Australian startup triiyo is partnering with the Department of Regional NSW to offer a customised, online platform for employees on parental leave.
The new program kicks off in October 2022, with the goal of providing employees an all-in-one tool where they can access information, communicate with their colleagues, get paired with a buddy on their team, and stay on track in their career – all at their own pace.
Donna Mcleod, Director Workforce Capability and Talent at Department of Regional NSW, said, “We’re looking to partner with triiyo because we understand that life and work go hand in hand. It’s no longer you leave work to go and have a life, people are living at work and working at life.
“So, we really want to make sure our teams have support, and that they’ve got a means of staying connected at a cadence that suits them. Being able to access information on the triiyo platform, regardless of gender, will help all parents on their journey.”
Donna emphasised the importance of open communication between managers and their employees at every stage of parental leave – from finding out that they’re pregnant to putting together a communications plan whilst they’re away, to career planning for when they return to work.
“I think in the early days, it’s about creating a safe space for employees and managers to have an open conversation. Because in the early stages, there are a number of scans, blood works, and doctor’s appointments that need to happen – and a number of women feel unwell through the first trimester.
“So, it’s about talking to employees and asking, ‘How can we support you? What can we put in place?’ And being really adaptive,” said Donna.
The triiyo platform offers a safe and confidential place for employees to access the information they need to prepare themselves for that first conversation and navigate the other stages of their parental leave journey with their manager when they’re ready.
Companies can upload their policies and procedures, and create community channels where employees can connect with their colleagues who are also on leave to share experiences and seek advice.
Employees also have access to a resource hub curated by experts to support them through every stage of every life event – from miscarriage and infertility, all the way through to balancing work with parenthood, and everything in between.
Rebecca Grainger, founder of triiyo, said, “We specifically designed triiyo to exist outside of company HR systems, so employees can access a safe and confidential space that ensures people get support early-on in what many employees fear are career-limiting life phases.”
Employees who opt in receive guidance and reminders with what they need to do and what they need to think about at each stage. All of the journeys are aligned to company policy and best practice, and delivered in real time – according to each individual’s personal timeline.
Donna from Regional NSW shared that, “triiyo is going to be great for us, because at firm or agency level, there’ll be a lot of things happening. Our Secretary has recently retired, and that’s a good example – those who are on parental leave, unless they check their email or read the news regularly, probably wouldn’t see that.
“So, we’ll have a company page on triiyo where employees can see major changes happening at the agency without having to get into the details – headlines only. If they want to know more, they can connect with their colleagues, or they can communicate with their boss and ask any questions.”
Donna said return to work is also a key focus, explaining that, “When employees integrate back into the workplace, it’s about us helping them and their managers to have transparent conversations about the hours they’re going to be available, about where they’re going to do the work, and about the role that they were doing before they went away on parental leave to make sure that it is adjusted to be, say, a part time role, or to play to their strengths when they return.”
83% of the Department of Regional NSW workforce is located in the regions, where Donna said they enjoy all the modern infrastructure and amenities but without the congestion of a big city. She shared that she and her colleagues love the fresh air and freedom so much they feel like it’s a bit of an #OpenSecret.
But having employees in remote areas means that it’s critical they build a sense of care and community around them – especially when they’re on parental leave.
“I think by not having a keeping in touch platform or not keeping in touch with parents on leave, you’re running a very real risk that these people might not engage at the end of their leave,” Donna shared.
NSW public sector employees can now access up to 14 weeks of paid parental leave – regardless of gender.1
“The Government anticipates that it will help families to better balance work and family life, support both parents to be involved in raising children, and support women in their return to the workforce.” 1
The triiyo team is honoured to support this innovative government department in reinforcing a culture of trust, safety and support through parental leave.
“By partnering with triiyo, organisations are showing that they care about their people. Plus, it supports diversity and inclusion initiatives with actionable and tailored advice not just for employees, but also for the managers providing support,” shared triiyo’s founder Rebecca Grainger.
Donna summed up why they chose triiyo, saying, “We investigated a few platforms. When we were looking, we had some criteria: It had to be customizable, and it had to have a journey.
“So, it needed to support people from the time they find out they are going to be parents, and have a keeping in touch mechanism that could be driven by the employee – that was really important to us.
“We met with Rebecca [Grainger, founder of triiyo]. And it ticked all those boxes. She really understood what we wanted to achieve.
“The level of customization that you can have within triiyo, the level of information it contains. And the number of partnerships – we felt it was exactly what we wanted for our people.
“We want our people, and particularly our women, to feel that they are connected, even when they’re not working – to feel that they have the support they need personally. And through triiyo, through the chat functions and through all the information, that’s accessible.
“Also professionally, we want them to feel that they’ve got colleagues and friends that they can check in with and that everything’s okay.
“It gives our employees access to drive how they want that communication to be. And it gives them a peer network with other parents and carers for when they come back to work.
“They can share some of those challenges about how they’re settling in or if they’re struggling – if their baby is getting sick often in daycare. And they’ll have somebody who can say, ‘Hey, that’s okay, that’s completely normal. I’ve been there.’ Or, ‘That’s all right, try this.’
“So, we think it really gives a good end-to-end support.”