“Necessity is the mother of invention.” – Plato
Several years ago, colleagues of Jeanette Miller, Quality Control Reporting Manager, experienced several cases of illness in their families. “After I found out that (my team members) had already used all their paid time off (PTO) options caring for their family members, I reached out to HR to see if there was an option to donate some of my own PTO so that my teammates wouldn’t have to go without pay or need to return to work and still try to manage full-time caregiving.”
At the time, that employee donation option didn’t exist. But the experience served as inspiration for Jeannette when she entered a company-sponsored contest that focuses on creative ideas, the Innovation Challenge.
When Jeanette signed up for Arch MI’s Innovation Challenge, she was placed on a small team that included Becky Vanhoose, Meaghan Croom and David Northington. Once all the teams were set, it was time to throw out ideas. “During our initial brainstorming session, Jeanette Miller brought the [leave sharing] idea to the table,” Becky recalled.
Jeanette’s desire to help her teammates became the group’s idea for the challenge. They did the hard work, made the pitch and eventually won.
“It was a feeling of accomplishment,” Becky said. “We spent so much time on calls, doing research, preparing PowerPoints, writing documents, etc. To have it validated by the win is so rewarding!”
Arch Cares Leave Share
The Arch Cares Leave Share benefit allows U.S.-based employees to voluntarily donate their unused PTO credits to fellow employees who need to be away from work due to medical reasons or natural disasters but have exhausted all their accrued and company-provided leave credits.
While the concept is not new, the leave sharing program is a first at Arch. For Becky, seeing the idea embraced by the company felt wonderful. “All that hard work came to life to benefit the whole company and we were a part of it,” she said.
To Jeanette, it was the whole experience that made all the hard work worth it. “Not only did we get to develop the initial concept and personally share our ideas with Arch executives, our team was also invited to help create the process,” she said, adding that after winning, team members volunteered to help HR develop the process for the new benefit.
Seeing how Arch fully supported their initiative also felt overwhelming to Jeanette.
“It’s easy to say, ‘Arch Cares,’ [but] it is a totally different thing to see how much Arch really does care!”
The winning Innovation Challenge team members, clockwise from left: Jeanette Miller, Meaghan Croom, Becky VanHooser, David Northington