SMEs gain valuable insights
Course participants analysed their own organization in terms of caregiver-friendly strategies. The results were used to adapt or create their current policies. The groups then exchanged plans, leading to new insights and tips for good practice.
These are some of the key takeaways from the courses:
- The combination of work and caregiving tasks has an impact on work.
- A clear policy is important for both employers and employees.
- Business cultures differ, it’s not always easy to discuss the issues.
- One-on-one talks require a different approach to that in a team setting.
- Specific knowledge and tools are needed when approaching this subject with employees.
- Regular attention for this theme is important, for example during annual performance appraisal meetings.
The culture within a company is a very important factor when dealing with the combination of work and caregiving. In certain ‘non-verbal’ sectors (for example technology), offering practical support first works well. But sensitivity is required even in more open work cultures. One strategy that works well is to provide general information to staff about the possibilities for caregivers within the organization and then to follow up with personal consultations where mutual expectations and possibilities are exchanged.
The course has shown that, besides developing suitable policies, businesses should break some of the taboos around caregiving. Approaching the subject openly is crucial for an effective strategy implementation, so the partners are now developing a workshop designed to train managers in conversation techniques. The training will be available this autumn.