and emotional challenges.
You should also look at providing specialist benefits that support carers specific needs. These can have a positive impact on productivity, absenteeism and retention.
3. Create a dedicated carers benefit document or hub
List all your benefits that would benefit carers in one place that is easily accessible, especially by those that work remotely. This can be a document or a dedicated online resource hub. Promote this resource across all forms of internal communciations, including new hire onboarding documents and company payslips.
4. Create relatable examples
For each benefit, give examples of when a caregiver may want to use them so that they are relatable to their situation. For example, if you offer free legal support, talk about how these could be used for drawing up a power of attorney for those looking after an elderly loved one with dementia.
If you offer carers leave, talk about when this might be taken, not just how to request it.
5. Clearly communicate the process
Make sure you let employees know how to ask for any benefits such as flexible working arrangements and make these processes as simple as possible.
6. Create company-wide education sessions
According to Carers UK, half of all carers take more than a year to recognise their caring role, with over one-third taking more than three years to recognise themselves as a carer.
Without self-identification, many don’t seek the support available to them. Therefore, education and awareness of all the different types of caregiving is vital to support self-identification and benefit uptake.
7. Train managers in carer support
Managers are in a unique position within a company to spot the signs of stress in team members and signpost them to benefits. It’s important to train managers on how to identify carers in their teams, the benefits available to them, and how to access these.
8. Create user case studies
Build user-based case studies that describe their experience, the benefits they accessed and the positive impact they had. These help bring benefits to life, make them relatable, and can be used as awareness drivers within your organisation.
9. Create carer networks and caregiving role models
Carer networks and role models within your organisation will help connect caregivers with others facing similar challenges. They can help promote the benefits your organisation provides and offer feedback on any benefits they feel would be of value to their community.
10. Encourage feedback and open dialogue
Create an environment where employees feel comfortable providing feedback. Cultivating an open dialogue will allow you to continuously improve your benefits packages and communication strategies to be carer-inclusive.
It’s essential to recognise the value of creating carer-inclusive communication strategies to support the uptake and impact of your benefits by carers. By understanding the needs of caregivers, tailoring benefits and effectively communicating the available support, organisations can create a more inclusive, productive and supportive work environment.
In partnership with KareHero
The UK’s No1 Elderly caregiving support service for employees. Helping families understand, find and fund elderly care.