James Ashwell was a 25 year-old strategy consultant with the global consulting firm Accenture when he received a phone call at work informing him that his dad, just 64, had died suddenly a few hours previously.
Looking after my mum in her final years, ensuring that she could stay happily and safely in her own home, and that she always had things to look forward to, was the most important thing I have done in my life – and I imagine will remain so.
Twenty odd years ago, few big businesses embraced responsible business. Those that did tended to adopt particular aspects such as tackling pollution, race & gender equality or supporting urban and community regeneration.
You might be familiar with the classic definition of sustainable development as formulated by the Brundtland Commission in 1987: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Today, we might more immediately define sustainable development as how 9-10 billion people will live at least reasonably well, within the constraints of One Planet, by mid-century.
David Grayson says smart employers understand the business case for helping the growing number of older employees with caring responsibilities.
There could be as many as 300 million caregivers in the global workforce providing care for loved ones. Take Care is a practical guide that enables employers to better understand and support employees with caring responsibilities. It presents this as part of good management practice that strengthens organisational resilience and sustainability, and also argues that this is now an integral element of being a responsible employer and organisation.
I went half-time in my job at Cranfield to look after my mum in her final years. Like many others, I hadn’t thought of myself as a ‘carer’ early on - just someone doing what they wanted to do for a parent who’d always cared for me. And I struggled. My social and professional circles narrowed, efforts at staying fit were abandoned.
Employers large and small need to take care! They are at risk of losing some of their most valued and valuable employees. They will not lose these employees to competitors or to self-employment but to the employees’ loved ones, for whom the employees have significant caring responsibilities.