3 Tips for Securing a Backup Care Budget

One of HR’s biggest challenges each year is deciding how to spend its employee benefits budget. While traditional benefits (medical insurance, 401k plans, etc.) remain a good investment, emerging benefits—such as backup care programs—are increasingly important to attracting and retaining talent.

In fact, research from Willis Towers Watson shows 79% of employers agree that emerging benefits programs enrich their traditional offerings by adding greater personalization, 75% say these programs appeal to a multigenerational workforce, 67% say they attract new talent, and 65% say they support employee retention.

Backup care programs, in particular, deliver a powerful array of hard and soft returns on investment, as we outlined in a previous post, including reduced absenteeism/presenteeism, greater productivity, higher employee engagement, and improved health of employees who act as caregivers.

The demand for backup care programs is mounting rapidly as our population ages and workers from every generation are or soon will be caring for children, aging loved ones or both simultaneously. As a result of these trends, more and more HR departments are making the case for backup care to their senior management.

Making the Case at Your Organization

Making the Case at Your Organization
Here are three suggestions to help you build a compelling case for backup care:

  1. Survey your employees. To show that your organization has a demonstrable need to support its caregivers, survey your workers about their caregiving status, situations and requirements. Ask whom they provide care to, how often, what their main challenges are, and what kinds of assistance and expertise they would value most. Regarding backup care specifically, ask how often their regular care arrangements break down, what they do when breakdowns occur, whether they have reliable backup care arrangements in place, and whether they use their own individual caregiver such as babysitter, friend, neighbor or family member as paid caregivers. Remember that many people don’t like to identify as “caregivers” for a variety of reasons, and many are reluctant to open up about problems that arise due to caregiving responsibilities, so be sure to make your survey anonymous. And the more thorough your survey, the better able you’ll be to select a program that suits your employees’ specific needs once you’ve gotten budgetary approval.
  2. Get clarity on the types of backup care needed. Large, multigenerational workforces actually provide a range of care—to children, to older family members and loved ones, to pets, and even to themselves. Use your survey to discern which types of backup care employees will utilize and appreciate most. Younger workforces may have a greater need for backup child care, for example, while older workforces may provide more care to aging loved ones. If your company has a significant population of individuals in the sandwich generation, you’ll need a more comprehensive backup care program.
  3. Gather and present trusted third-party data on the value of backup care and caregiver support programs. You can find data online through a variety of reliable sources including the Pew Research Center, the Family Caregiver Alliance, MetLife, AARP, and the National Council on Aging, to name just a few. You can also search this blog for posts about family caregiving and backup care; we’ve written quite a few pieces that contain recent statistics and links to useful resources. Data that can be especially compelling to your senior management may include the growing demand for employees to act as family caregivers, the generational impact of caregiving responsibilities, and the specific hard and soft business benefits of backup care (the money it saves employers, the productivity gains, the reduced turnover, stress alleviation, etc.).

LifeCare can help you build an evidence-based case

Looking for assistance in building an evidenced-based case? LifeCare can help! With 35+ years of experience and expertise, we’ve helped organizations of all kinds support employee caregivers, providing them with information, guidance and referrals that ease their caregiving burdens and keep them healthy and productive. We’ll customize a plan to your specific needs that includes projected savings and ways your business will be positively impacted.

The case for offering a backup care benefit has never been stronger, as we detailed in a recent post on why your company needs backup care now. With all this in mind, it’s the ideal time to consider the many ways a backup care program would benefit your company.

If you’d like assistance building a case for backup care contact us here or call us at (833) 282-3366.