GreenPath Financial Wellness is a national nonprofit organization that provides financial counseling, education, and products to empower people to lead financially healthy lives. Headquartered in Michigan, GreenPath, along with its affiliates, has more than 50 locations across the United States.
In the face of unprecedented disruption caused by the global pandemic, GreenPath Financial Wellness strategically responded at a record-level pace. “Our business decisions put people at the center of each initiative – from quickly mobilizing 99% of our team to remote work while maintaining uninterrupted client services, to launching employee-centered programs that reduce worry and stress,” explained Julie Crichton, manager of employee experience.
GreenPath carefully considers the human toll when making business decisions. The COVID-19 crisis response plan was built on GreenPath’s core principle of human-centered design. From early March to the present, leadership listens and acts to meet human needs – supporting employees, clients and partners through intentionally designed initiatives.
99% Remote Workforce: Safety is GeenPath’s top priority. A rapid-response crisis team was quickly mobilized to transition 99% of the workforce to remote operations. Employees obtained the technical infrastructure and procedures for optimal efficiency. Nearly 500 workers across 50 locations transitioned to working remotely prior to the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order.
Employee Communications: To empower employees during a time of rapid change, GreenPath’s Executive Team shares daily video updates on the company’s intranet. In addition, GreenPath convenes timely Virtual Town Halls covering crisis plans and reentry timing. The company also built an extensive COVID-19 resource center on the employee intranet. This information hub showcases useful resources and serves as a place for collaboration and connection for team members across the country. Employees report feeling informed and cared for through these timely and transparent communications.
Flexible Schedules: In response to employees who lost access to steady child care or those who have taken on the responsibility of home schooling, GreenPath provided flexible schedules to incorporate longer lunches and breaks, 4×10 schedules, and other flex-time arrangements to meet family needs.
Employee Outreach: Employees expressed a need for coping resources during this time of stress and uncertainty. Leadership responded with small group outreach. From the earliest days of the crisis, the employee experience team personally connected with 10-15 employees each day to check in and address needs. Empathy Coaches and the Employee Experience team provide virtual educational programs lead by trained empathetic communication professionals. Small group workshops cover self-care techniques to help employees manage stress.
Grant Circles: As a nonprofit with a goal of helping people improve financial health, GreenPath recognizes the peace of mind that comes with having access to extra funds in times of crisis. GreenPath developed and launched the Grant Circle Employee Hardship Fund, a new resource to help employees experiencing sudden loss of household income. Team members are invited to apply for a grant up to $1,000 from the Grant Circle. Funds are sent to employees as quickly as a few hours.
Confidential Cash Flow Planning Sessions: Employees concerned about their household finances can access confidential one–on–one cash flow planning sessions to ensure they are staying financially healthy and planning ahead.
Unemployment: The Employee Experience Team works with the families of employees to help them apply for unemployment.
COVID Paid Time Off (PTO) Buyout: “To ensure that our employees and their families are financially stable during this unprecedented time, GreenPath quickly offered employees the option to cash out available accrued unused PTO,” said Crichton.
Graduation Gifts: For all GreenPath children who couldn’t walk or celebrate their graduation, the company celebrated them by sending personalized cards and gifts to their home.
Through strategic employee-centered initiatives, GreenPath Financial Wellness has been working diligently to put the needs of their staff first. How is your organization comforting employees, encouraging positive mental health, and maintaining engagement and productivity during COVID-19? Share your story.