For those working professionals who also provide care for a loved one or dependent, it’s not always possible to clock out and take respite. These unsung heroes do their best to be dependable employees in the workplace, as well as loving caregivers, giving up time that should be their own. For these folks, we must give special consideration and any support we can offer, as managers and superiors. But how exactly do we do this?
Our company, Advanced Home Care Solutions, is built on care – and we, more than anyone, understand the rewards as well as the personal cost involved in being a primary caregiver. This is why our mission as a community care and nurse staffing agency is to lessen the burden on those who need it most.
Today, we’re going to discuss the best ways forward for managers to prioritize not only their business and clients, but employees who may be on the path to burnout.
What is Burnout?
Burnout results from consistent and compounded mental, physical and/or emotional stress. Those who suffer from severe burnout may experience health implications as a result, which can place additional strain on the individual, along with those who rely on them. Burnout can be very difficult to recover from, and should be avoided wherever possible – ideally, before significant damage is done. For more information, check out our recent blog on burnout.
For any designated caregivers who are also working professionals, you might be very familiar with the demanding nature of your role – but the good news is that support is available, should you require it.
For those in managerial or directorial positions, however, you might not be aware that an employee takes on such a responsibility – so do your best to frequently check in with team members and try to get an idea of how they are managing, in and out of the workplace. If it becomes clear that an employee is also a primary caregiver, there are things you can do to support them, and ultimately, the success of your business:
Keep the lines of communication open and encourage employees to talk about their caregiver role and responsibilities. Reiterate to them that it helps you to understand what they’re going through, so that you can better support them in their employee role.
If possible, offer flexibility in terms of scheduling and hours. The ability to create a customized and flexible schedule can allow struggling employees to meet personal requirements, and bring their best selves to work every day. This can truly be a lifeline to an employee who is also a caregiver, and ultimately will benefit your business in the long run. Remote options are also a valuable resource to those working professionals with caregiver responsibilities at home.
Encourage employees to inquire about possible access to government benefits, aid, and support. This will differ province-to-province, but is a worthwhile pursuit and may result in substantial respite for the caregiver – financial, or otherwise. They may also qualify for family medical leave, so be sure to remind employees that these options exist and could be an available route for them, should they require it. If you’re unsure of what exactly your employees could take advantage of in terms of benefits, refer to an HR rep for further examination and explanation.
Foster a caregiver-friendly culture in the workplace. Everyone struggles, and everyone’s situation is unique. We must be cognizant of the fact that we are all human, we are fallible, and can’t do everything or be everything to everyone all the time. We all require (and are deserving of) support from time to time – some more than others – and that does not and should not decrease our value. Practice empathy with every employee interaction and know that we’re all out here trying our best. That is, at the end of the day, all we can do.