When Nate Searcy’s first child was born, Nate only had two weeks’ paid family leave. With his second, he had 12 weeks — which he says helped him immensely with his work-life balance and eased his wife’s transition back to the workforce.
The Redwoods Group is a highly specialized provider of property/casualty insurance, underwriting, risk management and claims adjusting services.
Redwoods strives to be a changemaker – for clients and for employees. Leaders hold themselves to a high moral standard, which includes providing family-friendly policies that support their workforce.
“These have been in place for many years,” says Director of Human Resources Jennifer Keys, “We just continue to improve them as well as implement as needed. For example, we added twelve weeks baby bonding time last year.”
When Nate and his wife were expecting their second child, the company announced the additional paid leave. “Once I heard that, I was just really grateful,” says Searcy, “It was almost hard to wrap my head around it – especially since I only had two weeks with my first.” That’s still above the national average of one week of paternity leave.
Searcy also made use of a policy that’s been growing in popularity – breaking up his leave to work with his family’s schedule. He took six weeks of his leave once his baby was born, and another six weeks later to assist with his wife going back to work. “Being able to break it up, “he says, “really helped from a work-life balance standpoint. That was really nice.”
Redwoods also recognizes people need support at every stage of life.
Senior Underwriter Lisa Bohlen-Admire had a daughter preparing to go to college. She was able to take advantage of Redwood programs like 529 College Education Match, where the company matches half of the employee contribution to a savings account up to six percent and provides a one-time gift of $500 after a new birth or adoption to start the 529. Her daughter was also able to use Redwoods’ Scholarship Program, which allows employees to receive $6,700 per school year for up to four years to help cover college expenses.
“They’re looking for a better community,” says Bohlen-Admire, “and they want to support their own for a better community.” By offering programs like these, Redwoods shows their workforce that they support them outside of work, and that’s invaluable to Bohlen-Admire. “I just admire them for doing that.”
Keys explains that supporting employees creates the kind of working environment everyone enjoys. “Our employees are very grateful for the flexibility and support that Redwoods provides,” she says, “This definitely helps with retention and recruiting new hires.”
- Unlimited sick and vacation time.
- Paid parental leave: Maternity leave is twelve weeks in addition to an initial short-term disability leave of six to eight weeks. Paternity leave is twelve weeks.
- Employee Assistance Program: This is available to all employees and their household family members. The program provides four free and confidential in-person counseling conversations per problem or issue among countless resources.
- Rainy Day Loan Program: In partnership with Coastal Credit Union, Redwoods offers a small dollar (up to $1,500 at 10%), short-term loan product designed to help in unforeseen emergencies, expenses or bills.