GREENSBORO, N.C. — A new certification in our state is leading businesses to focus on the health and well-being of their employees.

What You Need To Know

  • Family Forwards NC Certified aims to strengthen the benefits of employees and their families

  • Guilford County is the first county in the state to receive the certification

  • Employers who are certified adopt better practices in areas such as child care, fair wages and leave policies

  • The Future Ready Greensboro initiative hopes to have at least 85,000 employees under Family Forward NC Certified employees by 2025

Daphne Taylor is an assistant human resources director of Guilford County. As a working mom of three, she knows how challenging it can be to juggle work hours, extracurriculars and field trips.

“I am a social worker who happens to work in human resources, and what I enjoy about it is being able to work with the employees that are supporting our community. It's a lot of the same in terms of the type of work and and what we accomplish in the social work profession as compared to human resources is that we're helping people access the resources that they need in order to be successful,” Taylor said. 

“Some days is very overwhelming. I'm very committed to my work. And so it's quite a balancing act, and sometimes it feels more like juggling than balancing. But I'm thankful that the team of people that I have is supportive and the leaders that I work with in the organization are supportive,” she said.

That support Taylor received became even more important when her husband unexpectedly passed away from cancer a few years ago, leaving her a single parent to three kids.

“We went from having two parents in the home, having partners to be able to work with each other and be flexible and trade off responsibilities for certain things,” Taylor said.

Bereavement leave is not required in the United States and under the Fair Labor Standards Act, attending a funeral does not require paid time off. Some business are trying to change that.

Guilford County was named the first county in North Carolina to become a Family Forward NC Certified Employer.

The certification, established by the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation’s Family Forward initiative, is part of the Future Ready Greensboro initiative. Which was created in partnership between Action Greensboro, with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, and the NC Early Childhood Foundation aims to increase the number of employers who offer family-friendly workplace benefits that will help better the life of everyone in the family.

In order to be certified as a Family Forward NC Employer, companies have to give additional benefits to employees, like providing accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding employees, helping with child care or giving health and wellness benefits.

“This is another way to attract folks to our local community amongst some of the other resources and opportunities that are available,” Taylor said.

In September 2023, Guilford County Board of Commissioners added more and extended benefits to their employees. That includes bereavement leave, parental leave, more time off to help with a child's school and higher tuition reimbursement.

The flexibility even allows Taylor to pick her son up from school and take him to tennis and be able to chaperone on field trips and other school activities.

“That benefit allows us to show up and be supportive of our young people and just really support not only our children. When I'm there, I'm not just doing things that help benefit my own child. It's the other children that are in the class or part of the group that they're associated with,” she said.

Currently, there are 13 Greensboro employers who are Family Forward NC Certified, impacting over 7,000 Greensboro residents.

Employers can see the requirements and apply through the eligibility form on the Family Forward NC website.

“I think it's a great opportunity and, and it really reinforces that our employees matter," Taylor said. "Our people matter. And it's the county put in this effort behind the words."

By 2025, the Future Ready Greensboro initiative hopes to have at least 85,000 employees in Greensboro work for Family Forward NC Certified Employees.