ERN: An Innovative Partnership Comes to Jefferson County

Community Action Planning Council continues its mission to advance community prosperity by introducing the Employer Resource Network (ERN) to Jefferson County.  The ERN is designed to increase employee retention by using a Success Coach as a means of support to build stronger and longer lasting teams.

Check out the Q&A section below to learn more about the Jefferson County ERN.

Q: What exactly is an ERN?
A: An ERN is a collaborative effort of employers and community-based organizations that share resources and expenses associated with building the skills and capacities of workers.   Participating organizations form an ERN Advisory Council, meeting monthly to exchange ideas and best practices, review outcome data, and explore strategies for marketing and member recruitment.  Based on a national model, the local ERN is being established under the leadership of Jefferson County Department of Employment and Training in consultation with Schenectady Works, a non-profit organization serving the Capital Region, with funding support from the Watertown Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI). 

Q:  How does an ERN work?
A: The ERN model is simple yet effective.  Businesses are invited to purchase “shares” of a Success Coach who comes to their facilities on a regular basis to assist employees in working through a multitude of issues and finding resources to address their needs.  The primary role of the Success Coach is to facilitate solutions that ensure a high level of productivity in the workplace.  Employers who utilize the services of a Success Coach report dramatic increases in retention, equating to significant savings in recruitment and training costs. 

Q:  How do I know if an ERN is right for my business / organization?
A:  If your employees are chronically late to work or absent due to non-work related issues, come to you with personal, non-work related problems, or quit due to difficulties with transportation, child care or family issues … then participation in an ERN will benefit your business.

Q:  What does a Success Coach do?
A:  A Success Coach is a confidential resource, providing on-site, face-to-face assistance to staff who are in crisis and/or under-resourced.  The Success Coach serves as a conduit to social services, community programs and local agencies and provides employees with a mix of rapid problem resolution and coaching.  Some of the challenges the Success Coach can help an employee work through include: financial / debt, transportation, family issues, workplace conflict, substance abuse and attendance. 

Q:  How does an ERN reduce turnover and save money?
A:  An ERN saves time for HR and supervisory staff and helps prevent otherwise valued employees from quitting or being terminated due to personal problems. ERN companies report increased retention and greater ability to compete for high-quality employees.  A monthly statistical report allows you to track how ERN membership pays for itself many times over.

Q:  How can I find out more about being part of the Jefferson County ERN?
A:  Contact Cathy Brodeur at Community Action Planning Council, or 315.782.4900, extension 240.