Money & Business

Study: Lack of Work-Life Benefits Hurts Employee Performance

By / Aug 17, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A new report shows that in the absence of benefits intended to assist employees to care for family members, worker productivity and performance can suffer.

It’s no secret that balancing work and life is getting harder for many. And a new study is showing a direct correlation between the availability of family and lifestyle benefits and employee performance, recruitment, and retention.

The findings from the “Workplace Solutions Better Benefits Survey,” conducted by family-care management provider Care.com, are especially true for millennials—almost 50 percent of whom reported that not having access to family-assistance-related benefits has negatively affected their work.

“The lack of these benefits is affecting employees’ overall work performance, and impacting companies in lost productivity and reduced employee retention,” Donna Levin, Care.com cofounder and vice president, said in a statement. “With the largest part of today’s workforce comprised of millennials and this generation representing 90 percent of new mothers in 2014, it’s especially important for employers to take this generation’s needs into consideration.”

Overall, among the 500 people surveyed for the report, 35 percent reported a lack of such benefits negatively affected their work performance. How is it cutting into performance? Possibly absenteeism. The study found that 90 percent of employees have left work because of family responsibilities, and 30 percent have cut back on the number of hours they work a week by six or more.

Respondents also reported that they believe working dads and those who care for elderly family members and loved ones are the least supported when it comes to family care benefits.

Not only are these findings illuminating in terms of employee productivity, but they could have a big impact on employee retention. For example, 62 percent also reported they would leave their current job for one with family-assistance benefits.

“By recognizing the juggling act of caregiving and work, and providing benefits like backup child care or senior care, we believe that employers have a huge opportunity to not only reduce employee absenteeism, but ultimately, increase workplace productivity too,” Levin said.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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