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The Great Resignation: How Northeast Ohio employers are weathering changes in the labor market

People are thinking differently about work and going to the office, and it's clear more change is coming.

CLEVELAND — For months now, record numbers of Americans have been quitting their jobs as the labor market remains in flux. We wanted to know what business leaders in Northeast Ohio were thinking — how they were dealing with worker shortages, what changes they were making to recruit and retain workers — so we asked them.

We sent surveys to 45 of Northeast Ohio's largest companies across various industries in our three largest counties: Cuyahoga, Summit and Stark. The surveys asked a series of questions about remote work, flexibility, vaccine mandates and safety measures, as well as inquiries about the hiring crisis that's left many industries struggling.

About half the companies we sent those surveys to responded with answers, and nearly every organization said it is offering more remote work than ever before. Hyland Software, always known for its innovative workplace culture, has more than 60% of its staff remote.

Even those on the frontlines have gone virtual, with both MetroHealth and Cleveland Clinic reporting 7% of its caregivers are working remotely. Offices for FirstEnergy are still closed until next February, and 90% of Progressive's employees have no return to the office date yet.

Dozens of companies offer a hybrid model – with employees working from home at times and "hoteling" at the office, meaning they can reserve work space in the office at one of dozens of desks meant for those working remotely.

Companies like benefits firm Group Management Services told us they've created flexible office space. Even the state of Ohio told us several agencies are sharing space to reduce their real estate footprint and the costs that come with it.

The most progressive employers are eager to be seen as responsive to their workers' demands. The most traditional – area public schools – have largely reverted back to status quo, as students are back in the classroom this year. 

Vaccine mandates are impacting all our health care providers and likely other companies as soon as the Biden administration's OSHA mandate takes shape. This all as 4.4 million people quit their job in September, a pattern that's likely to continue.

Why? Because they can. Employees have the leverage at the moment, with the most turnover seen in essential jobs: In restaurants, retail, education, transportation and health services. Those quitting their jobs report they largely feel unsafe or need more time to support caregiving and other responsibilities.

This fall, the jobs site ZipRecruiter issued a survey that found 55% of job seekers are looking for a job they can do from home.

See below for a full list of the companies that participated, as well as how they answered our survey questions.

METROHEALTH

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • March 2020 – less than 1%
  • October 2021 – 7%
  • October 2022 – 7-10% 

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • Yes, approximately 3.5% 

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • We continue to leverage our virtual platforms for meetings and communications throughout the system: Teams, WebEx, Zoom have become a larger part of our daily lives than ever before.
  • Our rewards and recognition program is systemwide and based virtually, so any employee, anywhere can be recognized by just a click 

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration?

  • Yes. Vaccination mandate due October 30, 2021 

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • We are experiencing similar hiring/retention challenges of other hospitals our size and service offerings at this time.  We’ve identified high vacancy areas and developed premium pay opportunities for full-time and PRN employees

UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • Prior to March 2020 – Remote staff, probably less than 1 percent. In January 2021, about 3,500 employees, or 12 percent of our work force was working remotely. Regarding Oct. 2021, we cannot accurately provide information to answer this question as we have left this to manager discretion.  Regarding Oct. 2022, it will be difficult to determine that information at this point in time. As a healthcare provider, however, most of our caregivers are required to be present at work because of the nature of their work, that is providing direct patient care, whether it is at the bedside or in a clinic. 

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • We have employees who work a hybrid option, spending some time at home and sometime in the office, with masks on even if they are vaccinated.  We cannot provide information what percentage that is in that it is left up to the discretion of individual managers. 

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • We offer zoom technology for meetings and have recreated many trainings where employees can participate virtually. Also looking into the following to continue to support a flexible work arrangement: 
  • Enhanced technology including, E-Signatures, Microsoft 365, video conferencing, enhanced electronic trainings
  • Open Spaces for collaborative discussions
  • Private hoteling spaces for confidential work 

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration?

  • We believe that getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways people can protect themselves, the people they care about, and their communities from COVID-19 because COVID-19 vaccines prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. We are awaiting specific federal requirements regarding employee vaccines. We are fortunate to have such extraordinary caregivers caring for patients during this extraordinary time. Their health and safety, as well as that of our patients, is of paramount importance. 

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • Even prior to the pandemic, there was a shortage of qualified candidates for positions in health care locally as well as nationally.  This is particularly felt in the nursing field, where at least one in five nurses is planning to retire or leave the profession in the next five years (according to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey).  UH is working with local schools and colleges, including nursing schools, to encourage students and residents from the area to consider working in the health care arena.

AKRON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

  • Prior to March 2020, we had about 200 employees working remotely. In the first 4 months of the pandemic, we had 2000 employees (about 30%). Today we have about 1000 permanent at home (15%) but still have many doing hybrid model.   We anticipate the 1000 will remain permanent at home.  This will save us in about 70,000 sq feet of space on our campuses.
  • We do offer hybrid work for some employees – about 1,000. We have identified about 100 hoteling work spaces in Akron and the Mahoning Valley for hybrid employee use.
  • We are sensitive to our 80% female workforce.  We continue to offer more things remote as we can to support our team such as remote continuing education versus in-person training when possible, resiliency efforts such as rolling out skybreathing to clinical team (physicians, nurses etc.)
  • Akron Children’s announced a requirement that employees will need to be either vaccinated or undergo weekly testing beginning Nov. 1. The hospital is continuing to study the president’s announcement that the Covid-19 vaccine will be required for all employees of health care organizations that receive funding via Medicare and/or Medicaid. Our vaccine or testing requirement policy will be implemented until we have the final federal requirements. 
  • We typically have around 300-325 job vacancies vs. over the past 3 months up to a high of 560.  So far, we have doubled retirements (occurred already in 2021 or confirmed for the rest of 2021).  Significant work on compensation plans and has been in process and have been for some time.  Addressing our staffing challenges with creative approaches that may include:
    • Reaching out to select retirees to return temporarily.
    • Having clinical employees in primarily non-clinical roles take on more direct patient care roles.
    • Having recruiters work non-traditional hours, nights and weekends
  • Through the Helping Hands Program, offering employees to work additional hours in other assignments that are in demand. It’s for both hourly and salaried employees and they would continue to earn their regular pay. More than 10 percent of our employees responded with interest, a great testament to our organizational culture of doing what’s needed for our patient families.

FIRSTENERGY

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • In March 2020, FirstEnergy and its 10 electric companies transitioned nearly all its office employees – more than 7,000 of the company’s 12,000 total employees – to work remotely from home to keep them safe and healthy. At this time, employees currently working from home will continue to do so through February 2022. For our field workers unable to work at home remotely, we implemented preventative measures to help keep them safe on the job. This includes the distribution of protective equipment like masks and other supplies such as thermometers so employees can to do self-temperature checks. We also increased cleaning and disinfecting of facilities and vehicles, relocated job briefings and reporting locations to sites conducive to social distancing and adjusted work schedules to separate incoming and outgoing shifts. To help mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, we structured crews so they are working with the same small group of people each day in units we call pods. By taking this approach, we helped ensure that when one person in a pod fell ill, they did not expose workers in different pods. Those pods also consistently use the same vehicles and the same equipment to limit exposure. In addition, we developed a FirstEnergy COVID-19 Medical Screening Process or hotline.  A medical staff consisting of nurses and doctors and many non-medical intake teams were assembled to manage COVID-19 related illnesses, provide testing guidance when necessary, perform contact tracing and help safely return employees to work. We have learned a lot about remote work during the pandemic and as a result, have been evaluating what the workplace will look like moving forward. This includes looking at whether certain business units can continue working remotely, if employees need to be on-site full-time or if a hybrid approach is best. The company’s workplace return team continues to monitor pandemic conditions throughout our service territory and consult with peer utilities on workplace best practices. Business needs and employee input will continue to factor into thoughtful decisions about next steps.

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • FirstEnergy and its 10 electric companies transitioned nearly all its office employees to work remotely from home to keep them safe and healthy. Some of our utility operations employees, like engineers, meter services reps and distribution technicians, cannot do 100% of their jobs from home because they require access to company facilities to complete their work. In these cases, employees may work a hybrid schedule which allows them to work from home when possible. As mentioned above, we have learned a lot about remote work during the pandemic and as a result, have been evaluating what the workplace will look like moving forward. This includes looking at whether certain business units can continue working remotely, if employees need to be on-site full-time or if a hybrid approach is best. The company’s workplace return team continues to monitor pandemic conditions throughout our service territory and consult with peer utilities on workplace best practices. Business needs and employee input will continue to factor into thoughtful decisions about next steps. At this time, employees currently working from home will continue to do so through February 2022. 

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable. 

  • The company remains committed to helping employees meet personal and family needs while balancing the important role we play in serving our customers. We realize many of our employees are still impacted by the pandemic and the company has taken many steps to help employees balance their careers and evolving family obligations. While we already offered flexible working arrangements like flextime and compressed work schedules, our policies were enhanced to include working from home whenever possible or working more flexible hours than typical for reasons such as caring for children or family members impacted by pandemic-related closures of schools or nursing homes. We also provided employees paid COVID-19 time off in certain situations to maximize employee health and safety. Being flexible has been very important through this pandemic.  FirstEnergy believes by taking extra measures to care for our employees during these unprecedented times, we allow for our employees to better serve our communities and customers who rely on us to continually provide their energy needs.

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration.

  • We are following the development of an emergency temporary standard (ETS) from the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding vaccine mandates for all companies with greater than 100 employees. Once the standard is issued, we will evaluate our options and develop a plan accordingly. Safety is a core value at FirstEnergy, which is why we strongly encourage employees to take every precaution possible to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, including getting vaccinated if able.

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention? 

  • The increasingly tight labor market has made hiring more challenging as we compete for talent with other companies to grow our workforce.  FirstEnergy’s workforce has remained strong and committed to serving our customers during the pandemic, and we have seen minimal impact on attrition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From the start of the pandemic, the company has been committed to helping employees meet evolving family needs while balancing the important role we play in serving our customers. We provide routine and enhanced environmental cleaning at company facilities and continue to develop and modify policies that help ensure our employees continue to feel safe at work. Unrelated to the pandemic, FirstEnergy currently has several opportunities available to support company initiatives underway to implement new and emerging technology to meet the evolving needs of our employees and customers. To view and apply for open positions, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/careers.  

CANTON CITY SCHOOLS

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020?

  • None

What percentage of your employees are working remotely in October 2021? 

  • 2 people total.

Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022? 

  • No

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? 

  • No

If so, what percentage? 

  • N/A

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • (No answer)

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration? 

  • We have not. 

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? 

  • Yes. 

Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention? 

  • No, we have raised our pay rates, which has helped with retention.

CLEVELAND CLINIC

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022? Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • Prior to March 2020 around 1,200 caregivers worked remotely (2.14%).  In March 2021, Cleveland Clinic established three models for work, particularly administrative work: Remote, Hybrid, and Onsite. Of our more than 70,000 caregivers, about 5,000 work entirely remote (7%) and 2,500 caregivers work in a hybrid model (3.6%). Hybrid caregivers work at a Cleveland Clinic location two to three days per week and work from home the other two to three days per week. Onsite caregivers work onsite at least four days per week at a Cleveland Clinic location. We expect the number of caregivers working remotely to maintain or increase by October 2022. Our workforce and how we work has evolved. We’ve found ways to be productive and connected virtually, providing benefit to both our caregivers and our organization.  Virtual meeting tools have enabled caregivers working across many different work types and locations to collaborate real time or asynchronously.

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.     

  • Offering flexibility to caregivers promotes wellness, productivity, and engagement. The tools established to enable remote work, give flexibility to other caregivers as well. Those who are onsite might work from home one day a week, or be able to join a video conference from home. We’ve cut down on the need to drive across Cleveland to join an important meeting in person; giving people more time to do meaningful work whether from home or in the office.
  • Additionally, we've enhanced caregiver programs to support flexibility such as backup childcare resources, transitioned many learning opportunities to virtual experiences and have offered more PRN opportunities.

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration?

  • On Sept. 9, COVID-19 vaccination mandates and executive orders that directly impact businesses and health systems across the country were announced. We plan to comply with federal and state requirements. As we await further guidance, we began a COVID-19 Vaccine Validation Program to collect the vaccination status of all of our caregivers throughout our U.S. locations. Caregivers will be required to provide information regarding their vaccination status by November 15. This program will put us in the best position to comply with federal requirements once they are released.

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • Currently, healthcare is facing an increased demand for services. This includes both patients with COVID-19 as well as an increase in other patients needing care. Like other health systems, we are experiencing staffing challenges for nursing and other positions. Despite these challenges, we remain committed to the communities we serve. We are continuously evaluating our workforce and looking at solutions to meet our caregiver needs while maintaining the highest quality care for our patients.

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • While we do not have specific data, we estimate only a small number of State employees were working remotely prior to the pandemic. We also do not have a percentage of State employees currently working remotely. Since March of 2020, many State government employees adapted well to working primarily remote while still providing high quality services to Ohioans. As we look to the future, return to office plans are taking into consideration the balance of serving Ohioans and providing a safe work environment conducive to collaboration. 

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • We do not have data on the percentage of State employees working a hybrid schedule. However, we do know as State agencies assess their workforce needs and design return to office plans, many include the hybrid option. We are also aware that several agencies are utilizing shared office spaces to reduce their real estate footprint, and we expect this trend to expand. 

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • Many agencies are allowing employees with hybrid schedules to select which day(s) of the week they will be in an office. Many agencies are also offering staggered work schedules that reduce the number of employees in an office at a given time. The State has been accommodating to the unique needs of employees throughout the pandemic, including necessary flexibility in schedules to support children at home due to closed daycares or schools. Many agencies also provided paid time off to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration?

  • There are no vaccine mandates.

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • At the statewide level, the State of Ohio is not immune to the challenges regarding talent acquisition that the rest of the market is experiencing. However, data shows that individuals are looking for employment that they would view to be meaningful and allow for larger work and life balance, which we believe are strong selling points of State employment. The State of Ohio is always looking for qualified applicants to join our team and we encourage prospective applicants to view open positions on our website: www.careers.ohio.gov.  

HYLAND SOFTWARE

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • About 25 percent of our global workforce worked remotely, at least in part, prior to the pandemic. We’ve long valued and offered flexibility with our teams, and the pandemic reinforced that our employees can be productive and innovative while working remotely – and that our approach was the right one. We anticipate over 60 percent of our global employees will work remotely moving forward.  

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • We do have many employees who’ve chosen a combined in-office/remote work structure; those who have done so have the option of working from "hotel" spaces at our Westlake HQ when they do work from the office. We’ve reconfigured our Westlake space to accommodate those who chose to work in office full-time and those hoteling spaces, all while maintaining proper social distance. 
  • Percentage breakdown:
  • 60% remote
  • 20% combined in-office/remote
    20% in-office

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • In addition to our long-standing flexible work policy detailed above, we also developed countless new programs during COVID to help our employees deal with the challenges the pandemic brought. Those programs included a robust offering of mental health resources, virtual fitness activities and gatherings, resources for parents suddenly in a dual parent-teacher role and more. Those COVID-related programs are in addition to already existing Employee Resource groups, Corporate Social Responsibility and DE&I efforts, engagement activities and other offerings for employees.

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • We are experiencing turnover right now like so many other companies are facing, and we’re aggressively working to fill those positions. Regarding retention, we believe engaged employees will want to stay with us and thrive here. Engagement takes many forms at Hyland: It’s clear, transparent, consistent communication from Bill Priemer, our CEO, and it’s our HR leadership giving employees a voice – on employee culture matters, return-to-work strategies, current events like last year’s social unrest, or our ongoing DE&I efforts.

UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • The University did not have consistent remote work before March 2020. Currently, roughly 8% of non-bargaining unit employees are participating in a remote flexible work arrangement. 26% of those agreements are temporary (3 months or less). Flexible Work Agreements must be renewed each year if they are long-term.

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • Approximately 81% of UA employees with a FWA are participating in a hybrid remote/in-office arrangement.

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable. (No answer)

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration? 

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • We have not tracked this over the years to be able to answer this adequately. We do currently have a variety of open positions that we are welcoming candidates to apply.

SOUTHWEST GENERAL

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022? 

  • About one percent of our workforce works remotely—and it has stayed about the same from pre-pandemic. Also, we don’t anticipate a significant change in this number from now until Oct. 2022. 

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • For many in health care, working hybrid isn’t a feasible option. Many health care roles are needed at the bedside and onsite to meet the needs of patients. Much of what we do is face-to-face. Additionally, compliance and security is more of a risk for us. Under HIPAA, any role that collects, processes or stores protected health information is required to implement security and privacy controls. Some of these controls are very difficult to put in place in homes. However, in regards to our departments working some form of hybrid/remote option, it is about 10 percent.  

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable. 

  • Flexible schedules
  • Flexible start and end times
  • Re-introduced weekend program for nurses
    • The Weekend Program allows for flexible scheduling for nurses so that they can have a work-life balance. Participants are paid a higher-rate, and work every Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Not only does this help staff the weekends, which are traditionally harder to cover, but also provides a flexible work schedule for employees that benefit from being off Monday through Friday—perhaps for family commitments or child care needs.
  • Brought back Wisdom Works to retain our senior workforce of nurses and their knowledge
    • A program that brings back recently retired nursing staff so that we can benefit from their knowledge, experience and have additional staffing.
  • We have expanded our personal leave policy to accommodate employee and family needs (quarantine, day care needs, etc.) 

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration? 

  • Not at this time.

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention? 

  • Yes, across the entire organization—but predominantly in nursing. For nursing, a shortage was predicted pre-pandemic, and as we have seen, the pandemic has certainly escalated the need. Shortages are due to the aging workforce, burnout, faculty shortages in nursing schools and competition. The market is very competitive. With agency and travel nursing organizations offering extravagant recruitment packages, hospitals are struggling to compete. Our focus is on retaining our current staff through:
    • Mental health and wellness resources
    • Competitive salary and benefits
    • Opportunities for advancement
    • Flexible scheduling options
    • Ongoing leadership presence for open communication

KEYBANK

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • While we do not have figures to share, KeyBank has had a long-standing and flexible remote work policy, even before the onset of the pandemic. Our approach is role-based, dedicating space to those whose roles require specific workspaces, while providing flexible options for roles that are less dependent on assigned workspaces and are able to be performed effectively in a mobile environment. As part of our open and honest culture, our teammates and their supervisors regularly have conversations to find solutions and arrangements that work best for our teammates, for Key and for our clients. 

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • While we do not have figures to share, even before the onset of the pandemic, we have had teammates who, depending on their role, are office-based, mobile or home based.  Our approach is role-based, dedicating space to those whose roles require specific workspaces, while providing flexible options for roles that are less dependent on assigned workspaces and are able to be performed effectively in a mobile environment

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, KeyBank allowed teammates to roll up to five days of unused PTO from 2020 into 2021. We also provided certain teammates who were required to work from home reimbursement for internet and childcare expenses. In addition, effective November 1, 2021, we are increasing paid Parental Leave from six weeks to ten weeks. We also provide teammates with the opportunity to participate in a vast number of health and wellness programs, including fitness reimbursement and hardship relief and have a generous paid time off policy. For those areas of the company where flexible work schedules can be applied effectively to balance work and personal life while continuing to meet client demands, we offer alternate work schedule options.

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration?

  • KeyBank is closely monitoring any potential new federal requirements on vaccines and testing. In the meantime, we will continue to work with our teammates to encourage them to receive a vaccination if they have not already done so. 

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • Attracting and retaining high performing teammates has and always will be a top priority at KeyBank. We consistently evaluate and adapt our strategy to remain competitive in the marketplace. We believe our competitive compensation, community focused culture and longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion sets us apart and helps us attract and retain top talent.
  • In early 2020, we increased the minimum base wage rate for jobs in various areas of the company, including our technology and operations centers, as well as our contact center and retail branch network, to $16-18 an hour. As of April 2021, more than 75% of our hourly population is at $18 an hour or higher and more than 95% of our population is at $16 an hour or higher.

LINCOLN ELECTRIC

The following information relates to the office worker population at Lincoln Electric’s Euclid HQ campus in Euclid. 

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020?

  • <1%. Prior to March 2020, Lincoln Electric did not have a formal remote work program.

What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? 

  • Approximately 15% of the Euclid campus office workers are now in permanently remote roles. 

Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022? 

  • We expect the ratio will grow as more roles may be adapted to remote work and as we increase remote new-hires over time.

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage? 

  • Yes. Approximately 50% of the Euclid campus office workers now have flexibility in their work location. 

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable. 

  • Yes. We now offer flexible work hours and compressed work weeks, among other options. Under our new “Work Appropriately” approach, which was launched earlier this year, we have given managers the authority to staff and schedule their teams flexibly while remaining focused on business outcomes. In addition, we have renovated our primary offices at our world headquarters building with a new state-of-the-art collaborative workspace that incorporates employee wellness into a more dynamic and engaging environment.  This new design supports our flexible work approach with “hoteling” arrangements and more collaborative workspaces and technology. We expect that this investment will help our employees achieve their strategic goals and better serve our customers.

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration? 

  • We have not mandated coronavirus vaccinations at this time, but are closely following the executive order and forthcoming guidance from OSHA. In the interim, we have launched a vaccine incentive program to all U.S. employees which offers 2 extra PTO days and the opportunity to receive $1,000 per vaccinated employee, if their facility achieves a 75% vaccination rate.  We also offer onsite vaccination opportunities in addition to our existing flu-shot program. 

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention? 

  • Production area hiring has been increasingly challenging, however retention levels are generally consistent with pre-COVID levels. Lincoln Electric has increased its community recruitment efforts and recently launched a “sign on” bonus for eligible production workers to broaden awareness of the career opportunities at Lincoln Electric. 

RTA

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022? 

  • Prior to March 2020, less than 1%. From April 2020 through June 2021, we had approximately 10% of our employees working remotely in various shifts (i.e. 2 days remote, 3 days in the office). As of October 2021, we are at less than 1% of our employees working remotely. 

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage? 

  • We have less than 1% percent of our employees working a hybrid at this time, and not on a regular schedule, but has necessitation by business needs.

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • Employees who have medical conditions who seek an accommodation to work remotely can do so if they approved through their doctor’s documentation and our Office of Equal Opportunity/ADA office. If approved, employees can work out a remote work schedule that aligns with their medical needs.

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration? 

  • We have not done so at this time. We are waiting on the official guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that will provide employers with 100 or more employees with guidance on how to deal with the mandates. In the meantime, we are asking our employees to voluntarily turn in their vaccination cards so we can determine how many employees are vaccinated, which will help us with future policies and procedures. We continue to encourage our employees to get vaccinated.  

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention? 

  • Yes, we have seen an increase in open positions, particularly operators, mechanics, and transit police positions are those that have been harder to fill. We've also seen a harder path to attract candidates because of private and public organizations raising their wages, offering hiring bonuses, and other short-term gains that overshadow the prospect of a career path that we provide at RTA. We have a holistic strategy to increase our recruitment and retention efforts, which involve engaging workforce development partners, aggressive recruitment campaigns, increased training class size and frequency, and examining the root causes of turnover. We are increasing outreach with workforce development partners such as Cuyahoga Community College Tri-C Access Centers and Ohio Means Job, hosting RTA specific job fairs, working with an external recruitment vendor, and increasing marketing of our open positions via social media and other media outlets. 
  • Additionally, we have a working group that examines the root causes of why employees leave RTA, seeking proactive ways to talk with employees before they decide to leave (stay interview), particularly with operators. For example, we have an operator mentoring program to help new and existing operators learn how to adapt to work schedules, customer service expectations, how to drive, and learn overall operation from experienced operators.

AKRON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees are working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • Prior to the pandemic, all employees worked on-site. Last school year, when we were 100% remote learning, almost all employees worked from home. This school year, now that we are back to in-person learning, all employees are back on-site.

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • We do not have any employees working a hybrid option.

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • Since we are a school system, it is difficult to offer flexible hours.  We do have some office staff who, based on the needs of the department, work different hours.

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration? 

  • No, we have not.

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • Yes, we are experiencing hiring challenges.  We have more open positions this year than we did last year at this time.  We are also experiencing higher absenteeism along with a shortage of substitute teachers, tutors and substitute tutors.  We have recently raised the rates for these positions and are hoping it helps us to be able hire more people. 

PROGRESSIVE

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022? 

  • 25% of our employees worked remotely at least 50% of their scheduled time prior to March 2020. Our offices have been closed to all but a small number of employees since March 2020, with over 90% of our employees working remotely full-time since then.  We anticipate that some fully remote employees will want to come back into our offices when they reopen, so this percent is likely to change over time.

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage? 

  • See above

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable. During COVID, Progressive offered PTO (vacation) donation, implemented an Emergency Relief Fund and offered free mental health resources and services to our employees.

  • Beyond COVID considerations, Progressive prides itself on being a company that prioritizes flexibility for its employees because they tell us all the time how important it is to them. Progressive offers flexible resources and benefits to help our employees navigate life including:
  • Since our on-site Progressive Fitness Center’s closed during the pandemic, the Fitness team ramped up our offerings of on-demand fitness options, including companywide live stream events and a fitness app for the whole family, to help employees continue to exercise as well as connect with fellow employees.
  • We leveraged live stream to deliver health & wellness-themed speaker events to encourage healthier lifestyle choices while at home.
  • Along with our mention of mental health resources, our benefits organization introduced options via video chat and texting to help people find support, especially in underserved communities where counselors are not available locally, or where people didn’t feel comfortable meeting in person. 
  • Progressive has offerings that allow employees to manage personal financial needs by offering health care flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA). FSAs and HSAs allow you to set aside pre-tax money to apply to eligible health care expense.
  • Employees can enjoy free or discounted services or products through Progressive vendors, including estate planning and legal assistance.
  • Our employees consistently recognize our efforts on their behalf, such as when they they participate in Top Workplace surveys and share their experiences working for Progressive. Honors and recognition list- https://www.progressive.com/about/honors-and-recognition/

We've heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention? 

  • We don’t look at it as a crisis. Progressive’s growth has put us on a multi-year hiring spree, so we’ve been well-positioned for this job market. We currently have about 1,500 positions open across the U.S. in sales, customer service, claims, IT, analytics and more.  

GMS

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? 

  • At GMS, we offer a hybrid model where 70% of employees work remotely for part of the work week. We have offered this hybrid work environment since 2015, which allowed us to easily pivot during the pandemic. We believe offering this flexibility and freedom to employees contributes to our positive office culture and work life balance. 

What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? 

  • 70% (hybrid) 

Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022? 

  • No

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage? 

  • Yes, 70%

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.   

  • GMS has always provided a flexible work environment.  In addition to our hybrid model, we also allow our employees to work a schedule that best suites them within our core business hours. All employees’ work is performed on laptops and tablets, which enables them to pick up and work wherever they wish – including our many collaborative spots and soft seating throughout the building, as well as our terraces and patios. As long as our clients are being serviced and happy, we trust our employees to work however they wish. 

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration?   

  • We have not made any mandates until more concrete guidance is provided by OSHA. 

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • We do have more positions open, which are a combination of both the hiring crisis and our ongoing growth. While there have been some challenges with hiring, mostly being an increase with no shows for interviews, we know with our HR expertise we will overcome any obstacles. Our retention remains solid. 

ALTMAN

What percent of your employees is working remotely in October 2021?

  • Currently, 18.5% of Aultman colleagues are working remotely. This is a total of 1,305 total employees. About 8% of them (536 colleagues) are working full time from home. The other 769 employees (about 11%) are following a hybrid model, working part-time at home and part-time in the office.

Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • No, we do not expect the numbers of our remote workers to change much over the next year.

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • Yes, as we noted in the first question, there are currently 769 Aultman colleagues working in a hybrid option. This is 10.9% of our workforce.

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • Yes, in some areas, we are allowing for increased flexibility in schedules. For example, we have some colleagues that work from home and do 4 ten-hour shifts rather than the usual 5-day workweek. We’ve also become more flexible with allowing young children to be in the home while colleagues are working from home. This, of course being dependent on the individual and their ability to get their work done.

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration?

  • Since administering some of Ohio’s first COVID vaccinations in December, we’ve continuously supported vaccination and encouraged all colleagues to choose to be vaccinated. As we await further information from the government on this new development, we are not requiring our colleagues to receive a vaccination at this time. Our Infection Prevention and Control team is continuing to monitor the course of the pandemic and current CDC guidelines, and will make changes as needed for the safety of all patients, visitors and staff.

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company?

  • Yes, we do have many more open positions than we typically do.

Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • Yes, we have felt increased challenges in hiring and retention of both clinical and support jobs. Right now, recruitment of these positions is difficult. In addition, the increase in the overall job market in our community is providing more options to our colleagues. If they find a better shift or a job with less stress, they make a job change. 

NESTLE

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • Prior to the pandemic most of our corporate employees worked within our offices. At the onset of the pandemic, a majority of these employees began working from home; however our offices have always remained open. Over the past year and a half, despite all of the uncertainty and obstacles, our people rose to the occasion and delivered results beyond our expectations. And they continue to show up day in and day out. That’s why, moving forward we will continue to offer a flexible working model – empowering our employees to decide where to work – in the office or at home – on any given day based on where they are most productive. This doesn’t mean we are abandoning our offices. It means we are reimagining our spaces and the role they play serving as hubs for creativity, collaboration and culture.  In fact, we recently received the WELL Health-Safety Rating for our corporate office locations, making us the first food and beverage company to achieve the rating in the U.S. Learn more here. In addition, we’re launching an app later this fall that will enhance the office experience where employees can do the below. 
  • Book workspaces and see where colleagues are sitting
  • Order food and drinks
  • Request Support (IT, A/V, and maintenance)
  • Access Internal Nestlé Social Tools
    You can learn more about our future of work and benefits for employees here.

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • Most of our employees are enjoying this flexible work model and deciding where to work – at home or at the office – on any given day based on where they are most productive.

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • In addition to the flexible working model, we’ve offered our employees complimentary access to things like mindfulness apps, virtual counseling, LinkedIn learning and more. Another addition we’re excited for is within our 2022 benefits, we’re offering employees a $500 “Lifestyle Spending Account”. The purpose of the LSA is to encourage our employees to prioritize their wellbeing, whether that be a repayment for a gym membership, cooking classes, massages or even student loan repayments.

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration?

  • Nestlé strongly encourages all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and to follow the information and guidance provided by national health services.

We've heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • It is evident that talent are looking for additional benefits that offer flexibility and contribute to their wellbeing. Flexibility is important to the vast majority of the workforce and it will be an important factor as they consider their careers and where they want to work. In fact, a recent Nestlé survey found that 84% of people are more likely to consider working at Nestlé USA given the new flexible work model. Given the wellbeing of our employees is a top priority, we’ve worked to reiterate benefits available to our employees and have established new benefits such as the LSA mentioned above. 

SWAGELOK

What percentage of your employees worked remotely prior to March 2020? What percentage of your employees is working remotely in October 2021? Do you expect that percentage will change drastically by October 2022?

  • Swagelok, a leading manufacturer of tube fittings and valves, is headquartered in Solon, Ohio with a total U.S. associate headcount of approximately 4,500.  Prior to March 2020, roughly 1% of our workforce worked remotely. In March 2020, Swagelok was deemed an essential business remaining open to support the critical work of our customers during the pandemic. Products and solutions from Swagelok support customers serving numerous critical infrastructures around the world, including medical supply chains; transportation; energy and chemical production; communications equipment and systems; food and agriculture; water and wastewater treatment; emergency services; and the defense industrial base. To focus on the health of our manufacturing associates on site, our office associates transitioned to working fully remote during the pandemic–approximately 20% of our associates. For October 2021, those associates are now working in a hybrid transition period back into the office.

Do you have employees working a hybrid option, including part time spent remote and in a shared office space? If so, what percentage?

  • Since returning on site in August, office associates who were fully remote during the pandemic now are working in a hybrid transition period—alternating working in the office and remotely to maintain social distancing during this time. This checkerboarding approach has helped acclimate back to an office environment and helped our teams begin to reconnect and renew our workplace culture.

Have you offered additional flexibility in other ways? Please list details as applicable.

  • As with most companies, COVID-19 transformed the way Swagelok and our associates worked, including the transition of our office associates to be fully remote for nearly 18 months. While we have once again opened our offices for associates to be on site, we offer and encourage work flexibility while making sure we have the right support available for our customers and our manufacturing associates, who have worked on site throughout COVID-19

Have you mandated coronavirus vaccinations or testing per guidelines outlined by the Biden administration?

  • No, we haven't mandated vaccines, but have provided paid time to get vaccinated, and to recover if needed.  We will develop our approach to vaccinations and testing once OSHA’s regulations are fully known.

We’ve heard much about the hiring crisis. Do you have more open positions than are typical for your company? Have you seen other challenges in hiring or retention?

  • The challenges of an extremely tight and competitive labor market have impacted many companies, and we have not been immune to that. Swagelok also has a unique challenge in that we have continued to grow and demand for our products has reached historically high levels during this time. We are growing faster than anticipated. It is a unique challenge to have and one that we are excited to solve. Our biggest need is for experienced machinists and entry-level assemblers on all shifts.

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