Quantifying the ROI of Backup Care

Want to give your company an edge in attracting and hiring talent? Implement a backup care program.

That’s the scoop from a recent Motley Fool article, which cites backup care as one of five less-commonplace benefits that are truly valued by prospective hires. “Child care is not only an expensive prospect for workers, but also an unpredictable one,” the article states. “All it takes is for a nanny to call in sick, and any employee could suddenly be left in the lurch. Similarly, parents who use public school as child care are often thwarted by random half-days or days off. That’s why offering backup child care is a great benefit to entice workers with kids.”

In addition to enticing talent, you can expect to reap an array of hard and soft returns from a backup care program—and they can really add up.

The Hard ROI of Backup Care
The hard ROI of backup care (also known as direct benefits) are results you can attribute directly to implementing the program. Hard ROI is easier to quantify than soft ROI, and it’s often measured by surveying program users. Hard ROI includes:

  • Reduced absenteeism/presenteeismAlmost half of all working parents miss an average of four days of work at least once every six months due to child care breakdowns, and workers who care for aging loved ones miss more than 126 million workdays per year. A high-quality backup care program reduces these caregiving-related absences, as well as the presenteeism created by caregivers who show up but spend part of their workday dealing with caregiving breakdowns and emergencies.
  • Decreased stress—Roughly 90% of caregivers cite stress as having the most impact on their lives, so reducing their stress should be a priority. With access to a backup care program, employees know their loved ones are well cared for even when their regular arrangements fall through, which gives them peace of mind and reduces stress.
  • Increased productivity—On average, LifeCare’s Backup Care Connection program saved users 20 hours each in 2018. In essence, we’ve given them back half a work week—hours they would have lost to handling caregiving emergencies or providing care themselves. Backup Care Connection users tell us in surveys and quality checks that the program makes them more productive.
  • Stronger talent retention—Offering backup care not only attracts talent but also keeps valued talent in your workforce. As the Motley Fool article pointed out, backup care is currently a “less common” benefit but that won’t last for long as more and more employers add it to their benefits offerings. In the meantime, you can take advantage of this situation, improve the strength of your employment brand, and get a leg up on your competitors.
  • Improved morale and loyalty—Having access to backup care makes employees feel valued, not just for the work they do but as people. Employers who offer backup care are acknowledging that employees have important responsibilities outside of the workplace. That’s a strong foundation for building morale and loyalty—but doing so requires a high-quality program. Inferior programs can actually undermine morale and loyalty. When shopping for a backup care program, be sure you know how each program is rated by actual users. LifeCare’s Backup Care Connection, for example, has a 97% satisfaction rating.

Here are two additional indicators that a backup care program will deliver hard results for your organization: according to recent LifeCare surveys, 81% of individuals who used LifeCare’s Backup Care Connection in 2018 used the program multiple times … and 99% said they’ll use it again.

The Soft ROI of Backup Care

The Soft ROI of Backup Care
Soft ROI (also referred to as indirect benefits) is less easy to quantify but it’s no less significant. The soft ROI of backup care includes:

  • Improved health—61% of primary elder caregivers say their own health takes a backseat to that of their loved one, and 21% say their health has declined since becoming a caregiver, according to Transamerica Institute’s 2017 Study of Caregivers. Left unchecked, these issues can result in hefty costs to employers and employees alike. Backup care is invaluable in combating and even preventing the stress and other ill effects of caregiving, which can equate to substantial savings in healthcare costs.
  • Improved engagement—60% of employees who serve as family caregivers have reported that caregiving negatively impacts their engagement at work in at least one way (and often more than one way), says AARP’s most recent comprehensive Caregiving in America report. These negative impacts include forcing them to cut back on their working hours, taking a leave of absence, and receiving warnings about their performance or attendance. A backup care program keeps employees engaged in their work and makes negative on-the-job impacts less likely to arise in the first place.

 Choosing the Right Program

Choosing the Right Program
As with all voluntary and work-life benefits, you want the maximum return on your backup care investment. That means selecting a program with four very specific attributes:

  1. Flexibility and Comprehensiveness—The ideal program should encompass all forms of backup care (child care, senior care, pet care and even self care). Employees should be able to reach live care representatives 24/7/365, have access to a presecreened national network of caregivers and a variety of online resources. Another important feature is allowing employees to use caregivers or babysitters they are already familiar with, even trusted family members and friends to provide backup care. Bottom line, flexibility and comprehensiveness are key to keeping utilization high, which in turn maximizes ROI.
  2. Care Options for Everyone—Again, in order to deliver the highest returns, your program should encompass backup care resources for children, older loved ones, pets and even employees themselves. Many programs focus only on one or two of these groups.
  3. Ease of Use—Employees should have multiple access points into the program such as a toll-free telephone number to speak directly with highly trained caregiving specialists, online access to these specialists (including mobile access and/or an app), and online/offline access to other caregiving resources including helpful videos, podcasts, guides and other resources. Additionally, employees should be able to schedule new care arrangements, check the status and details of care arrangements, submit forms for reimbursement and more, all from a single site.
  4. Personalized, End-to-End Support—In addition to the features and resources noted above, your employees should receive personalized education and assistance with ongoing parenting, senior care, pet care and self care needs. Backup care specialists should follow up on every case and ensure that employees understand all of their options and next steps. The best programs even offer discounts on related products and services.

These four attributes are essential to maximizing utilization and ROI of your program, not to mention giving employees the backup care support they so urgently need.

If you’d like to learn more about implementing a backup care program, contact us here or call us at (833) 282-3366.