It’s HR’s job to make sure employees have someone they can talk to, about any issue. It can be about a coworker, a manager, benefits…anything. It’s just really important that there’s always someone they can go to.
Pauli gained experience in both customer service and Human Resources before joining REACH. “For me, HR is really kind of fun. It fits in with a lot of the things that I liked when I was younger as well as my major in psychology,” she shares. “And primarily, I always liked people!”
Pauli & REACH
Pauli recently celebrated seven years with REACH, and she feels more at home than ever. “Customer service is pretty much what HR is,” she says. “I like taking my customer service background and using it to help my coworkers.”
“A lot of companies don’t see the value of HR, or they skimp on it.” She is grateful that REACH understands the importance of HR and of taking care of employees right from the start. “How you onboard somebody reflects on the company,” she says, “and people appreciate when it’s done well. And even during layoffs, I’ve had people thank us for how they were treated.”
Support was especially critical during our recent benefit changes, when the need for internal customer service was at a peak. “We had to do an open enrollment for benefits for REACH this past September and then another one for the new company in November. And in the middle of that, we did a whole 401K move!” Change is hard for people,” Pauli says, “and when you have so many things changing at once… That was an intense time; I conducted over 15 webinars and probably spoke with every employee individually at least once over the past few months!”
To Pauli, who is “the customer”?
“In HR, it depends on what you do. Most of my customers are my co-workers, but I also build relationships with vendors, because that benefits everybody.”
How does she connect with the customer?
Optimism and honesty are Pauli’s touchstones. “I try to keep a positive outlook with people and help manage them through changes,” she shares. “And I am always as honest as I can be with the information I have. I think that’s comforting to people. Particularly through the transition, I think it helped that they knew I would get answers for them.”
We have so many diverse situations that can impact our employees personal and family lives especially in the area of benefits – we are always learning, managing and adjusting our practices to support all our employees. “An employee came to me when he joined the company and wanted to put his spouse on his benefits. He married his partner when there was a small window of opportunity to marry same sex partners in California. Because this was uncharted territory, we were not sure his partner would qualify as a spouse for the pre-tax benefit. When I brought the matter to the attention of our insurance broker, they checked it out and said it was a legal marriage, so he did qualify. That was a nice outcome and really appreciated by this employee.”