Editor's Note: This article is sponsored to you by Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo.
A high turnover rate is every company's worst nightmare. And unfortunately, many learn to just roll with the punches rather than acknowledging the issue directly, so the turnover percentage rate increases.
Employers who want to see a productive and healthy workplace should consider the mental health and struggles their employees are facing in their personal lives that could prevent them from doing their jobs.
Steve Cummins, Vice President of Mansfield Engineered Components, helps manage over 200 employees with three shifts available. In 2017, he noticed a large percentage of employees were facing challenges such as transportation, child care, healthcare, rent and mental health.
“There's a variety of things that can cause people to give up,” Cummins said. “People can be put into a position where they're on edge, where one little thing like a flat tire is going to impact them in a really negative way. It shouldn't be that way, but unfortunately, that's the way it is in a lot of cases.”
Cummins and the rest of upper management decided to address these issues head-on and figure out a way to make sure their employees could receive the help they needed so they wouldn’t have to leave for a preventable reason.
Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo’s 3E Project helps local businesses by taking care of their employees and helping them stay employed. The 3E Project goal is to empower, encourage and engage individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.
Catholic Charities staff provide services at the worksite and the 3E Project aims to promote workforce stability through employee support and coaching in tandem with jobsite leadership.
Onsite services are provided at a reasonable rate to the employer, and in comparison to turnover cost, it is minimal. In Richland County, agency services include the HOPE Food Pantry, prescription/medical bill assistance, financial literacy workshops, adult advocacy services and rent assistance. Financial assistance is provided as funding is available.
As a medium-sized company with limited resources, Mansfield Engineered Components has benefited from this program, and Cummin’s wants to reach as many employees as possible.
“We don't have the resources in-house to be able to immediately help every employee with every kind of challenge they might face, so our relationship with Catholic Charities was a match made in heaven,” Cummins said.
Over the past four years, Catholic Charities became a necessity for maintaining a healthy, positive environment in the workplace, Cummins said. Although there was some resistance from employees in the beginning, they were reassured that everything they said would be strictly confidential and they didn’t need to be Catholic to receive assistance. If the employee is not comfortable meeting at the jobsite, staff will meet with them at Catholic Charities’ office or other suitable location.
Catholic Charities provides a unique experience by coming on-site each week, Cummin’s said. They meet with employees, help them understand why they’re in their current situation and create a budget plan.
“My goal for every person that contacts Catholic Charities is for them to leave our conversation with my staff and myself having at least some hope and more information than when they contacted me initially,” said Rebecca Owens, regional director of Catholic Charities.
When Catholic Charities first began in 2016 focusing on a small clientele, the goal was to take a look at how they could help employees keep their jobs while they were still trying to figure out uncertainties regarding their personal lives that hindered them from maintaining employment. Today, that goal remains even more prominent after a record-breaking year of unemployment around the U.S.
Owens doesn’t want people to continue to rely on the resources provided by the community instead of getting a job and wants to help in any way possible.
“Our agency philosophy is to be a hand up, not a handout. We want to extend that hand,” Owens said.
Because they are a faith-based organization, Catholic Charities has more flexibility than some social service agencies. Part of their services involves crisis navigation where a crisis navigator will have lengthy conversations with clients about their current situation and help them get connected with resources - both internally and other community resources - to help address the immediate need but also the underlying issue that puts them in their position of need.
“We really want to help, we want people to be successful, to be able to take care of themselves, to be able to take care of their families, to have a good life and be good employees,” Owens said. “And whatever that looks like for us to help in that process, that's what we're here for.”
The Catholic Charities 3E Project is here to help employers help combat turnover and help their employees maintain their jobs. For assistance, call 419-524-0733 and ask for Brian Hunt.