Magazine article Personnel Journal

Sickroom for Kids Is Cost-Effective - and Comforting

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Sickroom for Kids Is Cost-Effective - and Comforting

Article excerpt

EMPLOYEES WITH SICK KIDS generally have two choices: attend work and worry all day about their child or skip work and worry all day about their job. Schering-Plough's Memphis, Tennessee-based health-care products unit didn't like either approach. So in August 1993 it opened an on-site "sickroom" to provide always-available child care as well as the comfort of close proximity.

The idea was developed in response to an employee assessment of child-care issues. "A lot of people surfaced the issue that sick care was critical," says Dee Moran, director of diversity and employee services for the unit. "Many of them admitted that oftentimes they'd called in sick when in truth they were at home taking care of a child."

So, upon building its childcare facility, the unit included a room specifically designated for sick care. The company also provided funds for a full-time staffer: Benchmarking had determined that sickrooms at other companies had failed because they were staffed on an as-needed basis. "If you're going to offer a service, you better have that service available all the time," says Moran. …

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