In the past, social sector employment was often associated with better work-life balance and a more understanding and supportive culture. For many people, these factors were a compelling reason to prefer a social sector career to a for-profit one (alongside altruistic reasons, of course). 

Increasingly however, corporates have woken up to the benefits of employee wellbeing and seem in many ways to be stealing the social sector's crown. Deloitte, for example, has recently announced that employees can claim up to 16 weeks paid leave if they have to care for a family member, including children, spouse or parents (see quote below). 

This decision is to be applauded, because it recognises that it is not only the birth of a child that can create significant caring responsibilities - and it is not only people of parenting age who have family commitments. Accidents, illnesses, and mental health issues can happen to anyone, and with our health and social services increasingly stretched, it often falls to family or friends to care for loved ones who need support. 

Those working in evaluation and impact analysis should pay particular attention to this issue. It is our job to ensure that social sector organisations have a positive impact on service users and the wider community - staff wellbeing must take second place. Nonetheless, by promoting employee wellbeing and supporting staff with caring responsibilities, organisations can achieve a wider range of positive impacts for a greater number of people - and, in all likelihood, avoid some negative impacts as well. 

How does your organisation promote employee wellbeing? Do you assess the impact of your organisation's policies and culture on staff? I'm interested in your thoughts - please comment or find me on LinkedIn or Twitter