Trends Emerging from When Work Works Award Winners

Winners include 100-percent-virtual companies and worksites with holistic and family-first visions for work

May 17, 2017
The winners of the Society for Human Resource Management's 2017 When Work Works Award provide insight into the practices of effective workplaces and emerging trends.

Themes emerging from winners include:

• Goodway Group, a marketing firm, has employees in 40 states across all U.S. time zones. Some of its employees, known as digital nomads, work from the road. 
• The consulting firm GiftCard Partners gives employees the flexibility to create a work schedule that works for them and the company. 
• Staffing firm Corps Team reports very low employee turnover — critical to reduced hiring and training costs — as a result of its flexible workplace policies.

Trusting Employees to Manage Work
• Insurance firm JA Counter in New Richmond, Wis., allows employees to manage their own time. Every meeting is optional, and employees have a check-in with managers once a month to talk about performance and goals. 
• G2 Web Services of Bellevue, Wash., measures success by results rather than the hours an employee spends in the office. It doesn’t track sick or vacation time.

Satisfaction with Wages, Benefits and Opportunities to Advance
• UHA Health Insurance in Honolulu offers its employees 2 1/2 hours of paid leave each week to exercise or participate in other wellness activities or to receive preventative health services.
• Consulting firm XPLANE in Portland provides employees up to $200 monthly for expenses related to their work life, such as babysitting, dog walking and housekeeping.
• Business support services organization GL group, Inc. of St. Louis allows new parents to bring their babies to work for the first six months and also gives parents a monthly childcare stipend.

Holistic Approach to Work
• imageOne in Oak Park, Mich., focuses on caring for the whole employee and promoting an environment of trust, flexibility and personal development. Each year, employees set personal, health and professional goals.
• Autonomy and transparency are hallmarks of engineering consultant Hallam-ICS in Raleigh, N.C., where full-time employees are encouraged to take an annual wellness day and generous paid time off to recharge. 

Family-First Vision of Work
• Five weeks of paid time off is offered yearly at adult sports club Clubwaka of New York, where employees also can take 15 days of maternity or paternity leave as they see fit to help with the transition back to work after the birth or adoption of a child. 
• Software company Phase 2 of Oklahoma City has “productivity Fridays,” during which employees can work from the place where they are most productive and effective.

Support from Top Leadership and Supervisor Support for Job Success
• Accounting, tax and audit consulting firm BDO USA, LLP trains managers at various times in their career to support a culture of flexibility. 
• Ryan, LLC employees at 55 U.S. worksites receive customized training that addresses flexibility concerns and helps to overcome resistance. Training incorporates best practices to help managers and employees at the tax services firm identify flexible schedules that work for everyone on a team.
• Consulting firm Exude, Inc. of Philadelphia trains its managers to support flexible work and to lead by example. Managers are discouraged from sending emails during the weekend. 
• A leadership-management accountability model at research communicator Research Square in Durham, N.C., evaluates managers on their ability to provide a work environment that supports autonomy, the ability of employees to pursue mastery of their skills, and a sense of purpose.
• A “Walk in Their Shoes” program at Ultimate Software in Weston, Fla., encourages transparency among teams by having members of different departments switch roles for a day. The company also has a three-day “whole brain” course that helps employees identify and engage different thinking styles.

To learn more about the awards, visit an interactive map that lists winning organizations by state and a list of winners by name.

Additional information about the When Work Works Award and the When Work Works initiative also is online.

Media: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Kate Kennedy at 703-535-6260 and or Vanessa Hill at 703-535-6072 and

About When Work Works
When Work Works is a national initiative led by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to help businesses of all sizes and types become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces. When Work Works is one of the foremost providers of resources, rigorous research and best practices on workplace effectiveness and flexibility in the nation. The initiative administers the prestigious annual When Work Works Award, which recognizes exemplary employers for creating effective workplaces to increase business and employee success. Visit and follow us on Twitter @WhenWorkWorks.

About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.


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