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Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

The Briefing

Electronic Clearing House Inc. of Agoura Hills didn’t invent instant credit card approval and processing services, but it has developed software and electronics intended to make it more efficient. Even with machines to do most of the work, company CEO Jody Barry still relies heavily on the people who work at his six-year-old company. Nevertheless, at no time, he says, was he ready for the large turnover in his customer service department. It wasn’t simply an annoyance, the problem was clearly having an impact on the company’s bottom line, he said. It took his young daughter to help him come up with a solution he employs successfully to this day, Barry told Business Journal reporter Carlos Martinez. “We’re a service organization with a 24/7 customer service department and these are positions that are typically fielded by women, and we found that many of these women were single moms. Typically, from time to time, they’d have to go home and take care of family issues with their kids So we’d have this constant turnover. They’d realize that they couldn’t do their job and take care of their kids. “We didn’t realize what was happening at the time. I have a very outstanding daughter who was a very good soccer player and if she had a game, I went. So one day she said, ‘The only reason you’re here is because you’re the CEO,’ and it just hit me that, if it were somebody else, they’d have to beg their boss to get here. “We were forcing our people to choose between their jobs and their family obligations. So our whole focus had to change. We had to let the employees know that we supported them in their family life. We give up to four hours a month to go see their kid or go see them play basketball or whatever. Policies such as that make for a much happier family life and it makes people happier about going to work. “If people need additional time, they go to the HR department and they’re asked, ‘What’s going on in your life?’ We realize it’s unusual, but we’re very lenient and we try to help. If an employee says, ‘I have to go see my doctor,’ or ‘I have to go see my dad’ or your mother or son or daughter, it doesn’t matter. “During the summer, we hire the kids of single moms, between (the ages of) 13 and 18. They can work half the day and their moms don’t have to worry about them. They don’t have to run home because something happened. “These are things that are working for us and has helped keep a lot of our people.”

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