“Circle In is a brilliant business to partner with. Innovative, engaging and gets results. [Our staff] is feeling far more comfortable with the parental journey now they have tools, guidance and support at their fingertips.”
Amy Walker
Executive General Manager – HR

Amy Walker: Circle In ticks all the boxes and demystifies the process.

Amy Walker, Executive General Manager – Human Resources at Visy, built a case for the Circle In Parents Portal when they noticed the support needed by staff before, during and after parental leave. The accessibility and practical guidance provided within the portal was a big draw for the management and parents at Visy. Amy and team are confident about the impact this will have on the engagement levels and percentage of parents returning to work after parental leave.

Tell us about why you saw a need for Circle In?
We are constantly looking for better ways to support our team members. A lot of the feedback we received from employees was around greater support for parents, and conversely from managers who wanted to better support team members. Additionally, our return to work retention levels not where they should be. Parents and managers were feeling disconnected. We wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could to retain our great people. At the same time, we also wanted to have them as advocates for us.

We weren’t sure how or where to start. As a small team, we didn’t have the capacity to do the research or build our own support program and that’s where Circle In came in. The rest is history!

Building a business case
The numbers and data made it easy to justify our business case. The number of team members who chose not to come back from parental leave or return from leave and left within 6-12 months was significant. If we could have those team members and managers better supported and reduce that turnover by even a small amount, Circle In would pay for itself. Beyond that, it just makes good business sense. Our team member demographic is changing and so are their expectations. We need to make sure we are an employer of choice, attracting the best of the best and that means supporting our people through every stage of their career journey.

On-boarding and launch experience with Circle In 
This was incredibly exciting (and easy)! We had a number of team members at the very beginning of their parental journey so it was both exciting and rewarding to be able to support them with tools that were easy to use and accessible from anywhere. It was particularly rewarding to hear from those team members already on parental leave, who felt much better connected and likewise their managers.

Working with Jodi made the on-boarding process easy. Her background as a corporate executive and a mum meant she understood what we needed to build the business case and also what we needed for both our managers and our parents. Jodi was always available and had the time to work through our ideas and build solutions.

Employee feedback and impact to date
Incredibly positive from both parents and managers. We were surprised at how popular Circle In has been with our managers but we were confident it would be a hit with parents. Everyone is feeling far more comfortable with the parental journey now they have tools, guidance and support at their fingertips. It’s also been a fantastic benefit to the partners of our team members who can access these tools too. As a family business, it’s important that our team members see that we live our values.

We launched with Circle In in April 2019, so we continue to realise those benefits. We get monthly reports that give us an insight into how many of our team members are using the portal and what stage of their parenting journey they are at, articles most read etc. In terms of retention, the large majority of our team members taking parental leave, take 12 months on average so we are still waiting for that data to come in.

Circle In ticks all the boxes and demystifies the process
We love its relevance, ease of use, it’s engaging writing style and accessibility. It ticks all the boxes in terms of managers and team members meeting their obligations – that’s a piece all parties are always concerned about. Circle In demystifies the process, makes sure the conversations are meaningful and supportive so we can focus on the important things in life.

The importance of investing in working parents
When you want to attract and retain the best and brightest in a tight talent market, you need to make sure you support your people through their career journey along all the twists and turns. I haven’t met a parent who hasn’t returned to work from parental leave who hasn’t come back with a new and improved skill set. There’s nothing like an addition to the family to fine-tune your resilience, empathy, multitasking, prioritisation and time management skills (at the minimum).

A good return on investment
Absolutely! We expect to see our retention rates increase substantially. Our parents act as advocates for the supportive environment we provide and so we continue to get the best from our people.

Finish this sentence: Circle In is a brilliant business to partner with. Innovative, engaging and gets results.