What Is the Business World Doing to Support the Sandwich Generation?

Question:

With so much focus lately on Millennial’s, I’m curious what employers are doing to support another group of employees — the Sandwich Generation?

Answer:

For employees in the Sandwich Generation who are caring not only for their own children, but also for their aging parents, they often will trudge along to care for the people who matter most. According to the Northeast Business Group on Health “Care-giving Landscape” whitepaper, caregivers miss an average of six days of work each year due to care-giving responsibilities, are less productive because of personal distractions, and are in poorer health than non-care giving colleagues.

The following are some examples of benefits that give the Sandwich Generation the support they need to succeed in and out of the office:  

  • Flexible Work Schedule: For employees with personal obligations during the typical 9-to-5, flexibility allows them to accomplish everything they need without having to take off to catch up.   
  • Child Care Benefits:  Employers can help alleviate the financial burden of child care by subsidizing care options, including backup care.
  • Senior Care Benefits: In addition to helping find care options for the day-to-day, providing tips and guidance gives caregivers confidence to navigate this new role.
  • Financial Planning Assistance: As if managing personal finances wasn’t hard enough, this generation may have a mortgage, while also helping pay college tuition and managing their parents’ estate.  Access to financial planning allows employees to work care-giving related costs into their plan and better prepare for the future.
  • Household Help:  Employers can ease the burden of simple household tasks by providing meal prep, house cleaning and laundry services.  
  • Access to Elder Care Experts:  Senior care needs often arise suddenly, so providing information (through webinars, on-site seminars or simply by giving local expert contact information) can be extremely helpful to employees.

It’s in the employers’ best interest to provide the tools employees need to manage their personal lives so they can do well – and excel – at work.  Employers who offer these types of benefits to employees show they care about the Sandwich Generation employees and want to do what they can to help.

Thank you to Alisa Fedders for providing the content for this HR Question of the Week. Alisa is a Senior HR Consultant with strategic HR inc. She has nearly 20 years of practical HR experience, working for private companies in HR leadership positions, in addition to her most recent HR consulting experience.

 

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