Fair Credit Foundation is a four-time recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. This annual award recognizes companies across the nation that are taking the lead in implementing innovative practices that give their employees the ability to achieve a healthy work-life balance. When Work Works, the organization that presents the Sloan Awards, refers to award winners as a “dynamic and prestigious group of organizations.” I think this is an excellent description and am proud to be part of one such organization.
What exactly is workplace flexibility?
That’s a tough question to answer mostly because effectiveness and flexibility are different for every company, and sometimes even within departments of the same company. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to implementing flexibility practices. Many companies, including Fair Credit Foundation, that have found success with flexibility practices have done so through trial and error. The common thread among such companies is that they listen to what their employees are asking for in a workplace culture and look for ways to create that culture within their current business framework.
How is Fair Credit Foundation a flexible workplace?
In a nutshell, the organization does its best to help employees build successful careers without negating their personal needs, their family needs, or their lifestyle needs. The challenge for Fair Credit Foundation is accomplishing this on a very, very tight budget. As a nonprofit organization, we have to be creative to achieve this goal and maintain high employee morale.
For our corporate culture, this includes a few stand-out policies:
· Employees have personal input on their work schedules. While we still have to make sure we are effectively serving clients and maintaining optimal office hours, our managers are excellent at coordinating schedules to maximize each employee’s ability to have time for what’s important to them, not just at the office, but at home.
· Birthday Holidays. Every employee, whether full or part time, receives their birthday as a paid holiday. It’s one little way to recognize each person’s hard work and give them time to celebrate their important day.
· PEAK Program. Employees who work 30 or more hours per week receive one paid hour each week for personal development. This time can be used to exercise, participate in a hobby, improve their professional skills, obtain additional education, volunteer, etc. The program is operated on the honor system, meaning we don’t require employees to submit proof of what they do during their PEAK time.
With just these few small practices, Fair Credit Foundation has experienced tremendous benefit. We have little-to-no turnover and an average employee tenure of approximately 5 years. Plus, we have loyal employees who are happy when they come to work, love what they do, and as a result are phenomenal in their roles. Past employees often stop in to say hello and often comment that working at Fair Credit Foundation remains one of their favorite jobs.
A tremendous compliment to our corporate culture indeed.
Fair Credit Foundation is an award-winning nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding financial capability for all. Services include the Utah Individual Development Account Network, Utah Saves, free credit and debt counseling, debt relief programs, financial education resources, HUD approved foreclosure prevention counseling, credit report coaching, identity theft assistance and budget planning assistance.
Jennifer Rohn is the Director of Communications at Fair Credit Foundation, a Salt Lake City based non-profit dedicated to expanding financial capability for all. For the past 7 years she has worked with the agency in developing and promoting community outreach and education programs specifically targeted to help individuals and families better understand personal financial management concepts and build long-term self-sufficiency.