Our C-suite began discussing the potential impact that the altered back-to-school plans could have on our organization a couple of months ago and, in the beginning, there were a lot of “what if” scenarios. Getting decisive information from our schools on their plans was tough, as many school systems in our area seesawed on their decisions up to the last minute. So while we waited for final plans from the schools, we decided to get a better understanding of what employees and departments would be most impacted across our credit union.
We have been utilizing our HR information system, Paycom, to survey employees throughout the pandemic, so it made a lot of sense to turn to that tool for getting more information about the back-to-school issue. (Most of our employees use Paycom on a daily basis, which makes it easy for them. It is also simple for our HR team to use to create, distribute and monitor the surveys.)
We began by asking employees if they had children in school, the ages of their children and the schools those children would be attending. We tracked all of these responses and, as those schools of concern began announcing their official plans, we added that information to our master list. That allowed us to have a clearer picture of the potential impact to our staffing.
From there, we considered what resources we could provide our employees. It became obvious that there is no “one size fits all” solution. Every family is different and every situation is unique. Again, we found that we needed a little more information from our staff. This time we sent out an all-employee communication explaining our concerns and desire to assist our employees, noting that flexibility and understanding across our credit union would be required to get us through this next phase. We asked all employees with children to fill out a form that walked them through their available options (such as employer-paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Act, credit union paid time off, etc.), captured which of those options they might need to utilize, and asked for their feedback on alternative options not currently in place that would be helpful for their particular situation.
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