Testimonial Tuesday: What are LifeCare Members Saying?

We are dedicated to providing our members with essential support to help manage their work-life challenges so they can live engaged, productive lives and get the most out of every day. Here’s just a sample of the feedback we’ve received from members this month.

August LifeCare Testimonial Tuesday

After Nearly a Half Century, Work-Life Is More Relevant Than Ever

Work-Life Is More Relevant Than Ever

The evolution of the work-life industry has been nothing short of incredible.

At its dawn, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the work-life movement was basically a response to two workplace trends: 1) the rapidly growing ranks of working mothers who needed caregiving assistance, and 2) the number of employees who needed help coping with personal issues that affected their job performance. In other words, the entire work-life universe at that time consisted of dependent care and EAP programs.

Today, however, work-life encompasses nearly every facet of our lives: work arrangements and schedules … job design and structure … opportunities for professional growth and development … personal health and wellness … caring for families and loved ones … even our workplace cultures.

Although it’s been around for nearly half a century, the work-life movement is more relevant than ever.

Blurring Work-Life Boundaries
One reason for work-life’s enduring significance is the line between our work and private lives is increasingly blurry. People today have access to tools and technologies—both at work and at home—that allow them to remain connected to their work. Indeed, more and more individuals use their personal devices for work-related tasks, and some employers actually expect their people to be accessible 24/7.

All this persistent connectivity and accessibility has created widespread work-life imbalance and health problems among workers across the world. This was underscored recently by research from the University of Zurich, which found that blurring boundaries between work and personal life can erode workers’ sense of well-being and lead to burnout and exhaustion.

A recent survey of more than 2,800 professionals by LinkedIn found that half of them report feeling stressed in their jobs, and 70% say the biggest driver of their stress is a lack of work-life balance.

Work-Life Quest Spans Generations

Work-Life Quest Spans Generations
The search for better work-life balance is cross-generational. It might have begun with the Baby Boomers but it has spread to Generation X and Millennials as well. As benefits advisory firm JP Griffin Group points out, all three groups in today’s workforce “crave a healthy balance between their working lives and time spent outside the office,” but they also recognize that work-life balance is about more than controlling their work schedules. Salary, benefits, retirement planning, child care, elder care, and doing work that matters are all part of their evolving definitions of work-life integration and balance.

Over the years, employers have grown increasingly committed to addressing all of these needs, and work-life offerings have progressed far beyond that initial roster of dependent care and EAP programs (although these still form the core of today’s integrated work-life programs).

Naturally, work-life benefits wouldn’t still be around if they hadn’t proven their worth long ago. Among the more recent studies bearing out this merit of work-life programs is the Federal Work-Life Survey, conducted by the Office of Personnel Management (an independent agency of the U.S federal government that manages its civilian workforce). The survey revealed that people who participate in work-life balance programs:

  • Are more likely to exceed performance expectations
  • Better advance the mission of their agency
  • Enhance their ability to manage stress
  • And are better able to improve their health

In addition, the survey found that work-life programs have a positive impact on recruitment, retention and job performance at federal agencies. Based on these findings, federal agencies plan to continue enhancing the work-life support they provide to employees.

The Evolution Will Continue
The quest for better work-life integration and balance will evolve in the years ahead, especially as the workforce continues to change (it will comprise five generations by 2020 or so) and revise its definitions of what constitutes work-life balance.

For instance, the research from JP Griffin Group mentioned above shows that younger generations of workers are much more interested in preventing burnout. As a result, they’re already putting pressure on employers to change traditional ways of working. They want more flexibility and the opportunity to design their own jobs and careers.

Whatever shape the future of work takes, one thing is sure: work-life integration will remain as relevant—and as much in demand—as it has been over the past 50 years.

If you’d like to discuss how a world-class work-life program could serve your organization and its people, contact us here or call us at 1-(866) 675-3751.

To Thrive, Employers Must Support Workers Inside and Outside of the Workplace

To Thrive, Employers Must Support Workers Inside and Outside of the Workplace

“If employers expect their organizations to thrive, they not only need to rethink the experiences they are creating for employees inside the workplace, but also how they are supporting employees outside of it.”

That’s the core takeaway from page one of MetLife’s latest annual employee benefits trends report, “Thriving in the New Work-Life World,” which is filled with insights employers can use to attract, engage, and retain the best talent.

The report makes clear that work and life are blending more than ever before and, as a result, workers are looking to employers to help them cope. “Employees need an ally,” say the researchers, “and employers can play this role by creating a workplace that not only recognizes employees holistically, but supports them holistically as well. … Traditional and emerging benefits can offer relevant support to employees—and they can be key ingredients for the kind of caring, trusting culture in which employees thrive.”

Why the focus on helping employees thrive?

“Because thriving, happy employees are better employees,” the report states. “They are more engaged in their work, are more loyal to their employers, and more meaningfully contribute to their organizations’ goals.”

Key Stats & Findings
Following are some of the findings from the report, based on MetLife’s 2018 survey of more than 2,600 full-time U.S. workers:


  • Employees’ number one source of stress: personal finances tops the list, regardless of age or life-stage. One in three employees admit to being less productive at work because of financial stress.
  • Stress isn’t exclusively about finances, however—and employers are well positioned to help mitigate many of employees’ other pressures. Whether it’s easing the stress of work itself (the second biggest stressor), tending to personal or family health (the third biggest stressor), or managing personal commitments (the fourth biggest stressor), employers can play a substantial role in transforming the employee experience. The right combination of benefits and experiences can help employees feel more engaged and more cared for—and build the trust that enables them to thrive.
  • Everyday stressors can pose barriers to employees’ happiness and distract them from succeeding at work. And while some of these relate to employees’ personal lives, the role that work can play — in adding to or reducing stress—is a common thread that runs throughout.


  • 67% of employees are satisfied with their benefits—down 4% from last year.
  • Better benefits is the third highest request on employees’ wish lists when it comes to what they need to succeed at work and navigate their work-life worlds. (And 30% of employees would actually be willing to trade a higher salary for better benefits.)
  • 60% of employees are interested in their employers providing a wider array of less traditional, non-medical benefits, even if they have to cover some of the costs themselves
  • 57% of employers are committed to offering their employees a wider range of benefits, including non-medical supplemental benefits like accident insurance, critical illness insurance, and legal services plans.

Benefits communication:

  • Communication is key: if employees don’t understand the role that benefits can play in their lives, they won’t appreciate their full impact.
  • Greater simplicity and clarity are needed: Only 4 in 10 employees strongly believe their employers’ benefits communication is simple to understand.
  • Employers should change the benefits narrative by showing how benefits work together in the context of employees’ lives, needs and sources of stress. This can increase understanding and engage employees in a more meaningful and personal way.
  • Employers should focus on communicating the relevance of the benefits packages they offer, including how benefits work together to play an important and useful role in employees’ lives.

Why Holistic Benefits Are Essential

Why Holistic Benefits Are Essential
The report also notes that, given the current robust job market and low unemployment, workers are less likely to stay with employers who don’t meet their work-life needs. Therefore, employers should design holistic benefits packages that employees can customize to their individual needs and that can be changed as their needs evolve.

Suggestions to help employers create these holistic programs:

  1. Supplement traditional benefits with EAP and well-being programs, which support an array of work-life challenges including mental health counseling, elder-care advice and life coaching.
  2. Provide employees an assortment of experiences and tools that help them better understand their benefits such as videos, guided learning experiences, and real utilization stories from their coworkers.
  3. Offer financial wellness programs featuring resources such as personalized advice, one-on-one guidance, and goal-orientated short- and long-term planning.
  4. Enhance retirement savings programs that offer employees ways to generate income during retirement and strategies for managing their savings so they don’t outlive them.

The report also addresses how employers can contribute to employees’ happiness, sense of purpose at work, and ongoing development—all of which are strong drivers of employee engagement and productivity.

If you’d like to learn more about how our work-life services can help you support employees with both their personal and professional needs, contact us here or call us at 866-675-3751.

Which Work-Life Model Is Right for Your Organization?

Work-Life Model

For roughly four decades, work-life programs have improved the lives of workers and strengthened their employers’ organizations.

Throughout the years studies have shown that work-life programs help people integrate their work and personal responsibilities more efficiently, reduce their stress levels and remain healthier and happier overall. For organizations, work-life programs raise productivity and engagement levels while reducing turnover and burnout.

The benefits of work-life programs were highlighted again earlier this year when the U.S. government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a report concluding that federal employees who take part in work-life programs are more likely to exceed expectations and better advance their agency’s mission. Ninety-six percent of the 64,000+ OPM survey respondents said they want to make use of at least one of their agency’s work-life programs.

So the question for today’s employers isn’t whether work-life programs are a wise investment. The question is … Which work-life model is right for your organization?

Two Basic Choices, One Big Difference

When it comes to work-life programs, employers can choose from two basic models: 1) the self-service model or 2) the call center model.

The self-service model gives employees access to online work-life resources such as articles, guidebooks and searchable databases (containing child care organizations, locations and contact information, for example). With this model, employees act as their own researchers and advocates, and they alone must find and utilize the resources that will help them most.

Call Center

The call center model, on the other hand, offers employees the same online resources but it also provides them with 24/7 access to a call center staffed by knowledgeable live specialists who are trained to answer questions, offer guidance and personally assist employees in resolving their issues. Call center specialists ensure that employees are aware of all of the helpful resources available to them and that they utilize the best possible resources for their needs. This is especially important, as the needs of many employees are complex and fraught with critical decisions to be made. Having the ability to call specialists 24/7 to seek consultation and guidance reduces employees’ stress, saves them time and keeps them focused and productive on the job.

Here are a few examples of typical work-life issues that impact employees and how they would go about resolving them under each model:

A backup care emergency—One of your employees has a special-needs toddler and her regular child care provider has suddenly taken ill. Under the self-service model, the employee searches an online database of alternate child care providers, hoping to find ones that are certified to handle special-needs children and within a reasonable distance of her commute. She then contacts providers until she finds one she’s happy with and makes the necessary arrangements. Or, if the search becomes too difficult or time-consuming, she may give up and choose to stay home from work.

Under the call center model, your employee can contact a highly trained specialist, day or night, to help her find reliable care. After learning the details of the situation, the specialist does in-depth research to find reliable care that’s available when the employee needs it and calls back to present the options. The specialist can even make the care reservation for your employee. This unbiased, personalized support is a relief during what can be a very stressful situation, where there’s a small window dictating whether your employee will be able to get care and get to work.

Breastfeeding Mom

Breastfeeding concerns—One of your employees is a soon-to-be or new mother and is feeling overwhelmed about breastfeeding her newborn. In addition, the stress of balancing breastfeeding and working can be a big challenge. Under the self-service model, she searches an online database of articles and guidebooks that may or may not address her specific concerns.

Under the call center model, your employee has 24/7, one-on-one access to certified lactation consultants to help her through challenges, answer questions and address concerns. This level of personalized assistance offers unparalleled peace of mind, especially for new parents.

 Eldercare challenges—One of your employees is caring for his aging father who is suffering from the beginnings of dementia. Under the self-service model, he searches for materials about the condition and how he needs to prepare to take care of his father’s changing needs. Again, these materials may or may not address his specific needs and challenges.

Under the call center model, this employee can connect with a senior care expert about all the challenges he is facing. The personal touch and tailored support can be a tremendous relief during a time that can be upsetting, confusing and overwhelming, allowing your employee to make informed decisions for his loved one’s care.

Greater Support Pays Serious Dividends

Obviously, the call center model offers advantages over the self-service model. Being able to talk with live specialists means employees get the help they need faster and with less stress than when they have to act as their own researchers and advocates. This increases program utilization and ROI—not to mention satisfaction and engagement levels. Employees also feel more supported, respected and cared-for when they have access to live specialists.

In 2018 alone, LifeCare’s work-life programs (the call center model) saved clients’ employees an average of nearly 13 hours per call—that’s time they would have spent resolving their issues, often during work hours—and 82% of employees say we reduced their stress levels. In addition, 72% of our members said our programs increased their overall productivity while 80% reported an increase in employee loyalty.

If you’d like to discuss how a comprehensive work-life program could serve your organization and its people, contact us here or call us at 1-(866) 675-3751.

The Benefits of Backup Care

The Benefits of Backup Care

Changes to an employee’s routine can be tough, especially for working families. They can be faced with unexpected challenges like inclement weather, illness, caregiver holidays or vacations and many other temporary disruptions for regular care arrangements. As those days add up, their work may start to suffer, leading to losses in productivity and engagement and increased stress, hurting both the employees, their coworkers and the organization’s bottom line.

In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 6.7% of payroll costs are due to unplanned employee absences. Additionally, the same study found that unplanned absences result in an average productivity loss of 36.6% and even impacts coworkers by adding to their workload, increasing stress, disrupting the work of others, hurting morale and reducing the quality of work.

That’s why a Backup Care benefit makes good business sense. Backup Care programs can help employees secure and pay for temporary care when their normal plans are disrupted, so they can get to work and focus with peace of mind knowing their loved ones are cared for. Here are some of the top benefits that a Backup Care program can offer:

Save the stress
When an employee gets that call saying their regular care arrangements are cancelled, panic will most likely set in and they’ll find themsleves scrambling. Will they have to miss work? Who will watch their loved one? Will they be safe? Having flexible backup care options available takes the stress out of those emergency care changes.

The power of choice
When employees are thrown off their regular routine, it’s nice to know that there is a flexible, dependable solution available. A backup care program can identify reliable, prescreened centers and in-home care providers in their area, even at the last minute. Some programs even allow employees to enlist and pay friends and family members that they know and trust.

Get employees work
It happens, your employee’s nanny gets sick, their daycare closes during a snow storm or their parent’s caregiver has a last minute emergency. Then they find themselves in a tough spot, forced to choose between staying home and caring for their loved one or getting to work. Your job can’t be put on hold and you don’t want constant absences to affect your career. Backup Care programs allow you to find reliable care, get to work with confidence and focus on your job knowing that your loved ones are in skilled hands.

Better for the budget
Scrambling for last minute care might force employees to pay for a higher priced option than they had budgeted for, or even face lost wages if they can’t find a suitable option and have to miss work. Backup Care programs offer access to a variety of low cost options so they don’t have to take a big hit to their bank account.

Not just for kids
Nowadays workers don’t just experience gaps in care for their children, they facing adult, pet and self care issues as well. With backup care programs they can get coverage for the entire family, not just their kids. This is also a high-value, inclusive employee benefit when you consider that you’re supporting your full workforce, not just parents that can help recruit and retain top talent.

Give peace of mind
It’s hard to leave loved ones in the care of someone else, especially when it’s a new provider. This can lead to increased presenteeism when employees are worried all day and unable to focus on their work. Best in class backup care programs will vet the caregivers that are available, so employees don’t have to start researching and interviewing from scratch.  The program can secure care on their behalf at a fully credentialed child care center or with a highly qualified in-home professional.

Plan ahead to get ahead
Sometimes it’s not just those last minute mishaps that throw employees for a loop. They might know well in advance that you’ll be facing a gap in care for a holiday, caregiver vacation or some other planned event, but they still need to find alternate care coverage. Backup care programs allow employees to reserve reliable temporary care in advance so they aren’t left hanging.

Business case for backup care
Employers benefit from offering Backup Care programs, too! Working parents can be distracted and stressed by family care concerns, drastically impacting their productivity. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies in the U.S. experienced an estimated $74 billion in direct costs and lost opportunities due to unplanned absences and over 20% of those absences were due to family issues including breakdowns in child and adult care.

As the provider of the industry’s most flexible backup care, with the highest placement and satisfaction rates in the industry, we see every day how this service can help working families. Our Backup Care Connection program gets more employees to work by offering unparalleled choice, flexibility and options for cost reimbursement. To learn more about how we can help you with your Backup Care needs, contact us here or call (833) 282-3366.

How Can Our Specialists Help?

Our specialists can find solutions for almost anything an employee may need, from the everyday to the one-of-a-kind.

In this video, our specialists talk about some of the many real ways they’ve helped our members find solutions. Available 24/7 to locate personalized solutions for all of our members, our highly trained specialists are experts in their fields so your employees don’t have to be.

To learn more about the many ways we can help your employees save time, money and stress, contact us here or call us at (866) 675-3751!