The Value of Work
When was the last time you paused and gave gratitude for the job you have? What does your work mean to your self identity? Or how about the skills you’ve learned or opportunities your bosses and mentors have given you? Taking employment for granted is probably something we are all guilty of.
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet the dedicated team at The Fedcap Group, a not-for-profit that brings education, vocational training, behavioral health services, and work readiness for jobs to over 350,000 people a year.
“What is it like not to have access to work? It's like prison. It's like having things told at you with no real choice in your own destiny, the destiny of your family, the trajectory of your life. You take whatever is there. And if it's not there, you're kind of stuck. It's really difficult, particularly in the United States,” explained Grant Collins, SVP of Workforce Development at The Fedcap Group.
For 85 years, The Fedcap Group has been serving and improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities, veterans, the impoverished, those struggling with substance abuse and disorders, at risk youth, older workers, and the previously incarcerated.
The latter is the particular group of participants I got to meet. One man found employment within three days of his release through the support of The Fedcap Group. Another woman, who spent most of her life on the streets and grappling with addiction, proudly sat down and showed me an electronic fob and shiny new key. One representing building access to her dream job and the other, access to her first ever apartment after 40+ years of sleeping in NYC parks.
Business in the Back Office
To help their participants achieve long-term self-sufficiency and economic independence, the team at The Fedcap Group focuses on innovation, data insights and driving industry-leading outcomes.
“Innovation for us is actually building the structure, the data systems, the platform, and the culture that allows you to think about solving as opposed to serving,” said CEO, Christine McMahon. “If you are not growing, you are shrinking.” Fedcap has always focused on data, outcomes, and demand for the information to make these important decisions and sees Oracle’s cloud technology as a way to significantly evolve and scale impact.
Oracle Cloud, allowed the firm to retire 10 outdated and disconnected systems, consolidate their back-office data, and work within one unified SaaS platform.
“Our previous HR systems were not the best. In fact, we were a very paper-intensive company believe it or not. A large part of our strategy at The Fedcap Group is growth through acquisitions. We had recently acquired three companies, so pulling data and having consistent information was very hard. Moving to Oracle Cloud has made things so much better,” explained Kim Quinonez, HRIS Director.
The HR team in particular was looking to improve employee retention and follow McMahon’s lead for becoming more data-driven. For Quinonez, this was easy, since she thrives in a data focused environment.
“Data is inspiring. It tells a story of what’s happening with an employee from beginning to end. From the start at recruitment, onboarding, then following that person through their employment life cycle—you’re helping that person with performance, development, and sometimes promotions. Even at the time of exit, you’re getting a full picture. Oracle HCM Cloud is allowing us to see this for the first time,” said Quinonez.
Finance is seeing similar change by moving to Oracle ERP Cloud. In order to better understand where funds are coming from and where they are being allocated, the finance team needs to be able to produce financial statements that are accurate and timely in the most efficient way.
“Since I have been here [six years], we have tripled our revenue. That brings along its own set of challenges. We have to keep up with the growth. Right now we have 20 subsidiaries and counting. Each one of those has its own set of reporting requirements. We moved to Oracle Cloud so that all stakeholders—the board, program heads, finance—no matter their geographical location, could have access to data and transact on the same platform,” said Carol Khoury, Controller. The Fedcap Group has companies in the USA, UK, and Scotland.
Both Khoury and Quinonez agree that the flexibility and transparency of Oracle ERP and HCM Cloud has given their teams is a game-changer. The finance team has already reduced the time it takes to generate reports by 25% since their upgrade to cloud.
The Power of Possible
“What's possible is a very narrow perspective for some of the individuals that we are working with, and so our role is to continue to broaden their belief that way more is possible, “ says McMahon.
We often forget all the magic that happens behind the scenes in functions like operations, HR, and finance. For many of our customers, nailing operations in the back office often results in a better customer experience, stronger employee retention, and financial growth - allowing companies to redeploy those resources to what really matters
For The Fedcap Group, business alignment means helping foster kids find resources for independence, finding opportunities for someone who is visually impaired, skilling up a person who has been incarcerated for years, and helping the older community feel comfortable navigating laptops, smartphones, and other pervasive technology to gain economic independence.
So what is the value of work?
“When you have a job, you have a place to go every day. People are counting on you. Your family starts to learn that that's an important value that you have. It gets translated to your children and everybody who's watching as you make your way to work,” said Collins.
To meet their mission, The Fedcap Group uses Oracle HCM Cloud to recruit employees passionate about helping those with job barriers find work. Additionally, Oracle ERP Cloud is used to track and allocate funds to build robust community programs.