Beginning Jan. 21, employers may submit applications for the 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. Applications must be submitted by April 21. There is no fee to enter.
Organizations that have created exemplary workplace environments that support employees’ need for flexibility are honored. The awards program is part of the When Work Works flexible-workplace initiative, a partnership between the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute (FWI).
Winners will be announced in August. Past recipients have included organizations with as few as 10 employees and as many as 240,000. Honorees are located in more than 250 communities across the United States. Winning programs run the gamut from traditional offerings such as telecommuting to more innovative approaches such as offering unlimited time off and allowing employees to control their hours.
Nearly 300 U.S. employers won the award in 2013. Among them was Noble-Davis Consulting Inc., in Cleveland, which has fewer than 20 employees. The firm allows its workers to set their own schedules and has a phone system that enables the receptionist to work remotely.
Another winner was Delta Airlines, with almost 75,000 employees. It permits its workers to perform community service during work hours and offers 12 weeks of partially paid paternity leave.
The award, which dates to 2005, is site-based. An organization that submits itself for consideration has to have been in business for at least one year and have at least 10 employees, excluding contractors and consultants. Employers in the public and private sectors, for-profit and not-for-profit, may apply.
All applicants receive a free benchmarking report that compares their organization with others and feedback from their own employees about the workplace culture.
The application process is conducted in two rounds. The first requires employers to complete a 22-page online questionnaire about the workplace-flexibility programs and practices at the nominated worksite. Responses are gauged against the FWI's ongoing National Study of Employers.
Those ranking among the top 20 percent of employers in the U.S., when compared with FWI national data, advance to the second round, which consists of an employee questionnaire about individual use of, and experience with, workplace flexibility at their work site. Forty percent of workers surveyed must respond.
Winners will be profiled in the next edition of the annual Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work.
See WhenWorkWorks.org for more information or to apply online.