Employee Training and Development: Caregiver Support in the Workplace

​Importance of Training and Development

Human resources managers drive employee training and development. Training employees in the workplace, including millennials who have high turnover rates and long-term employees with health concerns—both of whom are caring for elderly parents—can reduce employee replacement costs and improve productivity.

Employee turnover, lost productivity, absenteeism, low presentism, and a lack of skills negatively affect job performance and customer satisfaction. According to Gallup, companies that have actively interested and dedicated employees see 41% lower absenteeism rates, and 17% higher productivity.

What is your human resources department doing to reduce employee productivity problems at the office that result from caregiving problems at home? If you are like most corporations, you may not realize you have a caregiving problem. A deep-dive employee training and development digital caregiving program by expert Pamela D Wilson provides a caregiving awareness plan, employee training, and a feedback loop for an elder care solution for human resource departments.

Caregiver Support in the Workplace

Supporting working caregivers is vital for many reasons. As a human resource manager, you substantiate the benefits of employee training and development programs to management. Juggling work and caregiving place working caregivers in high-pressure situations.

Training Employees In the WorkplaceOne in four millennials is caring for sick or disabled parents.  A Gallup report on the millennial generation reveals that 21% of millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year, which is more than three times the number of non-millennials who report the same. Gallup estimates that millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.

Being a caregiver affects employees in different ways depending on the life stage and the level of involvement in caregiving activities. Working women are disproportionately affected by caregiving responsibilities.

Digital online learning and development programs support voluntary employee participation in caregiving courses that allow employee caregivers to learn at their own pace.

According to the 2019 Workplace Learning Report from Linked-In Learning:

  • 49% of employees prefer to learn when the point of need occurs
  • 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development
  • 73% of talent developers use externally generated content from subject matter experts

The Caring Generation Family Caregiver Program Taking Care of Elderly Parents Stay at Home and Beyond is a digital learning program, unlike any other. The program offers 70 webinars adding up to 52 hours of education that includes 24 hours of podcasts on topics requested by caregivers. Complementing the online aspect of the program is the opportunity for participants to engage in question and answer sessions, assessments, and feedback loops.

Employee Training and DevelopmentEmployee Training and Development Programs: Skills Valued in the Workplace

Training employees in the workplace on the subject of elder care and caregiving may be a new HR topic for some corporations. The coronavirus has called more considerable attention to the issue of chronic disease and caregiving. Adults with chronic diseases and the elderly may be more adversely affected than younger generations who can be carriers of the coronavirus but not suffer severe health effects.

Employee training and development offered in the Taking Care of Elderly Parents program links human resource objectives for employee health and wellness programs with employee development. As a business owner and professional fiduciary for more than 20 years, Wilson focuses on training employees in the workplace to care for the elderly and disabled. Employee training and development programs for caregiving help working caregivers respond to healthcare challenges, the health needs of elderly parents, financial and elder law planning.

Benefits of Caregiving Training for Employees in the Workplace

In addition to addressing productivity concerns, the Taking Care of Elderly Parents program addresses workplace performance issues that relate to care management and advocacy skills for working caregivers.  Research confirms that soft skills and emotional intelligence are critical employee training and development program needs in corporations. Employee wellness is an important component of productivity.

Human Resource Caregiver ProgramsThroughout this digital learning program, Wilson discusses closing skill gaps that may be one or several of the following:

  • Creative problem solving
  • Stress management
  • Conflict management—having difficult conversations
  • Change and resilience
  • Flexibility, and adaptability
  • Communication spoken and written
  • Time management and organization
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Emotional intelligence

Training and Development Topics for Working Caregivers

Detailed information about Taking Care of Elderly Parents: Stay at Home, and Beyond is on the program page. Special pricing is available for groups and corporations for multiple copy licenses. Module topics include:

1 – Managing Emotions, Family Relationships, and Elderly Parents Who Refuse Care

2 – Signs Elderly Parents Need Care, Creating Strategies & Initiating Conversations

3 – Activities of Daily Living – the Effects of Aging and Nutrition on Physical Ability

4 – Home Safety for Seniors

5 – Stay Healthy Daily Routines

6 – Strategies for Helping Elderly Parents with Memory Loss

7 – Cost of In-Home Care for the Elderly and Beyond

8 – Navigating Care: Coordinating and Managing Services Including Home Health, Assisted Living Communities, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Palliative Care and Hospice

Care management for the elderly is similar to project management in the workplace. Working caregivers skills cross over into the areas of healthcare, financial, and legal. These areas correspond with workplace concerns for health, wellness, chronic disease, and financial planning for retirement.

Participation in these areas by employees may be low when relevance is low. Taking care of a sick, elderly spouse or a parent makes these topics unavoidable when caregivers learn about advancing health concerns, worry about paying for care, and realize the importance of estate planning.  Wilson adeptly weaves these topics into this digital learning program that supports training employees in the workplace.

HR Topics: Talking to Caregivers in the Workplace

Talking to caregivers in the workplace may be viewed as a sensitive issue because conversations about caring for spouses or elderly parents may cross over into personal territory. Human resources health and wellness programs focus on the benefits of health screenings, exercise, and chronic health that may or may not be taken seriously by employees.

Working employees may not realize they are caregivers for elderly parents because they see themselves in a helping role. By the time an employee understands that he or she is a caregiver, work-life balance may be teetering on the edge of crises.

Wilson uses and instructs participants about using the “broken record technique.” This technique that can be used for training employees in the workplace is valuable for caregivers who may be dealing with parents who lack an understanding of preventative behaviors. Working caregivers who learn about chronic disease, preventative actions, and care planning are more likely to implement these behaviors within their own families.

Do Managers Unintentionally Contribute to Employee Productivity Problems?

A Harvard Business Review study confirms that direct reports frequently ask for personal advice from managers who spend between 2-3 hours each week responding to mental health, caregiving, and marital problems. Research by Bensinger, DuPont & Associates confirmed that forty-seven percent of employees say that issues in their personal lives sometimes affect their work performance.

Managers feel torn between focusing on job performance and listening to employees. Some employees expect support from managers to go the distance at work. Managers who take on the role of a counselor can cause more significant problems in the workplace when the time arrives for performance reviews.

How Corporations Can Support Working Caregivers

Corporations can demonstrate support for working caregivers in a variety of ways. Knowing the support that managers can offer is one of the first steps in creating an employee awareness program on the subject of elder care.  The human resource department should create a go-to document for managers of employee policies for work and other arrangements to accommodate caregiving responsibilities.

The workplace should make elder care programs available, and promote employee participation as a positive way to manage stress, provide training, and improve workplace productivity. When caregiving awareness programs exist, employees should not fear to disclose caregiving responsibilities to supervisors. Workplace elder care programs allow supervisors to refer employees to a confidential program for support.

Learning Care Management Techniques from The Care Navigator

This extraordinary program enables participants to learn and implement care management techniques developed by Wilson and used in her prior care navigation business, The Care Navigator. Wilson’s experience as a court-appointed guardian, medical and financial power of attorney, the personal representative of the estate, trustee, and care manager allows her to speak to a broad range of caregiving experiences. Her expertise and ability to teach caregivers about all aspects of taking care of elderly parents is unequaled.

Curious About Developing an Elder Care Program for Your Workplace?

If you’re curious about developing an A to Z elder care program for your workplace, more information about caregiving and elder care programs is here. Call Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, advocate, and speaker, at 303-810-1816 or email [email protected]

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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