Where you lead, I will follow you …
You might recognize that line from a classic track off Carole King’s album “Tapestry.” But for employees of a certain generation (Millennials) that line is best known from the “Gilmore Girls” theme song. And now, as excitement builds around the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix, we’re seeing all kinds of references to Rory, Lorelai and the rest of the gang from Stars Hollow.
“OK,” you’re probably saying. “But what does the Gilmore Girls revival have to do with family-care benefits?”
It’s about the song lyric. And family.
Where You Lead…
It’s not easy to be a great place to work. You want to take care of your employees and build employer brand that appeals to the best and brightest, but you have to balance those desires with financial responsibility and oversight.
When it comes to employee benefits, work perks and that umbrella we call Total Rewards, the “leading edge” can a scary place. Often, the SVP, CFO or even the board is more comfortable around market median.
Fortunately, family-care benefits are entering that in-between space. They’re becoming increasingly common about companies regarded as “best places to work,” but they’re still rare enough to appeal to prospective employees.
Did you know 55 out of Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies provide six or more weeks of fully paid maternity leave and sick-child care? And five of the top eight companies in Glassdoor’s 2016 “Employees Choice Awards” work with Care.com to provide family care benefits for their employees.
In some cases, companies are not just offering family-friendly benefits – they’re sharing the results. In recent years, a number of companies – from Google and Ryan to Patagonia and KPMG – have reported improved retention rates after investing in family-care benefits and supports for new parent employees.
… I Will Follow
Despite the surge in attention, family-care benefits are still largely considered “fringe” benefits. Only about 7 percent of employers provide child care at or near the worksite, and just 14 percent of private sector employees currently have access to paid family leave through their jobs.
Meanwhile, family dynamics have changed to where about 70 percent of moms and more than 90 percent of dads are in the workforce, and 65 percent of children under 6-years-old live in households where all parents work.
Basically, working parents need care benefits like a Gilmore needs coffee. And many companies have found offering family-care benefits has a real return on investment in terms of reducing absenteeism and improving recruiting and retention efforts.
Over the past year, dozens of companies have announced new or improved family-care benefits programs. Some of the common themes in these announcements have been that the expansions are a response to employee feedback or an attempt at competitive differentiation in a hot labor market.
Back in February, when Coco-Cola announced it would offer paid leave for all parents, the company said the expansion was driven by its Millennial Voices group. And when Deloitte announced it would allow all employees to take up to 16 fully paid weeks to care for a family member, the company described the new policy as “the most extensive family leave policy in the professional services industry.”
It’s easy to see how the tide is turning to where companies who haven’t made the move to explore family-care benefits are worried about getting left behind.
One of the other central themes to Gilmore Girls is being there for family no matter what life throws your way. That’s super important for modern companies … and modern families.
Sick kids, emergency vet appointments, parents’ sudden health scares. These types of needs are unpredictable – they’re not on a 9-to-5 schedule and family life has evolved to where stay-at-home parents are more the exception than the rule. Your people are your organization’s most important assets, and their families are theirs. That’s why forward thinking companies are providing the kinds of work-life supports and family-care benefits.
At Care.com, we know families better than anyone. That’s why Care@Work provides custom benefits packages featuring high-touch services and state-of-the art tools to help your employees solve the most complex family issues – at any stage of their lives.
Care@Work gives employees the flexibility to access and manage all their family care benefits through the app or desktop experience, 24/7, from wherever they are when their care needs arise. They can search, book and pay for local caregivers; find backup care in a pinch; set up senior care and connect with specialists who can help plan and find care. We’re there to help your employees find the care they need, reducing the friction in their lives so they can be present, productive and engaged in their jobs.
And if you need one more reason “Gilmore Girls” should have you thinking about family-care benefit, consider this: You can bet your Millennial moms would appreciate a backup care option for Nov. 25 so they can Netflix and Gil.