In 2009, Adryon Ketcham launched her first business, armed with little more than experience and a passion to make a difference in the lives of young people with developmental disabilities. Today, she’s built a team of 70 and a waiting list for her at-home services. Managing the compliance alone for a team that does all of its work remotely, could have easily swamped this entrepreneur.
GOALS for Autism staff members provide in-home support for Growing, Observing and Achieving Life Skills (GOALS), helping their clients to become more self-sufficient. As visiting healthcare providers, they are required to track pay rates—often different for each Bay Area city or county they visit. That adds up with 60+ people logging up to 14 different pay rates. On top of this, the very demanding business is also very high turnover, with 2–3 team members added or replaced monthly.
For the first four years of her business, Adryon managed all of this with pen and paper. Even moving to Google’s G-Suite to keep track via spreadsheets and online files, wasn’t enough. Adryon needed: a streamlined system to onboard (and offboard) employees; to track the extensive amount of required healthcare paperwork; and to provide her young team with competitive healthcare benefits, ensuring care for the caregivers.
Adryon found that Zenefits covered all her bases, with one crucial additional advantage that other software providers she spoke with didn’t: the interest in really listening to her needs.
The double-edged sword of success
In 2018, when the State of California agreed to cover behavioral assessment services under MediCal, Adryon’s dream to support the most underserved came more into focus. “When you are talking about an aging parent and a 16-year-old who isn’t toilet trained, combined with a 75–90% unemployment rate for people with behavioral disabilities, I can’t imagine how they cope without help. And I want to provide that help. We are impacting the entire family unit with our work.”
I have a lot of people depending upon me not to mess up … Zenefits and its people are truly invested in my business, which gives me the time, peace of mind and confidence that I am covered to succeed.
With Zenefits managing all of the employment forms required—and annually audited—for hiring each new employee, Adryon estimates she saves a week of time per month.
“Zenefits has given me the gift to stay afloat,” said Adryon. “At times, I’ve gone sleepless worrying about getting everyone a paycheck. With more time to focus on our business and our culture, we can achieve an even more meaningful level of success, together.”
Growing business: all in the family and all in one
“My payroll department is my aunt and my mom at this point in time,” added Adryon. “And my HR person also is responsible for office management, training, and administration. Zenefits keeps my HR costs down and even my employment lawyer costs down—I no longer have to pay $300 per hour to have someone read my employee handbook. With Zenefits HR Advisory Service, I can stay in compliance and on budget.”
Zenefits currently provides GOALS’ Benefits and HR/ Onboarding, as well as integration to GSuite and Lattice. Next, Adryon plans to replace her ADP payroll and is considering Zenefits’ new Well-being and Compensation Management solutions. “My staff has to be able to take care of themselves in order to take care of others who really require a lot from them. I want Zenefits to help me do even more for them.”
Adryon Ketcham has even bigger dreams. Not only does she want to help her clients become personally more self sufficient, but she’d also love to employ them too. She wants to open a microbrewery—entirely staffed with developmentally disabled people. GOALS, indeed.
For more information on supporting and including people with behavioral development disabilities, check out Radical Inclusion, authored by Andrea Moriarty, mother of Adryon’s first client, Reid, who now manages his own podcast, Talk Time.