HOLYOKE — Kassandra “KC” Andrade, Human Resource coordinator for MiraVista Behavioral Health Center, is normally at her desk early each day in order to respond to employee needs. In January, with the support of HR Director Theresa Byrd, she began to work a late-afternoon shift that runs past midnight two nights a month to accommodate staff who work from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
“Is it common for HR to be open until 1 a.m.? Not at all,” Andrade said. “But when an employee gets off their shift at 7 a.m., the last thing they want to do is to stop in to see HR with a question. They want to go home, see their families, get their children to school, and, honestly, go to bed.”
Andrade said her department wanted to acknowledge this need for more timely hours for third-shift workers during the month and, as a self-described night owl, she was happy to assist.
She added that “a lot” of staff at MirvaVista, which provides inpatient psychiatric and substance-use treatment, work third shift, including housekeeping and maintenance employees, nurses, clinicians, and intake coordinators.
The normal HR hours are Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Andrade noted. “But we decided to offer two nights a month when the hours are extended to 1 a.m. and see how it would go to be more supportive of third shift. Our first night was on January 12, and employees came by to see if we really were open. It was funny, but there were a good handful who came who were really very excited that we were here for them. They said being open when they are working is helpful to them as HR is the place most employees with work-related questions are directed to go.”
Andrade, whose background is in management, said she enjoys working in the HR field as it “covers many different aspects and areas of the workplace.” She joined MiraVista in September 2021, a few months after the facility opened.
“I love to learn, and my position gives me the opportunity to take in so much knowledge and develop new skills. Being able to wear many hats and not having one specific focus is an environment that I thrive in,” she said, adding that “being able to be the first relationship an employee builds when they first start their employment is rewarding to me. Specifically, because I am being trusted to be the representation of the MiraVista brand, their first impression is me, and I appreciate that opportunity.”
Kimberley Lee, MiraVista’s chief of Creative Strategy and Development, praised both Byrd and Andrade for their commitment in helping staff get their needs addressed at work so they can meet their needs outside of work.
“Their willingness to hold late-night hours highlights MiraVista’s commitment to good customer service for our staff,” Lee said. “People getting off third shift may have to get home to prepare breakfast for the kids and get them to school. They have only a small window at 7 a.m. to talk with someone from HR about payroll, a new deduction, or questions about a flexible spending account, but now they have another option for when they can do that in person.”