Kinaxis wanted to provide a benefit to employees that would ease the stress of balancing work and their children during COVID. We sat down with Megan Paterson, Chief HR Officer at Kinaxis to learn more about her company’s experience with Hatch Coding.What made you decide to select Hatch as an employee benefit?
We were seeing a lot of employees who were really struggling when COVID hit. They were all working remotely and working longer hours than ever before. A large percentage of our workforce are parents, and it’s been hard for them to juggle their job and homeschooling their kids. We found that COVID was creating a lot of stress and anxiety for our parents. When you approached us, we thought this was perfect! We wanted to offer a benefit that would help parents and their families. We felt that Hatch provided a creative outlet for their kids while building skills for the future. From a longer-term perspective, it helps our talent pool, as a software company, we want more coding everywhere.
What are your company’s current challenges during COVID and how did Hatch help you solve them?
We were seeing a lot of kids make their way into zoom calls, and that parents needed a few hours a day that they could be uninterrupted by their children to do focused work, or even to take some time for themselves. We felt that Hatch provided a platform where kids could be engaged and parents could take time for themselves.
How would you describe Hatch to a friend?
I would describe Hatch as an online coding school for kids 8-18 to connect with other kids. It’s social, builds interaction within our company and provides a creative outlet.
How have employees responded to Hatch?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. As soon as we released the benefit, we had employees sign up immediately.
How was the process working with Hatch to launch?
We had communications send an internal email based on the launch kit with the messaging Peter Kuperman, CEO, Hatch sent. I also posted in Microsoft teams to get the word out.
How has Hatch helped you to connect internationally?
We are operating in 21 countries and have offered Hatch to all of our employees. We have had participants from Ottawa to India sign up, which is very cool to see. Our employees kids are now getting to know other kids in so many countries!
What was the biggest surprise in launching Hatch?
I was pleased to see that employees were so excited about this benefit and how many people signed up immediately.
How has Hatch brought your community closer together?
We have found that employees bond because they see their kids together. Kids are telling their parents about their new friends, which is really heart-warming.
How has Hatch helped parents work better from home?
It has given parents a much needed break! They are feeling less anxious because their kids are doing something useful, their kids are happy, learning and engaged. I believe this relieves some of the pressure for parents.
How has Hatch impacted your company culture?
We have offered several initiatives to create a strong company culture during COVID.
We have offered:
- $1300 work from home allowance.
- Laptop and two monitors.
- $100 take out challenge - each employee is provided with $100 to spend at a local restaurant to help their community’s economy.
- Flexible hours.
- Global EAP program
- Normally we provide personal training, yoga and fruit at many of our offices, right now we can’t do that but we continue to pay people who offer us these services and have redirected food and beverages to food banks and shelters in the cities we operate in.
And of course Hatch Coding, where we are able to engage the children of employees and have them acquire valuable coding skills. We are happy to do this for our employees at only $120/month. We've been happy to provide employees with these benefits when many other employers are cost cutting….we know we are in a fortunate position.
What can Hatch do to put a smile on your face?
Hatch is already making me smile. I was so thrilled with Hatch that I recommended Hatch to the Kanata North Business Association. I think it has been a really great benefit!
What company would fit well with Hatch?
Any company, but especially a high-tech company that understands the benefit of getting kids coding early. The older demographic helps a little bit – most of our employees have kids who fit in the age range. Honestly, any company is a fit for Hatch, but I think you’ll get way more traction with tech companies because they will get it right away.
After the questions:
We ended with talking about how Hatch could show off the work done by the amazing students at Kinaxis. We are excited to do a virtual showcase where kids can show off their projects to each other and parents in October.
Want to learn more about how you can offer this employee benefit to your company?
Contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if Hatch Coding could be a good fit for your company.