Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace Post COVID-19

Webinar Series

Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace Post COVID-19

REGISTER NOW

The COVID-19 crisis gave us an opportunity to see the world in an entirely new way. As the dark cloud of the global pandemic slowly lifts, America is waking up to a new world with new challenges. But out of every great challenge, there is always an opportunity for great innovation and leadership. 

The 19th Annual Edelman Trust Barometer listed the year 2019 as the year of “Trust at Work,” but the employee-employer bond won’t be the same when the world returns to normal. Now more than ever, this is a time for HR and people leaders to step up and repair that bond of trust. Join our industry experts for a live discussion on this topic and hear updates from the 19th Annual Edelman Trust Barometer.

View On-Demand

Guest Speakers

Jeanniey Walden

Chief Innovation & Marketing Officer

DailyPay

Barbie Winterbottom

CEO

Business of HR

In this webinar you will learn about…

  • How the workforce in recovery will come to expect more than a work-life balance; they will be looking for more of a work-life blend;
  • Why creating a pay experience can help you to reach a “new normal” and rebuild your business faster;
  • Why empowering American workers with a pay experience is an impactful way to rebuild employer-employee trust in the post-COVID-19 workplace.
VIEW ON-DEMAND

Webinar Transcript – 60 minutes

Natalie:

Hi, good morning or good afternoon everyone depending on where you are. I’m Natalie from DailyPay’s event team, and I’d like to welcome you to today’s webinar on rebuilding trust in the workplace. Before we get started, I’d like to go over a few items so you know how to participate in today’s event. You will have the opportunity to submit text questions to today’s presenters by typing your questions into the question pane of the control panel. You may send in your questions at any time during the presentation. We will collect these and address them during the Q&A session at the end of today’s presentation. We encourage any and all questions to be sent our way. I would now like to introduce Jeanniey Walden, DailyPay chief innovation and marketing officer. And Barbie Winterbottom CHRO and people expert. Jeanniey, take it away.

Jeanniey Walden:

Thanks so much and welcome everybody to today’s webinar. I am so excited to be talking about this topic and conversation regarding trust in the workplace. But even more excited to have one of my great friends and HR expert with me today on the webinar, Barbie Winterbottom. And Barbie I’m going to ask you to introduce yourself in a minute, but I really just wanted to let you know that if you’re listening today, you are in for a real treat. Barbie is the de-facto expert in building organizations from an HR perspective and establishing trust inside them. So we’ve saved all our hard questions for you Barbie. Do you want to introduce yourself to the audience?

Barbie Winterbottom:

Well, thank you for that Jeanniey. That was very, very gracious introduction. So thank you. Yes, I’m excited to be here as well. I have been in the human resources people space for my entire career, which is more years than I at this point care to acknowledge. But I love it. I have a passion for working with organizations and people and really helping build the emotional connection between employees and employer.

Barbie Winterbottom:

I’m excited to have this conversation around trust. I actually recently did a mini LinkedIn series of videos around trust in the workplace and leaders. And I think this is just a great follow-up to that. So I’m excited to share this time with everyone, especially my friends at DailyPay, but everyone on the call as well.

Jeanniey Walden:

Fabulous. All right. So if you’re ready to get started, I’m ready to get started. And for the audience, I would please ask, send in questions. These webinars are fantastic as we give you overviews and insights, but they’re even better when you send in real life questions that you have. And you’ve got an incredible team to talk to today.

Jeanniey Walden:

So we’ve set up the next 60 minutes an interesting way. We’re going to share some insights and data with you to get started, because what we’ve noticed throughout the pandemic is that DailyPay while being an on demand pay provider has also turned into like the inside scoop and inside line for what’s going on with hiring, retention, and engagement across every industry. As we’re working really closely with so many companies of different sizes to help them maintain their services throughout COVID, rebuild, reopen, and even through that furloughing part that none of us really enjoyed.

Jeanniey Walden:

So we’re going to talk about how the workforce recovery is actually setting up expectations for a more work life balance. But even more than that work life blend. And I got to give a shout out to Tara, the chief marketing officer over at Eventium. She’s the one that came up with the phrase, work life blend, and we’ve kind of borrowed it from her since then. But it’s such a great way to describe what’s happening with the economy and going forward expectations.

Jeanniey Walden:

We’re also going to talk about why Pay could possibly be the biggest element or biggest lever in creating that incredible employee experience in a savings and cost savings type of environment that helps you reach the new normal and get back to business faster. And then finally, why every working American deserves a pay experience, if not for them individually, for their families as we go through this. And how that helps to build employer employee trust in the post COVID-19 workspace.

Jeanniey Walden:

So with that said I just wanted to share a few stats about what we have been seeing in retrospect, as far as trust goes. And Barbie would love for you to weigh in on this. We did an analysis when we were getting ready for the webinar to look at the employer employee relationship and how it’s really evolved over the past two decades, which is crazy. Because in my mind it seems like yesterday when this all happened. But we’ve been watching how trust has become a more critical element inside the workplace as more traditional benefits and the traditional workplace, as we knew it before, Y2K happened has been changing. When we started to see a world that went from offering pension plans into 401(k)s, even with contributions, it started to erode a little bit of trust in the employer.

Jeanniey Walden:

When we went through the last recession and people lost their jobs and received pay cuts, it started to erode some more trust in the workplace. When in 2005, we saw trust shifting from authorities to peers where you’d rely on your managers and your peer group to decide, is this a great place to work? Do they care as much about me as I care about my job and taking care of my family? And can I rely on my company as I build my career and build my future?

Jeanniey Walden:

It’s been an interesting journey. Barbie, I’d love to get your perspective on the journey of trust in the workplace and how we finally seem to hit the nail on the head in 2019. And then everything went crazy with the pandemic.

Barbie Winterbottom:

Yeah. The wheels just came right off. Didn’t they? Yeah, it’s interesting. I love the graphic and where I see significant alignment in what this graphic tells us is if we think about the different generations within our workforce today and the generations that were in the workforce pre 2001. At that point in time, the workforce was made up primarily of baby boomers and the silent generation, right?

Barbie Winterbottom:

And those folks often had behaviors of you keep your head down, you go to work, you have one employer for your entire career. You live to work. And so trust with the employer, it wasn’t even a conversation because you did what you were expected to do. You didn’t ask questions. And the relationship between employee and employer was so different than it has evolved into today. Our society was very different, right?

Barbie Winterbottom:

The government post-war was very much the hero. There was a lot of patriotism. So people did not question authority the way the generations of gen X and millennials and Z do. I think that it’s completely reflected here on this particular slide of where things start to change because as many of us in the workforce today didn’t experience World War I, World War II. All of those external forces that earlier generations did face questions start to rise. And when questions start to come up perspective and perceptions start to change. And we no longer work to live or live to work. Right? We now work to live. We now go to work because we are choosing a specific employer. We are now going to work so that we can pay for and do the things outside of work we want to do.

Barbie Winterbottom:

And it’s a very different perspective and approach to our relationship with work. And while on the previous slide I noticed, and you called out the term work life blend. I almost think of it and take it a step further Jeanniey as it’s work life integration, right? Because we are working from home. We are on vacation answering emails, taking calls.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So it is a true integration between all the different components of our lives as a person. And we are creating a reality we want. And so we are questioning all of these other external influences in ways we never did, because if it doesn’t align with what I know, I want for my life and my family, I’m not simply just accepting it because I don’t have to. Take COVID out of the picture. But the unemployment rate was the lowest it’s ever been in how many years. People didn’t have to accept what they were told as the only source of truth, because there was so many options for them from employment to media and everything else. So I definitely think this is on the right path. And when you think about generations in the workforce, it makes total sense.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah, for sure. And I love that you brought up the generations in the workforce and we don’t have the slide in this webinar. But pre-COVID, we were always talking about the new type of employee is called a MAGGIE, a millennial and gen Z who gets instant everything. And when you think about it that is the new generation of the workforce. They’re used to ordering food on demand, a car on demand, a hotel on demand, or just any kind of Airbnb as well as products on demand with Amazon Prime, streaming any movie under the sun. Which I think we’ve all watched many of over the pandemic. And thank goodness we have the on demand for that. But when you come to expect immediacy, and you’ve got this new generation in the workforce that also are looking for experiences, employee experience moves to the top of the funnel.

Jeanniey Walden:

And a lot of employees we found were looking for employers who could create an experience for them, where they could trust their employer to give them the best work life balance when they came to work.

Jeanniey Walden:

So it’s amazing and very exciting that we’ve gotten to that point. Unfortunately and then this happened, right? The pandemic comes out and we start to see everything that we knew, no matter what generation we were in, go sideways. And at DailyPay, we have a workforce index and we’re huge data fans. So we’ve been following that inside scoop, as I mentioned before, and taking a look at how personal finances have changed throughout the crisis. And in the case of DailyPay, when people are taking their money out early, what are they taking it out for? And before COVID happened, I had to laugh because on Valentine’s Day we saw 68% of people who took money out earlier than their paycheck.

Jeanniey Walden:

They took it out on Valentine’s Day and they took it out. And the reason that they said they took it out, was to buy a Valentine’s Day gift, which just made me laugh. It’s like the last minute holiday that all of us do on the day of Valentine’s day. But outside of that, we don’t traditionally see huge spikes and changes in the way that people use their pre-pay day money. And then when COVID happened on March 30th, when everybody was in a little bit of a hysteria and everyone started to work from home and nobody knew what was going to happen, we saw a 400% increase in COVID related usage due to the media hype. People were saying, I’m taking money out early. I need to buy hand sanitizer. I need to buy masks. I need to buy more diapers, I have a baby at home. I need to buy gas because I need to go to college and pick up my daughter who’s stranded there. I need to fly my family to a safe place where we can all shelter in place together, back then the term that they were using.

Jeanniey Walden:

There really was a lot of usage to get ready for something. When people didn’t know if they were going to be allowed out of their house, if they were going to still have a job, if stores were even going to be open, especially grocery stores to get supplies that they needed. So that really hit home for us. And we started to think about, wow, these are employees who thanks to their employers, have the ability to do this. And we started to ask employees how much they value their employer at this time.

Jeanniey Walden:

And we saw it go up into the high 90s. So not necessarily as much trust as at least value, which is underlying by trust. But it was kind of fantastic to see. And then we started to see the shift change, where people were extremely, employees were extremely grateful from that mid-March to beginning of April timeframe. To be able to get their money out as they earned it to buy groceries, because now everyone’s home and people are eating out of house and home, especially my house where I’ve got a teenage daughter. As well as what surprised me, we saw a lot of people saying they needed money early to cover their cell phone bill. And for a while, we were scratching our heads and thinking what in the world happened that no one can pay their cell phone bill all of a sudden.

Jeanniey Walden:

And then we realized that people didn’t have unlimited data plans. And so it was very interesting to us that people were adjusting to this new normal and doing a lot of data streaming, a lot of video watching, a lot of Zoom calls and sharing pictures. And they needed that data and bandwidth to kind of stay in touch.

Jeanniey Walden:

We continue to follow it through April and we saw this slow decline, which made us happy in COVID related usage. We saw less people were saying, I have a coronavirus. We saw less people saying my family member has coronavirus. Sadly, we saw people that were taking money out to support funeral ceremonies, memorials for people who passed away. But we started to see an increase in traditional living expenses. Now, normally that wouldn’t stand out to us because we quite often see employees using DailyPay to cover a rent shortage or a mortgage shortage.

Jeanniey Walden:

But this did start to stand out because so many housing expense organizations like mortgage companies and landlords, and even water companies, electric companies. Everybody was starting to do forgiveness programs. When we started to dig into it, we started to see that towards the end of the month and even still in today, there’s a significant impact to the family household, which we haven’t seen in the past. Where me as an individual employee, I might make more than enough money to cover my monthly bills. I might even have a savings account that has four months’ worth of expenses in there, but someone in my family, either my spouse, my roommate, my significant other, a parent, or even an older child has been affected by COVID. They’ve had to take a pay cut. They’ve lost their job. They’ve lost their job and filed for unemployment, but like in New Jersey, it takes a good six weeks before the filing gets processed and even longer to get a check.

Jeanniey Walden:

We’re starting to see where thanks to an employer, providing DailyPay to the employee. They can take the money out early that they normally wouldn’t have to spend to cover the income from the other party in short term temporarily, while everyone gets back on their feet and figures out how to get into that new work life blend.

Jeanniey Walden:

And especially as we’re starting to see more and more businesses open up and people starting to go back to work, we’re still seeing that need for the early access to take care of expenses that historically were managed by the family. And now are falling on the one person who has access to their money when they need it. Instead of forcing them to wait for payday, to take care of things like childcare. When both people are going back to work, but your child is still in school and doing online school. Or for the states where they’re out of school and you would historically have summer camps that are not starting. So you still need some sort of childcare, parental care, and changes of the like.

Jeanniey Walden:

So what we’ve seen is there’s been this whole shift. It’s almost the world as we know it went on pause. And work as we know it has been shattered to the point where it’s not a nice to have DailyPay. If you’re a company trying to establish trust with your employee and trying to make sure that your employees are financially secure, it’s become a necessity. And we think that is the new normal, not just for the next three months, but probably the next 18 months. To the point where we even got DailyPay employees, family, and friends to get together and create a little video about it, which I know we’re going to show in a second. But before we do Barbie, I don’t know if you wanted to add commentary from what you’re seeing inside the workplace and being on the front lines working with companies that have had to furlough employees or seen productivity go down and start to come back up now.

Barbie Winterbottom:

Yeah, absolutely. I think the slide is a great reminder of everything that has happened since the beginning of March. We’ve lost that kind of time based continuum perspective over the past three months. And when you think about the impact on employees in my own organization and in other organizations that I work with, it’s really sad at times and interesting at others when you have this particular crisis and folks are laid off or furloughed, even terminated depending on the individual organization.

Barbie Winterbottom:

And the impact that it could have on a family and how it can spin and create a snowball effect is scary to many of those folks who have been impacted. And if you are the person working, supporting either yourself or others, and you have a life event that happens on top of this crisis something as simple as a flat tire can truly cause a downward spiral that we don’t necessarily think about, but can cause significant harm to an individual.

Barbie Winterbottom:

If we take the flat tire scenario and an hourly worker who may be a paycheck to paycheck person, their hours have been reduced and they’re trying to get to work. They have a flat tire. They may not have AAA. So how are they going to pay for that tire to get the tow truck out there. Then the cost of the tire. They’re now on top of the expense of the actual equipment that they need to fix their car, they’ve also lost work hours, which further puts them behind from an income perspective.

Barbie Winterbottom:

They may also be incurring attendance points, their attendance occurrences. So there’s some punitive repercussions on that end. Or maybe they would have to write a check that they may or may not be able to afford. And then they would be incurring checks fees. So DailyPay provides an essential service to these folks because it can mitigate the impact that something as simple as a flat tire could have on an individual or a family.

Barbie Winterbottom:

And on top of that, especially if they have had an impact from a furlough or a layoff. So I think you’re spot on with employee expectation going forward is that an employer looks at them holistically versus a single dimension.

Barbie Winterbottom:

They’re more than just someone who walks in, clocks in, makes a product and goes home. They’re whole people with whole lives. And we have to, as employers start supporting them from a holistic perspective. And one thing that we are hearing now, and we are going to continue to hear is employee wellbeing and financial wellbeing is a big part of that. And in my experience, employees have a huge lift in their overall financial wellbeing with DailyPay and the ability to access these funds as needed to help pay for these life events that happen to all of us. And it really can change and prohibit some serious implications, but they may not be able to get out of.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So I would 100% agree that employers need to look at this type of service for their employees as a must have in order to create a workforce that is happy with their employer. Because COVID is a point in time. It will come to an end. And the way we treat our employees today is going to dictate the culture of our organizations in the future. And this is one element an organization can offer that can help lay the foundation for the culture of the future being employee centric. I think you’re spot on there Jeanniey.

Jeanniey Walden:

Awesome. Well, good to know we’re on the right track. So I do want to just take a minute. It is exactly one minute and show this video and then we’ll roll into some stats and talk about more about how we balance the bottom line against health safety and other public priorities. So hopefully technology is on my side.

[Pay Different Video]

Speaker 2:

We could have run when the world pressed pause. We decided to live and love life instead.

Speaker 3:

Hi, Nana. We’re on a bike ride.

Speaker 2:

We decided to create new ways to celebrate the ones we care about and discovered new heroes to cheer on. We are strong, we are resilient. We don’t give up. So as we go back to work, we now have an opportunity to give what is essential to the essential worker. We get to choose to do it right. And we are resolved to do it all different, to live different, to work different.

Speaker 4:

Excited to start another week.

Speaker 2:

To pay different because life doesn’t stop between paychecks. DailyPay, pay different.

Jeanniey Walden:

Awesome. I’m glad the video worked. I think it’s really true. The reason that we wanted to share this video is because it’s been a challenging time. There has been a lot of negativity, a lot of sad news. It’s been so hard for us, but there is hope. And we truly believe that working with great leaders like yourself, Barbie, we have an opportunity to really rethink things and do it right. So we establish that trust with employees and we give them a very solid future. And when we look at how that relates to Pay, I think we saw through some surveys that we did some really interesting statistics. One out of six people, 16% of people that applied for new jobs over the time of the pandemic actually sought out companies that would pay them daily.

Jeanniey Walden:

That access to cash was a critical element to them and almost a criteria. 80% of them say that their satisfaction with their employer has improved. Once they started offering DailyPay, they felt more secure, they felt trust. 78% said that they’re using DailyPay and they’re able to avoid late fees as a result.

Jeanniey Walden:

In fact, we did this one study that showed the average person is saving $1205 a year in overdraft fees, late fees, and non-sufficient fund fees. And we’ve even got messages from employees who say that they’re able to use DailyPay to pay bills off early to improve their credit score.

Jeanniey Walden:

And what’s great for us is 70% of them don’t have to take out predatory loans because having to take out a predatory loan on top of a situation where your pay is cut or you’ve been furloughed. Or someone in your household has, and you’re looking at just accumulation of debt is never, never great.

Jeanniey Walden:

So I think when I go to the next slide, I ask the question of how do you balance the bottom line of a companies who are also all struggling and trying to get back to a status where they can feel comfortable in their business and not be in jeopardy of losing their entire business against the health safety and other public priorities. So Barbie, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

Barbie Winterbottom:

Here’s the big question. I think a lot of organizations are looking at all the different implications that COVID brings to the table. And then from a future look this may not be the last time we go through this type of crisis, right? We don’t know. And how do we manage all of that? So one of the biggest areas is the work from home model where folks are now realizing they can do many of their jobs in the safety and protection of their own spaces.

Barbie Winterbottom:

There are also people who have to go into work. If you work in a manufacturing or a production space or fast food or groceries, there are so many organizations that can’t do their jobs at home. So it’s just finding the balance there of what is and isn’t considered an offering that would be helpful.

Barbie Winterbottom:

What I think is great about your product is that it doesn’t matter where they’re working. It is an enhancement to their overall wellbeing. And when we think about safety and health being able to have access to medications or PPE or whatever, you may need to make it through a certain event is critical.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So I am such a firm believer that people are going to want to be cautious. And they’re going to want to feel secure, that they’re able to have access to the items they need to keep themselves and their families safe. And in order to do that, they need access to their money. And so being able to access through DailyPay. So they can go out to CVS, if they need to, to buy medication. Or they can do whatever they need to support their aging parents, or what have you.

Barbie Winterbottom:

I think it’s incredibly important that employers understand that and allow people to work from home when they can. Have benefits like this available. I think emotional and mental health benefits are also going to be seen in a very different light than they were before. It’s more than just offering an EAP line. It’s looking at work schedules and how do we offer people more individual ownership and autonomy with their actual work schedule?

Barbie Winterbottom:

Are we managing activity or are we looking at results? And that’s a very different perspective than a lot of leadership teams have. But again, it goes to the overall health of that individual for their emotional and mental health and wellbeing is them ownership over the way in which they execute the work they do.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So I think it is a balancing act we are going to have to continue to figure out as COVID unfolds, as the term new normal starts to kind of solidify. But I definitely think that people are also taking it into their own hands what they feel safe with. Certain leaders may say, yes, the state is open, but not everybody feels comfortable with that. So they’re going to need to have the authority to make those decisions, whereas before they may not have had that.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah. That’s fascinating. And I think so many good points that you made in there, that there is a holistic need to look across the board at how we change. On the next slide we identified, I think three key areas that everybody should be focusing on.

Jeanniey Walden:

The first one is health and safety, remaining the number one priority. I know across many of our clients reopening for them means establishing a healthy and safe atmosphere for their workers in addition to their customers. And looking at the balance between that, making sure that they can do trace backs if somebody is sick to make sure it did not come from their establishment or organization is key. And also convincing employees that they can trust their employer to take care of them by giving them the right hand sanitizers, sneeze guards, face mask is key.

Jeanniey Walden:

Businesses and governments, as you already mentioned, working together to fighting the pandemic and being upfront and over-communicating. And we’ve pulled together a long list of best practice examples of how to over communicate, not only with your employees about the situation, but also with your customers on what your business looks like when you’re looking to get reopened? The steps that you’re taking in order to get reopen? How you’re making safety top of mind for them and the employees? And how you’re actually doing?

Jeanniey Walden:

In fact, there was an organization in New Jersey that went out to very small businesses who didn’t have web presences before COVID and help them to establish a web presence. So their business could stay open and survive the pandemic. And also how to communicate with people and some of those best practices kind of caught on. Tell me a little bit from your side, what best practices and what elements you’re seeing be like the top three things that a CHRO needs to consider and advise their CEO on when they’re looking at reopening and bringing a workforce back?

Barbie Winterbottom:

Yeah, this has definitely been my life for the past several months. I think you’ve captured a lot of it here, but the be out front, over communicate, and the consistent is absolutely critical.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So a few of the things that we’ve done and I’ve shared this much of this out with the HR community is we built a portal, several hubs specific to what was happening in the world with COVID-19 and how did it relate to them as an employee. And with the whole trust barometer, and recognizing that employees trust their employer as theirs source of truth, more than any other source of truth out there is really telling and quite impactful. So they’re looking to us as the employer to distill all of this barrage of information down to what does it mean for me as an employee of this company and what does it mean for me as a person in the world and in society?

Barbie Winterbottom:

So we built these portals specifically to do just that. Here’s the information from the CDC. As our organization, we decided that the CDC was going to be our source of truth for guidance. So we stuck with that. What does the CDC say to do inside the organization if someone tests positive? What are the right products to use from a sanitation and cleaning perspective?

Barbie Winterbottom:

From a communication perspective we talked about, we implemented a weekly town hall. And I addressed the employees around survivors guilt. And what does it feel like if you’ve worked alongside someone and they’ve been laid off and you haven’t. And the emotional side of seeing people you love and care about losing their job, and yet you have yours, and you’re so grateful for having your job, but you feel guilty and you feel remorseful. And what are those stages of grief look and feel like in this particular scenario.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So as HR leaders we’ve crossed over some boundaries that maybe we would not have crossed before. I put together a lot of data and sent it out to all of our employees and the HR community at large around domestic violence and the rise of domestic violence during COVID-19, which is something that a lot of folks wouldn’t think about, but we’re all sheltering at home together. Everyone’s got more anxiety, more fear, more unknown, perhaps lost jobs. So there’s more stress and pressure from financial implications. And so the abuser and the victim are now in lockdown together with heightened stressors and anxiety. And these people who need help, couldn’t pick up the phone and make a call because the abuser is right there to hear them make a phone call. So we published information that says, if you need help, send an email through your work email.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So it looks like you’re working and it doesn’t raise the red flag. If you need help, send a text message to me personally as the CHRO, or to someone you work with who can help get you what you need.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So we had to look at every aspect of our employees and their lives and what they need right now to get through all of this. And then we had to do it consistently. Week over week I was addressing employees through Zoom, which actually feels very face to face when you’re doing it. We rolled out leadership training sessions for leaders who had never led people remotely. Leaders who are now having to have daily stand up meetings in manufacturing areas, but everybody has to be six feet apart. And what does that look like? A lot of initial instinct from people leaders was, well, let’s just stop doing our daily huddles. Let’s just stop having all these meetings.

Barbie Winterbottom:

Which is really counterproductive, because now is when people need you more than ever. They need to feel a sense of community. They need to feel like they’re a part of something greater. But we just have to do it differently. And so giving them those tools, that guidance and those resources was very, very beneficial.

Barbie Winterbottom:

And the feedback that we have gotten has been overwhelming. This is so counterintuitive, but this crisis has increased our employee engagement and improved the culture of the organization because they have seen us step forward in ways they never did before. And they feel so connected and cared for, which is wonderful.

Barbie Winterbottom:

But now we can’t let that go. We can’t just flip the switch and say, oh, COVID is over. And we’re going to go back to the old way of doing things because employees now expect that this is how we communicate. This is how deep we’re willing to go to kind of be in the arena with them. And every HR leader, business leader, communications leader needs to understand that you can’t go backwards. I don’t believe employees will accept that going forward. It’s absolutely incredible and needed for people to stay in the space of immersion and connection at really deep, emotional, and meaningful places.

Jeanniey Walden:

There are so many great points that you called out there that we’ve gotten some questions on and that I definitely wanted to call out and dive into. And I think this wasn’t the last slide. And we are at the question and answer portion of the meeting.

Jeanniey Walden:

And I love how you talked about all of the Zoom calls and how that brought you to the part where you felt like you could still see the employee and you’re building that trust and that relationship. At DailyPay, we do the same thing every day at 12.30 there was an all employee call where we just intended to give people insights, information, and communicate.

Jeanniey Walden:

And it’s turned into such a great way to bond with people that work at DailyPay. You don’t normally interact with, or you don’t know and appreciate everything about them and just their great robust backgrounds, how they got to where they are. But even kind of the funny thing. Who has younger kids? Who love softball? We’ve been doing everything on these calls from TikTok challenges to MTV cribs episode of your home if you want to show it. People have been sending amazing footage in of their 500 square foot New York apartment. But there’ve been doing it as if it’s a mansion. But it’s really helped to increase morale. So I love that you called out that the employee engagement has increased significantly.

Jeanniey Walden:

One of the things that we’ve also started doing is we’ve started to set up general Zoom time for people to just work with a camera on so that they can get that sense of working with a group of people instead of an isolation.

Jeanniey Walden:

So everyone just has their computers up and there might be 50 or so people on the Zoom call all working away. But you can turn around and ask a question or when you see something funny that comes across your screen, you can share the news immediately with somebody instead of having to hold it for later. Have you been getting these insights and ideas from just your own imagination and feedback from your team? This is one of the questions. Or have you been joining other HR panels or industry groups and seeking out best practices? How have you been making the decisions on what to do to keep the employees engaged?

Barbie Winterbottom:

Gosh, probably all of the above. Initially when COVID-19 kind of became a reality which was… What the second week of March or so? I was actually in Vale trying to be on vacation for spring break which was an epic failure. Flew home early and immediately started putting together leadership tips in a time of crisis. And making sure that our leaders were getting this throughout the day.

Barbie Winterbottom:

Recognize quickly the importance to put these portals in place. So we stood up a COVID-19 portal and a work from home portal within the first 48 hours. And then from there started, I definitely do attend CHRO forums, but also asking questions of people and watching and observing behavior. Another thing we started doing probably about the third or fourth week in, because I was observing people. This was before everyone was sent home, but I could observe people physically looking just deflated.

Barbie Winterbottom:

It was becoming so heavy and every meeting and every conversation was about COVID-19. And it just felt like we have to do something to bring a positive space into our lives every day.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So we started sending out a good news story of the day. So the employee communications team, they go out there, they scour the web, they ask questions, and every day we send out a story. And it lifts people’s spirits, even if it’s for two minutes. It gives them a laugh. It gives them a smile. It shows people doing something kind and generous for others. Sometimes it’s our actual employees and sometimes it’s things that we find externally. So a lot of it comes from just being in it with them and living the experience and thinking what would help me feel better? Or if I was doing the work they’re doing, what would help me feel either more connected or more informed?

Barbie Winterbottom:

And then some ideas certainly come out of these sessions where I’m on different forums and webinars with other HR leaders and other business leaders.

Barbie Winterbottom:

One of the things we were getting ready to implement is just a weekly people talk Zoom session. Where it’s one hour a week and any employee can join and you can ask your HR team any questions you might have. And it could be about anything. It could be COVID related, it could be benefit related, it could be about learning and development, it could be career coaching, whatever it is.

Barbie Winterbottom:

Here’s an open forum for you to come and talk with us, including me. And I think folks feel such a greater sense of connection. We started a Facebook page, a private employee only Facebook page, and we allowed all of the employees who are also laid off to join this page so that they could stay connected with what was happening within the business. With the hope of being able to call them back to work we wanted them to still feel part of the organization and part of the family, even though they were in the moment for loader laid off. That was a huge win and there was no cost to that. It just took some time. So a lot of it I think, as I said, comes from me just thinking about how I would want to be treated. And then there are some ideas certainly we’ve garnered from other spaces.

Jeanniey Walden:

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So I know we talked to at the beginning of this while we were waiting for the webinar to start kind of putting together at least one blog post that we’ll share on DailyPay of some of your best practices and tips. So we definitely would love to do that because I think it’s really important that we have a continuous stream of different ideas and insights. Because what was working for your company might be different than what’s working for us at DailyPay versus another company. But having access to just seeing what your peers are doing, what’s working, what’s not working and how the employees are reacting I think is key. Which brings me to the next question, which is, and you mentioned this in the early part of your answer on the last slide. According to Dr. Fauci. If you want to go back to Dr. Fauci a little bit there is a likelihood that the pandemic cases could rise up around flu season.

Jeanniey Walden:

So looking late fall, early winter, and then last throughout the winter months. It is a possibility, although nobody wants this that we could go back to stricter social distancing restrictions or even some closures if we’re not closer to a vaccine or a treatment that can really help get the economy going.

Jeanniey Walden:

So in that case all of our businesses had to make tough decisions, as you mentioned, furloughing people, laying people off, cost cutting exercises, restructures the whole nine yards. You bring people back to work and you’re doing all these great efforts to get them engaged, and giving them as much control over their finances as they need.

Jeanniey Walden:

But what happens if we go through a phase two of this or even a bubble where we’re going to have to make some of these tough decisions again. How do you keep trust? How do you establish trust and maintain it through these tough times? Do you feel that it’s just the continued over-communication or do you think there’s other techniques and tactics we should all be looking at?

Barbie Winterbottom:

I think that we have to assume it will happen again, whether it’s COVID or something else. There’s going to be other external factors that I believe we’ll put us in the same place. I give you an example, in Florida, especially in a lot of the Southern coastal regions, we know every year is hurricane season. So we go through certain exercises every summer to prep for hurricane season.

Barbie Winterbottom:

I think organizations need to adopt that type of mentality around this experience with COVID. We need to go through exercises repeatedly so that we have our protocols and our processes in place in as much as you can. And then you adapt to the variability of the circumstance. And I believe the way we treat people now, the way we treat them, if we do have to lay them off, if we do have to furlough them, you can do these things with dignity.

Barbie Winterbottom:

You can do them with respect and with as much grace as possible. You can support folks with helping them find other work. We also created a layoff in a furlough hub, which gave people all the information they would need to apply for unemployment benefits.

Barbie Winterbottom:

And we also listed as many links as we possibly could to those employers who were hiring. I had co-CHROs look at me like I was crazy. And I was like, “Guys, it’s the right thing to do for people. And they will remember that, and they will remember when we start calling people back or rehiring that we went the extra because we cared about them as a person. And so maybe they went and they took that job at that other place and who knows? They may decide to leave that and come back to us or not. But at the end of the day, we can rest our heads on our pillow knowing we did what was right for them as a person.”

Barbie Winterbottom:

And I fundamentally believe that that’s the way every organization needs to approach how they’re handling all of these different aspects of COVID-19 is doing everything you can do to sustain your business. I absolutely believe that, but do it with grace and dignity so that you’re not damaging your reputation. You’re not damaging others in the process and you’re respecting them as people and giving them every opportunity to succeed as an individual. That is probably the most critical aspect of this whole thing in my opinion is how we treat our people as we go through it. And then assume it will happen again and understand that people don’t forget.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah, I think that’s a fantastic point. And so important because outside of the pandemic there are certainly other natural disasters and challenges that we all have to deal with.

Jeanniey Walden:

So given that I know one of the pieces of insight that we’ve seen at DailyPay is that it’s as high as one out of four. It’s only one out of four people are coming back to work when they’re being called off furlough. And we are seeing everything we’re hearing from our clients. It’s everything from I had to take another job to I’m making more on unemployment quite frankly. So can you delay and call me back in the next round of unfurloughing to I am a high risk. I cannot come back to work. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I may or may not get another job, but this is something that I can’t do from my health perspective.

Jeanniey Walden:

Do you think that that’s something that is going to be a consistent challenge when we even start to rehire, to look for replacements for those people that there’s going to be a lot of special circumstances that HR teams, recruiting teams, are going to need to be ready and armed to work with as we’re looking to staff back up again?

Barbie Winterbottom:

I absolutely do. We started calling some of our folks back in the manufacturing space and we were at about a 60% hit rate. Some of these folks had to abandon their apartment and go move back in with their parents, which meant a different city or a different state. So there are no longer available. Some folks, as you mentioned, did take other jobs and they were happy with the new job and so they were not available. I think it’s very easy for employers to kind of get lulled into a sense of, okay, well, nobody’s going to quit. Nobody’s going to leave because the market is a disaster right now. So we can just do whatever we want to. And I can’t stress enough that that’s not the reality. While many employees are grateful to have the jobs they have, and there have been a millions of people impacted with job loss.

Barbie Winterbottom:

As things come back around, we will get back to a state of very low unemployment and people will have choices, especially the people you want, right? The top performers are always going to have choices. So you can’t just assume that everyone is going to come running back because you opened your doors again.

Barbie Winterbottom:

So I think you’re really sharing that information is so critical because employers have a false sense of security right now that they will be able to just flip the switch and everybody comes back and it’s all back to normal. It absolutely isn’t.

Barbie Winterbottom:

And for those employers who failed to move with the tide of creating work from home opportunities, they will definitely be left behind. There’s a lot of folks in senior executive roles who are not comfortable with a work at home model. And if they’re not willing to lead with trust, they are going to be left behind when the employment market opens back up. Because employees now know that it is possible to do 90% of their work at home. And if we’re not willing to step up and offer them that as an opportunity, other companies will and that is going to be a critical differentiator I believe going forward in the face of talent acquisition and recruiting for sure.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah, totally agree. Well, unfortunately, and I could talk to you forever about this topic, we’re out of time. I do want to thank you so much for taking the time to share your expertise, your thoughts, your frontline feedback with us. This has been fantastic. For everyone on the webinar we will be sharing the slides. And I do want to point out that our next webinar is Thursday, May 28th and it’s focused on demand pay data, a zero cost benefit that helps prevent the need for predatory payday loans.

Jeanniey Walden:

I’m going to be speaking with Sarah Grotta, who is the director of debit and alternative products advisory service at Mercator. We just didn’t press announcement about 10 minutes ago while this webinar was going on, sharing the results from an incredible study that we did with them pre-COVID which yearly said that people were most concerned about having additional funds for unexpected medical expenses.

Jeanniey Walden:

So I think it’s going to be an interesting conversation next week with her. Hopefully you can all attend. And with that said if there are no more questions, we’re going to wrap it up and just thank you again, Barbie. Cannot wait for the blog post with you and to keep talking and stay up to date on what’s happening out there.

Barbie Winterbottom:

Absolutely. Thanks for having me. I always enjoy hanging out with my friends in DailyPay.

Jeanniey Walden:

Sounds great. Thanks so much. Bye bye.

Barbie Winterbottom:

Bye bye.

Who’s DailyPay

DailyPay, the premier provider of the daily pay benefit, goes beyond financial wellness with a flexible, simple, and compliant pay experience that strengthens the employee-employer bond and significantly enhances the employee experience throughout the enterprise, at no cost to the employer.

CONTACT US