Sustaining and growing a healthy business requires a stable and productive workforce. Employers with economically and socially diverse workforces can often experience challenges in supporting their workers. Lost time and staff turnover due to non-work related issues experienced by employees directly affects productivity, work quality and hence, the bottom line.
The United @ Work program is an employee collaborative that develops and shares effective initiatives and policies to help improve productivity, satisfaction, retention and advancement of their workforce. The goal of United @ Work is to assist businesses in stabilizing their workforce, thus strengthening their bottom line.
Core components of the program include:
There are four core components of United @ Work. An employer can engage with any of the four components -- they are not mutually exclusive. If you have questions, please reach out to Suzanne Waldren at suzanne[at]unitedwayaddisoncounty.org or 802-388-7189.
1. Employer Workgroup
Join us at our bimonthly meetings, where employers share information and develop creative solutions to common employee productivity and retention challenges. The Employer Workgroup provides a space for Windham County business owners and managers to share their experiences and learn from each other.
In past meetings we have explored:
Employee benefits & Wellness programs
Employee advancement and support
2. Resource Coordination
This fee-for-service, on-site support for employees helps to address non-work challenges that may affect employees' work-life.
What does a Resource Coordinator bring to your organization?
Convenient, workplace-based assistance to employees and their immediate family members around non-work related issues
Provides basic resource counseling and make referrals to other departments and agencies for needed services
Acts as part of the HR-EAP continuum and provides value added services that are not already provided
Provides communications to both employers and employees through multiple channels about the variety and accessibility of local resources.
3. Workforce Training
We have partnerned with a local agency to Topics include developing tools to promote employee skills and confidence, supporting employee advancement, generational poverty’s effect on successful employment, and developing effective workplace policies.
4. Financial Wellness @ the Workplace
Programs which support the financial wellness of employees include:
Financial Seminars throughout the year
Free on-site tax preparation services - VITA & MyFreeTaxes.com
Emergency "Income Advance" Loan Program (through local Credit Union)
Interested in learning more about proven strategies to improve attendance, retention and advancement of your employees?
Contact Suzanne Waldren, United@Work Workplace Resource Coordinator at 802-388-7189 or suzanne[at]unitedwayaddisoncounty.org.
The U@W program was conceived from the belief that a steady job is the most reliable step on the pathway to financial stability and with the understanding that barriers such as childcare, reliable transportation, and acute/sudden financial emergencies risk derailing good employees. The program is a public-private, multi-sector employer collaborative that creates business solutions to improve workplace productivity, retention, advancement – and financial stability for employees.
Using the workplace as a platform for social services, the U@W approach focuses on relationships, resources, and retention to build financial stability. Through shared resources, employers can minimize employment barriers for their low-to-moderate wage workers and maximize the supports employees utilize to be successful and improve their lives. At the same time, participating businesses benefit by an increase in employee productivity, retention, and advancement - and a decrease in absenteeism. U@W is aligned directly with the Financial Stability priorities of its community impact agenda.
Two local institutions signed on as founding Addison County collaborators: Middlebury College and UVM Health Network @ Porter Medical Center. We thank them for their early interest and their ongoing commitment and participation.
Here are some short stories about what recepients of the United@Work program experience:
" An employee came to me because her roommate was moving out and she was going to be responsible for paying $750.00 a month for rent, and she only makes $1,200.00. She was concerned about making up the other half of the security deposit that the roommate was going to get back upon moving out. She was also concerned about how she was going to afford food. I was able to turn her to a few resources in our community that might help relieve some of these pressures for her. When I followed up with her a couple of weeks later, she happily reported that H.O.P.E was able to help her with the full amount of the security deposit; she signed up for 3Squares VT benefits (which she was not aware existed) to help offset the cost of groceries, and she enthusiastically expressed that things are looking up in her life and receiving this help has inspired her to make positive changes in other areas of her life."
"A gentleman came to U@W, unable to pay his current month’s rent and was behind because of the fees being charged to him by the leasing company due to late payments. We contacted CVOEO/Housing Solutions, and told them his situation. They called us back and informed us that his leasing company was illegally charging the fees, and was able to call the company and significant amount of fees terminated for him and his wife."
"A woman called wanting to advance in her job, but was concerned that she didn’t have the skills needed to acquire the position. I encouraged her to contact VT Adult Learning, where she could get some of the training necessary to help her reach her goals for job advancement." There are many more stories like these in our community!
To learn more about U@W in Addison County, click here. To discuss the possibility of your business joining the collaborative, contact Suzanne Waldren, United@Work Coordinator, at 802-388-7189 or email@example.com.