Celebrating a Culture of Workplace Flexibility
Queue the applause (followed by a standing ovation)! For the 7th consecutive year in a row, WithinReach has won the nationally recognized Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence In Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. On the heels of the Emmy Awards, I think it is only fitting that the leadership and staff at WithinReach take a bow.
In my mind, the Sloan Award is one of the highest honors an employer can receive. It is our Emmy for operational excellence, for business smarts, for living our mission from the inside out.
Each year the When Work Works Initiative recognizes worksites across the country for their innovative and effective workplace practices. In a two phase process, using a rigorous scoring method that looks at the real life experiences of employees against benchmarks for employer practices, the Sloan Awards honor ‘organizations that are using workplace flexibility as a strategy to make work “work” better—for both the employer and the employee’.
For years now, WithinReach has embraced the belief that workplace flexibility is a critical tool in recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest staff possible, and to improving the health of all families in our state. Whether it means…
- offering employees flexible work hours so they can see their children off to school or meet the bus after school to avoid additional childcare costs
- allowing an employee the chance to work from home one day a week to help an aging parent,
- helping new Moms feel supported by providing a welcoming space and ample time to pump breastmilk at work, so they can continue to give their babies the best start,
- fostering a culture of flexibility that tells employees it is OK to bring their kids to work during unforeseen school closures, or when their childcare falls through on a given day (and having toys, puzzle, and books to engage them).
The research is clear, among other things, employees who work in flexible workplaces report greater engagement on the job, greater desire to stay with the organization, and better overall health.
Raising a family and working full-time is hard. Doing both well is unbelievably challenging. Having to choose to do one well, over the other, is unbearable. At WithinReach, creating a culture of flexibility is about making the connections that our employees and their families need to be healthy. We don’t ask people to choose between family life and work life. We don’t penalize or hold people back for wanting to be good parents AND effective professionals.
A work culture that not only respects work-life balance, but encourages it, makes great business sense. It doesn’t mean we don’t work hard. In fact, I have never in my career worked with a more dedicated, hard-working group of people. At WithinReach, we believe all families can be healthy – and that starts with the families of our employees.
So, as we stand at the podium, receiving our ‘Emmy’, we thank our Board of Directors, our leadership, our funders, and supporters, and of course, most of all – our families!