Daily ERC Operation
Professional and volunteer employment resource centers are expected to maintain a minimum standard hours of operations. This section outlines what those hours are.
12.2 Center Hours
Professional Employment Resource Centers
Professional ERCs are to be open from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday with extended hours in the evenings or Saturdays to meet the needs of our customers.
- Deviation from the standard hours (8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.) may be made with prior approval of the Manager of Operations for Employment Resource Services.
The extended operating hours for employment resource centers are to be governed by the Agent Stake Operating President and the Agent Stake Operating Committee who are in the best position to determine the unique needs of their members and the local area circumstances.
With the exception of the Center closing for official Church declared holidays, the Manager of Field Operations and human resource representative must be involved to close the employment center during the prescribed standard hours for all other isolated occasions.
(A Professional ERC is defined as where one or more full-time staff is assigned to the center).
Volunteer Employment Resource Centers
Volunteer ERCs are generally to be open at least 20 hours per week during the times designated by the Agent Stake Operating Committee. Recommendations to reduce the hours of operation should be reviewed with the Manager of Field Operations.
12.3 Staff Hours in Employment Resource Centers
ERC Paid Staff are expected to work from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday plus extended hours as needed. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime or “comp time”.
12.4 Working from Home
Work-at-home or telecommuting is not authorized. This general policy does not prevent exempt employees from taking necessary work home to be completed after hours.
12.5 Beginning the Day
Prayer Meeting and Devotional
Each day at the ERC should begin with prayer. Amulek taught the Zoramites of the ancient Americas about praying for the welfare of others, saying: “Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto [God]. . . . Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you” (Alma 34:19, 27).
Praying for help for both the ERC and its candidates will allow you to more readily discern and respond to the needs of those you serve. Including your responsibilities at the ERC in your daily personal prayers will also help you meet your service goals there.
A 5- to 15-minute devotional should be held at least once a week. These short meetings will greatly benefit you as you work at the ERC. These meetings may also be a time to briefly look at the day’s schedule.
In addition to beginning the day with prayer, perform the following tasks:
- Perform a quick indoor and outdoor inspection of the building to ensure that it hasn’t been broken into or vandalized.
- If necessary, set up for workshops being held that day.
- Assess your personal goals for the day. (For example, how much time will you devote to follow-up? What goals will you achieve in resource development?)
12.6 Ending the Day
Remember that the ERC is meant to help people, so strive to serve them lovingly. Recognize that many people travel great distances or make great sacrifices in order to come to the ERC. Avoid turning away candidates who arrive after closing time, and especially those who arrive only a few minutes before closing time. At the very least, find out their needs and give them a take-away of some kind, whether it’s giving them job-searching tips or encouraging them to create a profile at home if they have a computer. Schedule a time that they can come back in for help. You may find that they are not able to come back, whether for economic or other reasons. It is expected that you will accommodate their schedule even at the inconvenience of your own, so stay and help them if at all possible.
If necessary, make an appointment for them to return another day when more time can be devoted to their needs. Inform them of the ERC’s normal operating hours and any days in the near future when the center might be closed. For more on center hours, see section 12.2, “Center Hours.”
Before leaving the center, secure the building and safeguard any assets. Confidential records (such as financial reports and employment files) should be kept in a secure place when not in use and locked away during nonbusiness hours.
12.7 Staff Meetings
Effective staff meetings can help your team reach performance goals, decrease the number of emergencies, and help the office run smoothly. The following tips will help you conduct your next staff meeting:
- Link the agenda to the ERC operating plan and goals.
- Identify needed training areas.
- Create synergy.
- Identify safety issues to discuss (see section 15.4, “Review Safety Procedures”).
- Hold meetings regularly.
- Start and end on time.
- Write up minutes.
12.8 ERC Layout
A clean, organized center is part of creating a good first impression. Ensure that the ERC stays clean and orderly. Keep decorations simple and professional. Consider hanging a picture of the Savior or other Church-approved artwork. For repairs and maintenance, see section 18.3, “Replacement and Improvement.” See also the Purchasing Reference Guide, found under “Purchasing and Travel” on the intranet.
ERC layout is based on function. Use these guidelines to help organize your ERC based on the different services that it will offer. If you have limited space you can combine different areas, but make sure candidates always feel that the center is a safe place to discuss employment concerns.
Reception and Administration Area
The reception and administration area consists of one or more desks near the center’s entrance. Someone should always be available in the reception area to answer the phone and greet visitors as soon as they walk in (see section 2.2, “Intake and Assessment”).
The interview rooms (or interview area, if there are no rooms) should offer a quiet location where you can meet one-on-one with candidates (see section 2.4, “One-on-One Coaching”). This area should be somewhat private and free from distractions. Do not use interview rooms as personal offices.
The training room is where you teach workshops and conduct networking groups. It should be equipped with tables, chairs, and teaching materials (for example, a whiteboard and large writing tablets). The training room should not take the place of a storage room—keep the room clean and free of clutter.
The resource area provides equipment and information that allow candidates to research and apply for job postings, make calls, prepare written materials, and learn about small business management resources. One or more staff members should be available to help candidates use the following resources:
- Computers with Internet access
- Copier, printer, and fax machine
- Business and industry directories, newspapers, magazines, and other publications
- Printed information on schools, training programs, employers, small business resources, and community organizations
Management offices exist to handle confidential issues or one-on-one staff training. The offices are also used to store confidential information that does not need to be accessed by all ERC staff.
Most professional ERCs include two management offices. Although the offices are generally used by the ERC manager and associate manager, they can be used by others. When the manager is not in the office, the space may be used for other needs. It is acceptable to have the manager and associate manager share an office to accommodate additional staff (such as a development specialist or a center coordinator) that may be added to a center over time.