Doulas And Other Caregiver Benefits Help With Employee Retention

Walmart recently announced it will be providing its employees in Georgia with a benefit that covers up to $1000 per pregnancy for the services of a doula. The employer reports it chose Georgia for the initial roll-out, thinking that is where it can have an "immediate positive impact in supporting healthy pregnancies."

Providing additional family-related benefits is an area of focus in employee benefits.

Survey results from show that 50 percent of employers surveyed plan to provide new or expanded childcare benefits for employees. Of those, 66 percent will add more work flexibility, and 63 percent plan to expand childcare support.

A possible reason for this move toward parental benefits may be found in a survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson in September of 2020. Twenty-five percent of the employers they surveyed reported losing employees due to growing caregiver responsibilities, while less than half believe their benefits adequately filled the needs of their employees.

In addition to adding new parental benefits, human resource experts believe a shift in workplace culture that is focused on supporting working parents is necessary to attract and retain quality employees. Ryan Golden "Walmart debuts doula benefit in Georgia" (Jul. 6, 2021).



The above article illustrates one example of a type of new added benefit.

A doula is a “trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth”.

Consider surveying your employees to identify specific areas in which your benefits may fall short of providing the support employees could utilize to enhance their productivity and home life. Then, create a list

of the ways, for example, in the area of family support, in which your organization supports families, during pregnancy and throughout all stages of care, and determine if more can be done.

As with all benefits, maintain equity in how you offer new benefits. Provide opportunities for both men and women and consider ways to provide similar benefits to workers without children. For example, employees who care for elderly parents may find flexible scheduling a useful benefit.

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