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LSS Awarded 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility

The Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility were presented locally at a breakfast this morning, recognizing 19 organizations striving to find new ways to make work “work” for employees as well as their organizations. The winners are located in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud, two of 30 communities nationwide chosen to participate in the When Work Works initiative.

Local winners of the 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility were: Accenture, Best Buy, Deloitte LLP, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Ernst& Young, fahrenHEIGHT360, General Mills, Health Service Innovations, KPMG LLP, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen & Russ PA, Minnesota Child Care Resource & Referral Network, MRM Worldwide Minneapolis, Netgain, Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota, RSM McGladrey, Inc., Synergystic Software Solutions, U.S. Bank and Western National Mutual Insurance Company.

“When Work Works” is an ongoing initiative of Families and Work Institute, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce), and the Twiga Foundation. These partner organizations provide research, resources, and recognition to employers nationwide.

Each of the 2009 Sloan Award winners will be recognized nationally as well as locally, and will be featured in next year’s edition of the Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work, published by Families and Work Institute.

Said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, “These awards provide a unique picture of organizations that are braving the economic storm through innovative policies that prevent undue shock to their workplaces and their employees − from new forms of flexible work arrangements that minimize lay-offs, to creative cost-cutting that retains core medical benefits, to providing financial information and support to employees.”

“We’re thrilled to recognize these exemplary employers in our community,” said Susan Seitel, president, WFC Resources, the company that led the local initiative. “This is the first year this initiative was offered in the Twin Cities, and our success was due in no small part to the efforts of our core leadership group of volunteers from more than 30 companies.”

The breakfast was co-hosted by eWorkPlace, the state-sponsored program for Twin Cities’ metro area employers to encourage telecommuting in order to help them be more productive and effective and reduce congestion on area highways. Said Adeel Lari, eWorkPlace Program Director, “These companies are demonstrating the value of offering telecommuting options, along with other flexible work arrangements. Many of them will be participating in eWorkPlace, helping us reach our goal of recruiting and retaining at least 2,700 participants by June 2010.”

The Sloan Awards team compared local applicants with employers nationally and found that in every measure of supportiveness and flexibility, Twin City and St. Cloud applicants are way ahead. Some examples:
  • 71% of applicants in the Twin Cities allow all or most of their employees to work at least some regular paid hours at home occasionally, compared with just 3% of employers nationally.
  • 80% of applicants in the Twin Cities allow all or most of their employees to return to work gradually after childbirth or adoption, compared with 57% of employers nationally.
  • 61% of applicants in the Twin Cities allow all or most of their employees to phase into retirement by working reduced hours over a period of time prior to full retirement, compared with 25% of employers nationally.
About WFC Resources
WFC Resources, a Minnetonka-based publishing, training and consulting firm, has been helping employers worldwide create more flexible, supportive and effective workplaces since 1984.

About eWorkPlace
eWorkPlace is a state-sponsored program for Twin Cities metro area employers that is focused on telework and the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE). Telework enables employees to work from home or a remote location and connect to the office via technology - internet, phone and mobile devices. Telework can be performed on a full or part-time basis and is often complemented with flexible scheduling.