Nestled on the outskirts of Raleigh, the Town of Wake Forest has an ever-growing population, including the number of workers the town employs.
Currently, the Town has 280 full-time and 60 part-time employees. With the increase of employees over the years, the Town has placed the utmost importance on implementing family-friendly work policies and creating a culture that shows they are appreciated, supported and valued. This supports the Town’s overall strategic plan and aligns with its goal of upholding a values-based organizational culture. In addition, the policies help ensure the Town remains a competitive employer in the local government job market.
“Creating more family-friendly policies wasn’t a true need per se, but we want our employees to know we appreciate everything they do for our town,” states Virginia Jones, human resources director for the Town of Wake Forest. “This is why we adopted both paid parental leave and elder care leave policies as part of the Town’s overall benefits package. It is important to us that our employees feel a sense of comfort with regard to what affects them and their families.”
As part of paid parental leave policy established in 2017, employees can receive up to six weeks of fully-paid leave for the birth of a child, legal placement of a child with an employee for adoption, foster care or guardianship, or a child placed with an employee who will permanently assume parental responsibilities. This way, employees are able to maintain vacation time and sick time (which can later be used for retirement credible service time) for when they need it most in the future.
Paid Parental Leave
Tripp Jefferys, an employee of the Town of Wake Forest Public Works Electric Division, was able to use the paid parental leave for the birth of his son in 2017.
Tripp explains, “It was so nice having the time off of work to get settled in at home with our son and to make sure my wife was taken care of.” He continues, “I was able to break up the six weeks over the year to be there for my son’s first doctor appointments and spend time bonding with him. It’s great to know I work for an organization that truly cares about me and my family’s well-being.”
The Town’s four core values—caring, commitment, innovation and integrity—are at the heart of everything they do, including introducing new benefits to its employees.
Paid Eldercare Leave
As part of the new benefits rolled out in 2017, the town decided to also offer paid elder care leave to full-time employees, highlighting its values of caring, commitment, and innovation. This leave includes six weeks of paid time off so employees can take care of a parent, grandparent, spouse (62 years of age or older) or legal guardian.
“My mother had a stroke one year ago, and I was overly grateful to have paid elder care leave to take care of her. It was so meaningful to have that peace of mind and support from my employer to help see her through this medical condition,” states Michael Sattler, Detective for the Town of Wake Forest. “Our Human Resources Department made the entire process simple and stress-free, so I was able to focus on being there for my mom. The Wake Forest Police Department and the community, in general, are very family-oriented, and that feeling came across when I needed the support the most.”
“The Town hopes that by implementing these policies, we’re able to retain and attract top talent. We also hope our employees feel they’re able to take care of themselves and their families and feel supported along the way,” explains Virginia. “I truly love being able to tell other human resources professionals about the successes we’ve seen with our family-friendly benefits in hopes of inspiring others to adopt them as well.”
Sample benefits: Town of Wake Forest
- Paid parental leave of six week
- Paid elder care leave of six weeks
- Health, dental, and vision insurance
- Employee Assistance Program
- Short and Long-term disability insurance
- Life insurance
- Supplemental Benefit Plans
- Retirement plans
- Paid annual, sick, and holiday leave
- Tuition Assistance Program
- Volunteer and Community Leave Policy