If you're not familiar with this award, it's a national award given for workplace flexibility. In Utah this year, there were thirteen recipients (here's a list of the winners).
Though I often feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle with the work I do with this site and with the committees I'm involved with, it's nice to know that there are lots of employers out there who are genuinely concerned for their employees and who try to make it possible for them to balance their work and personal lives.
It just makes sense, and these employers realize that. As Mike Cameron of Christopherson Business Travel stated, "Finding and hiring the best people is the easy part. The hard part is keeping them."
Turnover is costly. Some employers felt that they couldn't compete with others by offering high salaries, so they offered flexibility instead. This makes sense when you consider that the millennial generation of workers prefers flexibility to high wages. These employers recognized that family comes first for most of their employees, so rather than reprimanding their employees' other obligations, they accommodated them. The winning organizations felt that it only made sense, because if they took care of their employees, then their employees could take better care of their customers and clients.
Here are some highlights of what the winners are doing to make life better for their employees:
- A wide variety of schedules to choose from
- Building up vacation or sick time which can be cashed out or even given to other employees in need
- Allowing employees to choose their own job titles
- Allowing employees to work from home or to bring their children to the office
- Throwing parties for employees and their families
- Incentives such as trips for performance
- Stretch breaks throughout the day
- Yearly bonuses
- Earning sabbaticals
- Banking overtime to vacation
Many business owners said they received advice that they should do the exact opposite by cutting back on benefits or spending less on employees. But these employers believe they're reaping the rewards for caring about their staff. And their employees agree!