WorkPartners is turning the spotlight on an individual making an impact and exemplifying excellence in the field of human resources and workers’ compensation. We are excited to feature Melanie Andersen, Human Resources Director at Job Options, Inc. Thank you, Melanie, for spending time answering our questions. We hope everyone enjoys this week’s interview!
WP. You started in Human Resources almost 15 years ago. During your HR career, you had success in developing a nonprofit organization that gave back to local communities and employees. What inspired you to lead this nonprofit initiative?
MA. I worked with a great company that always focused on giving back. The initiative started small, employees helping employees, and then we expanded with community programs focusing on children. It was such a great feeling knowing that I was doing more and helping those that needed just a little extra to get through trying times.
WP. You currently serve as Human Resources Director for the San Diego based nonprofit Job Options, Inc. which provides employment opportunities to disabled employees. How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your working environment?
MA. COVID-19 has had a small impact on Job Options, Inc. We are one of the lucky companies that are trained to work in sensitive areas such as medical facilities and are doing our part to ensure the patients and our employees are safe. We have reduced our office hours, and any employee that can work from home is currently doing so to limit contact.
WP. You have several years of experience managing employees in multiple states. What is one of the most impactful decisions in controlling costs a company can make and why?
MA. Telecommuting is a big one. Reducing the amount of travel and the costs associated with it has a huge impact on the bottom line. I can’t imagine the impact on the company if I had to travel for every meeting or event instead of virtual meetings.
WP. What does the future of Human Resources look like in California after we get through this COVID-19 crisis?
MA. I believe we all have seen that every situation isn’t black and white. The need for flexibility in a fluid situation is important, and we need to treat each situation individually. For example, allowing employees to work from home, reducing in-person meetings or worst yet… not shaking a colleague’s hand when we are in person.
WP. In closing, we realize it can be tough at times balancing your career and life outside of work. How do you keep a healthy work/life balance?
MA. I keep a strict schedule. I have hours where I teach my children (all three of them are home-schooled currently), I have hours where I work from home, and I have a time where I go outside and walk the dog. Trying to stick to a normal routine has helped keep a good balance for everyone in my life.