Friday, December 12, 2014

Work is Working in Illinois


Mike Spinale, Diversity Director

Today, during the Illinois New Laws Forum, 12 worksites from across the state were honored for their approach to creating flexible and effective work environments.  The When Work Works Awards, a collaboration of the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), is an annual initiative recognizing organizations and businesses nationwide who are leading the way in building workplace cultures that promote employee wellness, work/life balance, and development.  The Illinois State Council of SHRM is the official community partner of the When Work Works Awards and hosted the awards luncheon in Lisle. This year’s winners are:

 BDO USA, LLP – Chicago (2 worksites)
 CohnReznick, LLP – Chicago
 Frost, Ruttenberg, & Rothblatt, PC – Deerfield
 KPMG, LLP – Chicago
 Laughlin Constable – Chicago
 Naval Station Great Lakes – Great Lakes
 NCH Marketing Services, a Valassis Company – Deerfield
 RSG – Chicago
 Ryan, LLC – Chicago (2 worksites) & Downer’s Grove

Nominees for the When Work Works Awards are evaluated on six research-based ingredients of an effective workplace: opportunities for learning; a culture of trust; work-life fit; supervisor support for work success; autonomy; and satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement — all factors associated with employee health, well-being, and engagement.

When work works, companies and organizations recognize that employees have needs and demands that go beyond the office.  BDO USA, LLP is a national accounting and consulting firm with two worksites in Chicago.  BDO provides employees with emergency backup dependent care that can be used with advanced notice or at the last minute.  In some cases, employees are allowed to bring their children on company required trips and are provided with nanny care.  Ryan, LLC, with three Illinois worksites earning a When Work Works Award, empowers employees to work together to figure out problems and challenges; their receptionist teams recently worked out, without any management intervention, a scheduling issue resulting in each of them having a half day off per week and the desk being fully covered.   Common among all of this year’s winners were cultures where employees are judged on the quality of their work and ability to get the job done, not from where and for how long they work.  Telecommuting, flex schedules, compressed workweeks, summer hours, time off for school events, etc.  These companies get that their employees have lives outside of work and they don’t want them to miss out on it.

But it’s not just about being flexible with family demands; it’s also about investing in employees - in their careers and development.  CohnReznick LLP, a finance and accounting consultancy, allows employees to make requests for particular assignments that are based on their professional or travel interests.  Frost, Ruttenberg & Rothblatt, a Deerfield-based CPA firm, assigns each professional staffer a mentor and also offers coaching services for their professional growth and development.  Laughlin Constable, a Chicago-based advertising agency, cross trains employees to broaden their insights and technical skills.

This year’s When Work Works Award winners get it.  When you create a work environment and corporate culture that respects people’s lives outside of work, you get employees who are more engaged and committed to the organization.  When you invest in your staff’s professional development, you show your commitment to their growth and you build a talent pool prepared for bigger challenges as your own organization grows.  These organizations get it.  This is how work works.

What are you doing in your organization to make work work?