As former SVPs at BabyCenter (a major digital parenting resource) that led product, engineering, community, marketing, and beyond, Hatch co-founders (and parents) Ann Crady Weiss and Dave Weiss saw firsthand how technology could intersect with and improve family life. This experience, combined with sleepless nights upon starting a family of their own, helped them come up with the idea for the Rest and Rest+ all-in-one sleep machines. Though originally intended for little ones, they quickly expanded their all-in-one sleep products for babies, kids, and adults—in a word, families.
That makes it no surprise that Hatch is family-forward inside and out, thanks to the help of Melanie Wagner, the Senior Manager of People Operations at Hatch since 2017. In the beginning, Melanie tackled typical HR tasks, like payroll and benefits, but since the pandemic, she’s expanded her focus to overall employee wellness. This, combined with some of the logistical HR complexities of the pandemic and Hatch’s growth, prompted the hunt for a leave management software.
How the family-oriented company takes care of its own families
“One of our values is ‘whole humans’,” Melanie explained. Hatch has various programs and policies in place to support this value, like their flexible time off policy, wellness tools like Somata for therapy and Bright Breaks to assist with establishing wellness habits, and 16 weeks of paid parental leave (for anyone welcoming a new person in their home). But as Melanie realized, having a progressive parental leave policy was one thing, and managing leaves was another—especially as Hatch grew.
“At Hatch, we really believe in harnessing the power of technology to help families be more efficient."
“At Hatch, we really believe in harnessing the power of technology to help families be more efficient. There are so many urgent things that need parents’ attention, so it makes sense to leave some of the other things up to technology when they can.” This same philosophy drove Melanie to seek out a tech-powered solution, leading her to Cocoon.
Why Hatch chose Cocoon
Previously, leaves were easier to manage because there were fewer leaves being taken in general, and People Ops was only navigating California’s policies. But as Hatch grew, they suddenly had employees across 27 states, taking different kinds of leave. “We would have needed one person solely dedicated to leaves just to manage the complexity, and I knew we couldn’t spend that much time on it. But not having an expert opened us up to so much risk,” Melanie stressed. “We had to get involved with Cocoon because leaves are so complicated!”
Knowing they couldn’t be the only ones with this problem, Melanie did some initial research and wasn’t quite impressed as “...we wanted the solution to be easy to use like the other HR platforms we’re working in every day.” After reaching out to her network, she came across Cocoon, which for Melanie and her team, “fit right in with other tools we use and how we operate!”
For Melanie, it wasn’t just about intuitive software, but also about the partnership and trusting the information. “For something like leave, you need true partners who are experts and easy to work with. I know that I can rely on what I’m seeing in Cocoon, and so can employees, without spending a lot of time on it.”
The impacts of implementing Cocoon
“For us, the pricing was reasonable and realistic, so we didn’t have any pushback,” Melanie said. And considering that leave management could have been someone’s full-time job at Hatch, it was a big time and money saver for all—especially on leave administration. “We can be totally hands-off on the admin part, which means we’re proactive about supporting teammates taking leave and focusing all our attention there.”
“If you get it wrong, it’s so much work unraveling from these things, legally, financially, and on the interpersonal level, so, honestly, we couldn’t live without Cocoon!”
Melanie noted that they’ve had a number of people use Cocoon for their leave and it’s been a big hit. “Employees love that there’s automation and interactive forms in the app so they can just plug stuff in and start planning. But they also feel that Cocoon gives the right amount of hand-holding when you need it, and doesn’t just send you to some help article.” Other internal teams at Hatch, like accounting, also rave about Cocoon’s automation and expertise, making Melanie feel like it’s a win across the board.
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After two years, working with hundreds of employers, and supporting more than 5,000 leaves in Cocoon, we have more conviction than ever that technology has the power to transform taking and managing leave. Today, we’re excited to share our evolved and expanded vision, along with the technology that will power it — with an all new look and feel.