UO offers Care.com to help employees with caregiving needs

University of Oregon employees now have access to Care.com as an added resource to help find solutions to unique family care needs.

The university pays the monthly membership fee so employees can search caregiver profiles, post jobs and use the website’s extensive library of resources and tools.  

“Knowing that those you care for are taken care of while you are at work continues to be a top stressor for a large number of employees,” said Mark Schmelz, chief human resources officer. “We’ve contracted with Care.com to acknowledge the impact that caregiving responsibilities have on our employees and provide a new resource to assist with meeting individual caregiving responsibilities.”

Schmelz said adding Care.com to the menu of family resources available through work-life programs will not eliminate the pressure and stress that employees with caregiving responsibility may carry with them during their workday, but the university hopes that extending the new benefit will provide support and connect people to caregiving resources when needed.

Care.com membership is available to faculty members, officers of administration, classified employees and graduate employees. It is an online platform that helps members connect with caregivers in their area by searching the caregivers network or by posting a caregiver job and screening applicants.

Information and instructions for creating a Care.com account or applying UO benefits to an existing account are available on the HR website

The UO also offers caregiver networks to help employees connect with UO community members to find solutions to their caregiving needs. That includes the care provider network that connects members of the community with UO families needing caregiving and the shared care network that allows UO families to connect exclusively with other UO families seeking shared care arrangements.

It is important to recognize that employee experience at the UO does not start when an employee reports to work, Schmelz said. Providing benefits and resources that extend beyond the workplace are important to encouraging employee engagement.

“Employee engagement is an institutional priority, and human resources will continue to provide tools and resources to facilitate systemic change and sustainable progress,” Schmelz said. “Fostering a caring and supportive workplace is an important strategy to promote employee engagement.”

HR provides an employee engagement guide that includes information and resources about the importance of shared responsibility and the difference that engagement makes in the workplace. It also leverages resources available through Gallup and LinkedIn Learning to give managers and employees strategies.

Schmelz said prioritizing employee engagement at the UO is not about momentary action or a large-scale initiative; it is about the effort each person makes every day in every interaction.