Apply Now for When Work Works Award

By Kathy Gurchiek Sep 22, 2016
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Applications for the annual When Work Works (WWW) award will be accepted Sept. 26 through Nov. 18.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute (FWI) co-sponsor the awards that were formerly known as the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility.

Workplace flexibility can take many forms, according to information in FWI's Workflex Primer. It may include flex time, telecommuting and compressed workweeks; care-giving leave; working fewer hours while staying in the same position, such as phased retirement; formal policies for time off, such as sick days and planned sabbaticals; and flex careers that allow employees to enter, exit and re-enter the workforce, and to increase and decrease their workload or pace.

One of the 2016 WWW winners—W.S. Badger Co., a New Hampshire-based producer of natural body care products—has a "Babies at Work" program that allows parents to bring their newborns to the office for the first six months after birth.

Last year's 351 WWW recipients, announced in May, were from 43 states and Washington, D.C. and represented a variety of industries. A list of the recipients can be found here.

Organizations applying for the award must have 10 or more employees working from, or reporting to, a U.S. worksite and the worksite must have been in business for at least one year.

All applicants receive a free benchmarking report, the opportunity for media attention and inclusion in FWI's searchable Guide to Bold New Ideas.

WWW award recipients have created effective workplaces based on six evidence-based components that are linked with positive employee and employer outcomes, according to FWI. Those elements are:

  • Autonomy.

  • Work/life fit.

  • Supervisor support for work success.

  • Satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement.

  • Opportunities for learning.

  • A culture of trust.

There is a two-step selection process: an evaluation of employers' flexibility programs and practices and a confidential employee survey on the key ingredients of an effective and flexible workplace.

Judges also consider employees' real-life experiences at their worksites. Applicants are measured against national norms from FWI's National Study of Employers and its National Study of the Changing Workforce.

Winners will be announced in April.

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