Empathy is one of the most powerful emotions and one thing that so many employers lack. With so much happening behind closed doors such are caregiving for elders, trying to afford childcare for your own children, and everything in between (hello self-care), most employers overlook what their employees are going through on a daily basis. and even if you are lucky enough to have a current employer that get it, you also most likely have had a couple in the past that didn't.
According to a new Harvard Business School report, employees are being blasted for being completely "oblivious" to the needs of their employees. It's an unfortunate cold, hard fact that we're dealing with in the United States and honestly, no one, especially your employer should underestimate any tough times you are going through.
To fully complete the study, researchers Joseph Fuller and Manjari Raman surveyed 1,500 employees and 300 HR leaders and business owners. This research is part of something called Managing the Future of Work, a full guide that was created with the intent to help employers help their employees manage their caregiving responsibilities, while also reducing costs and productivity.
The scariest finding was the fact that more than three-quarters of employees (80 percent) with caregiving responsibilities admitted it impacted their productivity, but only a quarter of employers (24 percent) actually believed caregiving influenced their workers’ performance.
But it gets worse.
With so many questions to be asked on this topic, it all really boils down to wondering if companies are completely overlooking what their employees are going through or do they not really care. It's a lot to consider.
The study co-author Joseph B. Fuller, a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School says that "Most don't track the relevant data, and those that do offer some form of care-related benefits interpret the relatively low utilization of those benefits as confirmation that there is no material problem."
The big picture is that more people than not have some sort of caregiving responsibilities to take care of outside of work. During this study, about three out of four of respondents (73 percent) caregiving responsibilities, and of those another 80 percent said their responsibilities at home keep them from doing their best at work. Almost one in three (32 percent) said they have left a job because they couldn’t balance work and family duties.
This shows that it's really time for employers to listen up if they want their employees to be able to come to work and function 100 percent instead of less than their potential.