SHRM, FWI Announce Winners of 2016 ‘When Work Works’ Award

By SHRM Online Staff May 25, 2016

From employers with a staff of 10 to those whose employees number in the thousands, the winners of the 2016 When Work Works Awards exemplify model workplaces across the U.S. with their innovative and effective practices.

The Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) announced the 351 winners on May 24. Recipients represent 43 states and Washington, D.C.

“These employers have excelled at creating effective workplaces yielding tremendously positive results for business success, as well as for their employees’ well-being and productivity,” said FWI President Ellen Galinsky in a news statement. FWI conducts research on workplace issues.

“Effective workplaces recognize that employees are an organization’s greatest resource and make a critical difference in the organization’s ability to not only survive, but to thrive.” 

Some of this year’s winners include:

  • W.S. Badger Co., a producer of natural body care products in Gilsum, N.H., that has a “Babies at Work” program allowing parents to bring their newborns to the office for the first six months after birth.
  • BDO USA, a business services firm in Raleigh, N.C., that offers parents a virtual network with live parenting webinars and chats for the employees at its nearly 40 locations from Alaska to New York.
  • Olark, a high-tech company headquartered in San Francisco that gives bonuses to employees who take vacation.
  • Laughlin Constable, an advertising agency with offices in Chicago and Milwaukee, that has a mentoring and training program that fosters learning among staff members at all levels.   

Formerly known as the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility, the awards honor organizations that have created effective workplaces based on six evidence-based components that are linked with positive employee and employer outcomes, according to FWI. Those components are autonomy; work/life fit; supervisor support for work success; satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement; opportunities for learning; and a culture of trust.

Selection involves a two-step 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.

“The 2016 When Work Works Award winners confirm that leading employers are continuing the movement toward effective workplace strategies that benefit both business and employees,” said Lisa Horn, director of SHRM’s workplace flexibility initiative, in a news statement. “These innovate strategies are what sets these organizations apart, allowing them to attract and retain top talent, giving them a competitive advantage.”

A list of winners can be found by state on this interactive map.


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