At HCF, our purpose is to bring our human touch to healthcare, and this extends to the way we support our employees. As Australia’s largest not for profit health fund we understand the importance of looking after your health and wellbeing, in order to bring your best and whole self to work. Critical to this goal, is creating a culture that enables all of our employees to combine their work and family responsibilities. We know that this is not always easy, which is why we’re committed to providing a Family Friendly Workplace through our policies, partnerships, tools and leadership, to support our current and future workforce.
Our HCF families come in all shapes and sizes and we want to recognise that difference – through an inclusive family friendly workplace.
Since the onset of the global pandemic the lines between work and home life have become increasingly blurred. In particular, we recognised the significant challenges HCF families were facing due to the extended lockdown periods and having to juggle work, home and carer responsibilities.
To support our people, one initiative HCF launched was ‘KidsCo’, in partnership with Parents At Work. KidsCo is a virtual program designed to provide safe socialisation for children aged 5–12 years from the comfort of their own home. The program offered all HCF families access to qualified school teachers who engaged the children in high-quality learning activities, with a focus on fun. The online learning ran for two hours each day, giving parents and carers two hours of uninterrupted, child-free time each day to help them balance their work and family commitments.
The timely launch of KidsCo was key, as it gave parents comfort in knowing that despite the ongoing restrictions, their children were still able to engage in fun, educational and social activities. Our families appreciated the extra assistance during what was a stressful time for many, with parents commenting on the fantastic impacts it had on their kid’s wellbeing as well as their own.
This program was a great demonstration of HCF’s commitment to providing family friendly initiatives and seeking to understand the changing needs of our parents, grandparents and carers alike.
The feedback from our HCF families was overwhelmingly positive, with many parents commenting on not only the benefits to them, but also the significant wellbeing and social benefits for their children. The great uptake of the program resulted in HCF repeatedly extending the KidsCo offering period to support the increased employee demand during lockdown. Overall, KidsCo provided support to over 85 HCF families with more than 1400 hours of learning and fun delivered.
At HCF, we believe in the power of a diverse and inclusive workplace. We know that to deliver the best outcomes for our members, we need to enable a workforce who are engaged, connected and supported. That’s why we’ve invested in a wide range of programs that focus on support for the whole family through practical tools and expert advice. Some of the health and wellbeing programs we’ve made available to all employees, include partnerships with Calm Kid Central, Parents At Work, Snug Health App, PHYSCH2U, EAP, Woebot and ThisWayUp.
Bryant Da Silva, Head of Claims Operations
To quote my wife, ‘KidsCo was a lifesaver!’ We’re a family of four, with two awesome boys aged five and three years old. This was our first lockdown experience where my youngest was in kindergarten and my wife and I both working busy corporate roles. With schools closed, it was difficult to juggle our work and home responsibilities, and it can be easy to sometimes feel like you’re not doing enough at home or at work.
At first we weren’t sure what to expect when HCF offered KidsCo, but thought why not give it a go, if nothing else it might just help to break up the routine! My son was a little shy at first, but the facilitators were fantastic and quickly got him involved in the fun activities and before long he was connecting with other kids and telling them stories about his favourite toys. I was really impressed with the virtual games and activities they came up with, from designing custom Pokemon symbols to creating a mini stage to act out a play with his action figurines. Whilst we were within reach in case he needed support, KidsCo gave us some much needed space to focus on work, or to take a break.
I feel very fortunate to work for an organisation that takes family support seriously and understands the importance of work life balance. When people are happy, you can tell they’re more engaged and motivated in their day-to-day work and this ultimately leads to better outcomes for them, the team and our members.