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Work Life Trends: Forecasting Challenges for Tomorrow’s Successful EAP. Jeff Mintzer, MSW, CEAP, WLCP Federal Occupational Health Associate Director, Work/Life Services. Agenda. About Federal Occupational Health (FOH) The Employer Case for Work/Life Work/Life Trends That Impact EAP

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Work Life Trends: Forecasting Challenges for Tomorrow’s Successful EAP

Jeff Mintzer, MSW, CEAP, WLCP

Federal Occupational Health

Associate Director, Work/Life Services



About Federal Occupational Health (FOH)

The Employer Case for Work/Life

Work/Life Trends That Impact EAP

Key Initiatives and Best Practices




  • Created in 1946 by an amendment to the Public Health Service Act
  • Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management
  • Became fully reimbursable in 1984, operating with no Congressional appropriations

FOH Services

FOH works with 360 Federal Agencies

  • Comprehensive Occupational Health Services
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
  • Work/Life Services
  • Wellness/Fitness Centers
  • Health Promotion and Education
  • Environmental Health and Safety

FOH Program Objectives

Improve workplace productivity

Reduce employee absenteeism

Enhance employee morale

Improve recruitment and retention

Develop ‘employer of choice’ status

Improve the bottom line


Human Capitol Management Issues

Economic recovery will bring new challenges for retention and productivity

Retaining high performing employees; reducing brain drain

Managing to higher productivity is key to being more competitive

Managing costs is still priority #1

Workforce demographics are changing

48% of the U.S. Labor force is 40 or older!

Average age of federal work force is 48

Employees are more aware of the value of their benefits

A health-wealth connection is emerging among employers and their employees


The Case for Work/Life Support in the Federal Workplace

    • In May 2009, OPM Director John Berry cited “improving work life and workplace conditions” for federal employees within one year as a short-term goal1
      • Child care, elder care, telework and workplace health clinics were included as primary areas of focus
    • Improving work and family balance is a primary goal of President Obama’s White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families
    • VP Biden’s Task Force on Middle Class Working Families will focus on “helping parents keep their jobs while balancing family responsibilities”
    • 54% of federal government employees have either child care or adult dependent care needs, or both2
  • 1 Washington Post, May 27, 2009
  • 22006 dependent care survey, conducted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management

“Workplace flexibility isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s an issue that affects the well-being of our families and the success of our businesses. It affects the strength of our economy…..the workplaces and jobs of the future we need to complete in today’s global economy.”

President Obama, White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility, March 2010


Key Shifts in Work/Life Trends

Child care dominated the first 20 years of the work/life movement

Today, child care is still critical, but it is no longer the only focus

Elder care, aging and back up care issues have become increasingly important

The family unit has evolved to a new model of diversity and complexity

Wellness is no longer an optional concept

It impacts the workplace culture

It’s not limited to employees

Financial stability has become more critical

to the workforce

Flexibility and emotional resiliency are

increasingly critical to organizational success


Five Key Work/Life Trends

  • Caregiving
  • Health and Wellness
  • Financial Pressures
  • Evolving Needs the Non-Traditional Family
  • Flexibility and Resiliency

Caregiving: A Different Paradigm

Caregiving in the US has become a broader and more challenging responsibility

Close to 30 percent* of people in the US are responsible for caring for either children, adults or both; including disabled young people

Of this population, 73% of them are employed and face regular challenges that impact productivity and retention

For the past 3 years, FOH cases related to caregiving (adult and child) accounted for over 40% of all casework

In 2009, the percent of FOH adult care cases surpassed child care cases for the first time

*National Alliance for Caregivers, Caregiving in the U.S. 2009


Caregiving: Its Effect on Employees

The vast majority of caregivers – 70% - make significant changes to their work situation*

Leaving the workforce, working part-time, changing jobs, increased absenteeism and presenteeism are possible side effects

Caregiving has a significant impact on an individual’s physical, emotional and financial wellbeing

As the baby boomer generation ages, there will be a correlating increase in the number of workers who will become part-time caregivers for elderly loved ones

*National Alliance for Caregiving, Caregiving in the U.S. 2009. and 2008


Caregiving: Its Effect on Employers

  • The estimated average additional health cost to employers is 8% more for those with eldercare responsibilities - $13.4 billion more per year1
    • 11% more for blue-collar caregivers1
    • 18% more for male caregivers1
    • The average caregiver costs an employer $2,110 per year in lost productivity2
    • 18% of female adult caregivers miss an average of 33 work days per year due to caregiving demands3
    • 10% of male adult caregivers miss an average of 12 work days per year3
    • Employee absences and turnover related to adult care costs American employers as much as $33 billion per year2
    • The cost to replace the 2.4% of employees who leave work to be caregivers is $6.6 billion per year2
  • 1 MetLife, Working Caregivers and Employer Health Care Costs 2010
  • 2 Met Life Caregiving Cost Survey: Productivity Losses to U.S. Businesses, 2006
  • 3 National Alliance for Caregiving At-Risk Working Caregivers 2008

It’s estimated that 73% of caregivers also work regular, full-time jobs!

Source: AARP


Caregiving: Programs and Best Practices

  • Consultation and Education
    • Resource and Referral Service
    • Legal and Financial Consultations
    • Employee Assistance Programs
      • One-on-one counseling
      • Work-site based support groups
    • Backup Child and Adult Care
      • Professional Care Management Services
  • Professional Care Management (PCM)
    • Face-to-face and in-home assessments
    • Facility reviews
    • Post-hospitalization assessments
    • Customized care plans
    • Ongoing care coordination
    • Ongoing counseling and guidance
    • Worksite education and support

Health & Wellness: Current Situation

The number of employers offering wellness programs has doubled as more react to soaring medical costs and the demonstrated ROI of such programs:

    • Total health care costs have more than doubled in a decade—from $4,793 in 2001 to $11,058 in 2010—and are expected to continue increasing over the next 10 years1
    • 95% of companies say managing costs is a top business issue1
    • 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases2
    • Top 5 health co-morbidities driving productivity losses are depression, obesity, arthritis, back/neck pain, anxiety3
    • For every $1 spent on programs, $3.27 is saved in health care costs and $2.73 is saved in terms of absenteeism-related expenses4
  • 1 Hewitt, 2010 Annual Health Care Trends Survey
  • 2 CDC, Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2010
  • 3 Loeppke et al., JOEM 2009;51(4):411-428
  • 4 Health Affairs, February 2010

Health & Wellness: From the White House

  • President Obama praised the efforts of organizations that have seen their bottom lines improve by giving employees programs, incentives, and mechanisms to prevent disease
  • FOH FedStrive has been positioned as the focus for a holistic approach to effective delivery of EAP, Wellness and Work/Life
  • Pilots at HHS and OPM will identify linkages
  • Access current capabilities; inventory programs
  • Create awareness: market and communicate the model
  • Engage and deliver seamless integrated services on-site, telephonically and web-based
  • Measure and report on participation, engagement, outcomes
  • “As a result of many successful programs at businesses across the country, workers have become more engaged in their own health care, productivity is increasing, absenteeism is dropping, and employers are passing some of their healthcare savings to their workers.”
  • President Obama

Health & Wellness: FOH Programs and Best Practices

  • FOH
    • Web-based disease-specific Health Risk Assessments (HRAs)
    • Participation rate approaching 28%
  • Individualized Health Counseling
  • Agency Utilization Reports
  • Medical Screenings
    • Blood pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Glucose
    • Medical Screenings Paid by Employee or Insurance
    • Osteoporosis, Mammograms, Stroke Screenings, Prostate (PSA)

Legal and Financial Guidance

The economic situation has prompted a “Recessionary Thread”

70% of employees are highly concerned about the ability to pay bills during sudden income loss and 61% are concerned about having enough money to make ends meet1

51% of employees want advice about investing their retirement funds and 38% want advice about their financial needs1

EAP call volumes are 40% higher with cases emerging around coping with potential job loss, loss of a family member job, financial stress, legal stress, situational depression

FOH experienced a 45% increase in utilization of financial and

legal counseling services in the first quarter of FY 2009

1 MetLife 2010 Study of Employee Benefits Trends


Financial Guidance: Programs and Best Practices to Support Families in Crisis

  • Recognize and support “stress” associated with financial issues
  • Refer to the EAP and other employee support resources
  • Expand access to include household members
  • Offer free consultations with professionals
  • Produce educational programs, including seminars and workshops
  • Support access to online calculators and interactive resources
  • Provide ID theft and recovery services
  • Enable legal document preparation and review

The Non-Traditional Family: New Views

“The children and caregivers in grandfamilies face serious physical and mental health challenges and obstacles.”

Generations United: Fact Sheet Grandfamilies: The Challenges for the Second Family 2007

20 years ago day care was the primary work/life issue

There’s more diversity in the family structure

Single parenting

Grand parenting and guardianships

Multi-ethnic, multi-racial households

Gay and lesbian parenting

Adoption/foster parenting

With change comes new challenges and great opportunities

Today, flexibility and managing both “halves” of a busy life is more common

2.4 million of the nation's families are maintained by grandparents who have one or more of their grandchildren living with them ― an increase of 400,000 (19 percent) since 1990U.S. Census Bureau, 2000


The Non-Traditional Family: Challenges

Employer attitudes

Require more flexible work schedules

Financial issues

Legal issues around custody, support and parental rights

Challenges in getting access to benefits and medical coverage

Health and emotional needs of the “parent”

Housing needs

Changes in retirement plans

Barriers within the educational environment

Emotional and psychological issues that impact productivity

Impact on the development and skills of children


The Non-Traditional Family: Programs and Best Practices

  • “New” Best Practices
    • Senior management support
    • Recognition of the emotional impact
    • Celebrate diversity
    • Maintain boundaries between work and home
    • Hone time management skills
    • Reward performance at every level everyday
    • Develop partnerships to support this unique workforce
    • Develop of a new set of “benefits” to address the needs of new families

“New” Best Practices

Senior management support

Recognition of the emotional impact

Celebrate diversity

Maintain boundaries between work and home

Hone time management skills

Reward performance at every level everyday

Develop partnerships to support this unique workforce

Develop of a new set of “benefits” to address the needs of new families


Flexibility: The Benefits

Reduces health care costs and enhances employees’ overall health

Improves job performance and employee retention

Puts a positive spin on employee productivity, commitment and loyalty

Lowers absenteeism and turnover

Reduces hiring and re-training costs

Positions organization as “employer of choice”

job sharing sabbaticals telecommuting alternative hours caregiving leave programs

Flexibility: Programs and Best Practices

Job sharing



Alternative hours

Caregiving leave programs