Luann is a custodian at a medium-sized business in Jackson. Her work isn’t glamorous, but she likes the consistent hours, and the repetition can be meditative. However, getting to work is very difficult for Luann as she needs to commute nearly 45 minutes each day from her home in Onsted. To make matters harder, her old Pontiac Bonneville is hardly clinging to life. Luann knows she needs a more reliable car to keep her job, but she can hardly afford the fuel for her commute, let alone a new car.
On a brisk day in October, Luann’s worst fears came to pass. Luann twists the keys in the ignition, but the engine lets out a pathetic sputter. She tries again with no avail. The Bonneville is dead, and Luann has no way to get to work. She holds back tears as she dials her supervisor. This is the latest of many absences due to car troubles and Luann knows her supervisor’s patience is wearing thin.
Her supervisor, Tom, answers and Luann tells him her car broke down and she won’t be making it to work. Tom informs Luann that she has already accumulated several unexcused absences. Luann mentally prepares herself to hear those dreaded words: “you’re fired.” However, Tom tells her that he knows someone who can help and gives her a phone number. Luann dials the number Tom provided and is connected with Taylor, the Success Coach working with Luann’s employer.
Luann’s employer has recently joined a Business Resource Network (BRN), a partnership of several businesses that have pooled their resources together in an effort to identify and remove barriers that prevent employees from succeeding at their job. Companies that participate in BRN’s gain access to a Success Coach, such as Taylor, who meet with employees on site that are experiencing individual challenges and connects them to resources and assistance.
Luann connects with Taylor and explains that her car has broken down and she cannot get to work without it. Taylor tells Luann that she is eligible for financial assistance through the state’s PATH program and to contact Michigan Works! Southeast to get started. In the meantime, Taylor orders an Uber to help Luann get to work.
After working with her Success Coach and Michigan Works! Southeast, Luann was able to finance a more reliable car and has had perfect attendance since.
Over 70% of businesses say employee turnover is a serious problem for them. It’s also an expensive problem; companies can lose up to $10,000 per employee to turnover, including the cost of recruiting, interviewing, and training new hires as well as the overall decrease in productivity. Business Resource Networks are the solution to employee turnover and because success coaches like Taylor work with you and your employees to create win-win scenarios like the story above. By removing personal and economic barriers, employees like Luann can focus on being great at their jobs and employers save tens of thousands of dollars in preventable costs.