Every working parent knows the struggle of balancing their careers and their family. Worrying about childcare is one of the key stressors for parents. Private or public childcare, in your home or someone else’s or with a relative, working different schedules so one parent is always home with the kids, or one of you giving up a career while the kids are little – all decisions that parents must work out.

It became evident to Flagler Health+ during the pandemic that they needed to reevaluate what is truly important in a changing marketplace. They have chosen to look at the entire health of the employee, including the balance between work and home.

Dennis Hoban, administrator for talent, strategy and management, shared what they are doing to reach this.
People are looking for more options, and different employees need different relationships with their employers. Flagler Heath+ looked to expand options for people with different priorities, motivations and circumstances. They feel they are uniquely positioned to do this since their mission for the past 130 years has been caring for the people of St. Johns County and surrounding communities.

They began by looking at the types of roles the organization needed to fill, both now and in the future, and what those potential employees needed from their employer. For instance, nurses are the largest operations group in the health system that has locations throughout St. Johns County, and they come in all age ranges and life circumstances. The health system already offers places for breastfeeding and provides reimbursement for daycare expenses among their benefits but they are looking to do more. Flagler Health+ is exploring employment models that address the motivations of employees with different circumstances, such as those beginning a career vs. those who have a closer eye on retirement and the associated benefits.

Flagler Health+ is piloting flexible schedules, such as a schedule where nurses work 12-hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday, receive a premium wage and full-time benefits and get Monday through Friday off. Alternately, a Monday through Friday schedule is available where the nurses do not have to work weekends.

The health system is looking at all their other scenarios right now and will roll out to other clinical groups down the road, customized for specialties as needed. They are also asking new job candidates what they want.

As parents, we are highly adaptive, and it is exciting to see an employer willing to adapt to help their employees. I hope that as companies like Flagler Health+ change and make accommodations to be family-friendly, it will encourage other companies to copy policies where possible. Parent Magazines Florida has a work from home program, which allows our employees great flexibility. This is a very popular program.

You are your family’s advocate, so share with your employer if you need accommodation. Since happy employees tend to be more productive, it is my experience that they will consider your suggestions. Keep your eyes open in the marketplace because I expect that we will see employers really focus on the whole employee going forward – an important lesson from the last few years.