Contributed by Jennifer Sabatini Fraone, MBA, MSW, Director of Corporate Partnerships at the Boston College Center for Work & Family (BCCWF)
COVID-19 has presented a dramatic challenge for working parents and caregivers. Women's career's, family stability, the economic recovery, and our efforts to make organizations more equitable and inclusive are all at risk. It is essential for organizations to take action, starting with listening to employees and what their needs are - through surveys, focus groups, 1:1 interview, meetings with ERGs. A holistic effort is required (consistent with Total Worker Health), as no two situations are alike. What’s important is to have options people can choose from to help make their own unique situation better.
The Boston College Center for Work & Family collected and summarized information from our corporate partners on the efforts employers have made to support caregivers in their organizations. We have compiled a menu of options that touch on six areas: Flexibility, Well-being and Mental Health, Care Support, Financial Support, Leadership and Culture and Community Support.
Of note, many organizations had some of these supports in place before the pandemic started. Their crisis response has been to supplement those services and re-package and re-communicate them.
As you consider these employee supports now and as we transition out of the pandemic, we encourage you to take the lessons learned to envision a more inclusive, engaging, and supportive workplace in the future. Applying a Total Worker Health approach to employee wellbeing recognizes that we bring our best selves to work when we have the resources and support to care for our families.
Jennifer Sabatini Fraone, MBA, MSW, is the Director of Corporate Partnerships at the Boston College Center for Work & Family
CPH_NEW is a Total Worker Health® Center for Excellence of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. CPH-NEWs and Views is a semimonthly column written by Center researchers on emerging topics related to healthy workplaces. These comments reflect thoughts of the individual researchers and do not represent conclusive research summaries, nor do they necessarily reflect a consensus among all Center personnel. We welcome your responses and discussion. please send all questions and comments by email to: CPHNEW@uml.edu
CPH News and Views Issue 67
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