I was on the Workday Ventures analyst call yesterday and they had one of their new venture partner companies, Wellthy, and their CEO, Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, on to discuss her company and experience, etc.
Wellthy is a fascinating company, especially when you take into context the current demographics of the U.S., and really all industrialized countries. Wellthy is a digital care concierge service. Think about taking care of aging parents and how you have to deal with the logistics and administrative burden on top of everything else. This is where Wellthy steps in and helps families with this burden.
Lindsay said something profound that stuck with me in terms of how they look at each family and their ability to care for their family: “Who is in your circle of care?” Meaning, when you need help, who are those who will take care of you. What her company finds is it’s almost always the parents. For so many people, this is problematic and that problem is growing as we live longer and a larger portion of the population ages.
It’s not just helping to take care of aging parents, although that is a giant issue, it’s also how we care for our own children, or extended family with needs, maybe even a close friend or neighbor who relies on us (their circle of care).
I’ve written before about how helpful my personal board of directors has been to me over my career with big decisions. I never thought about my circle of care!
Can you write down your circle of care network?
Immediately I have my wife. She’s the CEO of the Timmy circle of care network. I would also put in my Dad, even though he’s about to turn 80, if something happened to me, he would do whatever he could to care for me. My three sons would also be in there, but honestly, until this moment, I never even thought of them in that context. But they are adults and if something happened I know they would gladly find me a home! (just kidding – they wouldn’t be happy about the price and money being taken out of the estate!)
Beyond family, I have my co-workers that probably know more about my medical issues than most of my family. I mean we spend so much time together, so I’m guessing they would also be considered part of that circle of care. I have some neighbors and friends that would help out in a pinch from time to time, as I would do that for them as well.
As I write all of this down, god damn, I’m a pretty lucky person. I can count on a lot of people in my circle of care.
Unfortunately, most of our employees aren’t so lucky. Many have almost no one that they could count on within their circle of care. This is why Wellthy and this type of technology are growing quickly within the HR Tech landscape. We no longer live in a world where we can expect to keep their personal lives at home and not have it impact their work life. So, the best companies will find ways to support an employee’s circle of care.
It’s interesting if you think about it, at every age we need care and support. Some of us are lucky to have that robust circle of care along the way, but many will never have it, or have it and lose it, or not have it and gain it. All of our employees will be at different levels of support, no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, etc. As health care issues are taking a national stage currently, it’s important for us as leaders to rethink how we are supporting our employees and their wellbeing.