ATMORE, AL – Wind Creek Hospitality (WCH) has announced multiple efforts to recognize the added pressures employees are experiencing due to spiraling inflation driving up the cost of groceries and gasoline.
“These added and unexpected costs are creating a great burden on our employees, and we want to take steps within our power to relieve some of that burden where we can,” said Catherine Timmons, EVP of Human Resources for Wind Creek.
The first step in those efforts is a one-time cash stipend awarded to all Wind Creek employees, full-time and part-time alike, supported by the Tribal Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (parent of WCH).
“We know the importance and value of each of our employees and it’s great to help them and their families during this pivotal time of drastic inflation,” said Stephanie Bryan, Tribal Chairwoman. “Every member of our Tribal Council believes very strongly that they need to support our team at this time.”
The second step is an accelerated roll-out of flexible working arrangements to help minimize fuel and childcare expenses.
“If we can create schedules where employees only have to drive to work three or four days each week instead of the traditional five days, it amounts to a 20 percent or even 40 percent reduction in fuel costs and potential childcare costs,” said Jay Dorris, President and CEO of Wind Creek. “Those are important dollars for the families of our team. Every dollar they don’t have to put into a gas tank is a dollar they can use elsewhere for their families.”
This second effort was a pilot initiative that started in a post-pandemic era responding to a need for some greater autonomy by a changing workforce.
“Offering hourly employees a choice to work the traditional five eight-hour shifts, four ten-hour shifts, or even three twelve-hour shifts gives our team members the options needed to build a work schedule that works with their life schedule,” said Dorris. “Now we get the added impact of providing some better economic footing along with the requested flexibility employees are seeking today.”
While the flexible shift options are not universally available for all roles at all locations, WCH is working to look for every opportunity to add flexibility without compromising the guest experience.
“Providing our guests an escape from their daily world is at our core,” said Dorris. “Building and unifying a team of employees who believe their employer is making life better for them ensures those team members will see to it that our guests get that needed escape.”
Details of both the stipend and options for flexible schedules are being shared with team members later this month.