When Children's Hospital Boston employees have a question about their benefits, want discounted movie tickets or are just in need of a chocolate fix, only two employees can help them with all of those things at once: Ruth Anne Shea and Rose Naranjo, who run the Employee Service Center (ESC) in Human Resources (HR).
Shea joined HR in January to provide a central point of contact for employees to get their questions answered about HR and benefits. She wasn't intimidated by the challenge of starting the center since she had 10 years of experience running a service department for Polaroid, and knew she could handle a high volume of questions and requests. But it was only three months before Naranjo was brought on board to use her HR experience at Children's to assist with the heavy work load and utilize her Spanish-speaking skills to further help employees. "We have the opportunity to meet people from all levels of the hospital, which I really like," says Naranjo.
In addition to directing callers, e-mailers and visitors to the appropriate HR person, Naranjo and Shea are responsible for processing all of the benefit forms for all Children's employees, including health, dental and life insurance, maternity leave; short-term disability; retirement and flexible spending. "We really follow employees from when they first enroll in benefits to when they have a life-changing event like having a child, to helping employees access their benefits information after they've moved on," says Shea.
The ESC has received a strong employee response—they are getting about 60 calls and 15 to 25 walk-ins a day. "Some people can take an hour to decide what they want to have for breakfast and five minutes to decide what they want for benefits," she say. "But we want to give employees enough information so they can make good decisions."
In addition to benefits, the ESC duo handles the discounts available to employees and gives out discounted passes to theme parks, and car rentals, reduced rates on cell phones and local restaurants. "We get lines out the door for those," Shea laughs. But discounts aren't the only perks that tempt employees to stop by; Shea and Naranjo are known for having candy bars on hand. "People love chocolate and it makes them feel good," says Naranjo. "We want to provide a welcoming environment and what better way to do it than with chocolate?" says Shea. To contact the ESC, call 617-355-7780 or email HResc@childrens.harvard.edu.
To see a list of discounts, go to http://web2.tch.harvard.edu/hr/discount.cfm.