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Best Practices from Best Companies

Leslie Caccamese

Employee Health and Wellness

Last year, we asked companies applying for the 100 Best Companies to Work For® list to name their top three priorities for 2013. While it's no surprise most organizations will be focused on healthcare, it was nice to see so many taking into account employees' overall well-being and work-life balance, knowing this is imperitive to keeping any workforce in tip top shape.

Trend: Emphasis on Total Well-Being

While the physical well-being of employees can help companies save on health care costs and time lost due to illness, the psychological well-being of employees is starting to take center stage through programs that combine a focus on mind, body, and balance.  Bright Horizons pioneered several practices designed to address the five areas they have identified as most critical to total well-being: social, physical, financial, community, and career.  A new Well-Being Help Center provides financial counseling, resources for grief support, along with tools for planning weddings, children’s birthday parties, and vacations. The QLife Program at Qualcomm provides a similar assortment of tools and offers employees seminars on Positive Psychology; Deloitte and W.L. Gore & Associates also offer employees a similar experience. 

Among forward-thinking employers, the components that comprise total well-being will start to blend in new ways, including an enhanced emphasis on workplace flexibility which is essential to achieving balance.  One way companies are achieving this is through involving employees’ families in more on-campus activities, including a variety of celebrations and special events, but also including the more mundane, such as inviting families to eat in the company cafeteria, which happens at ARI and Genentech, among others.

Download the full article, Trends from the 2013 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For®

Best Practice: PTO Reports at McMurry

The trend is not limited to our 100 Best; the 2012 Best Small & Medium Workplaces are also prioritizing work-life balance and overall well-being. For example, People Managers at design firm McMurry receive quarterly reports that indicate how much PTO their employees have taken along with their unused inventory. Employees are encouraged to take time off by their managers, while blogs and stories by the CEO reinforce the importance of time away.

Why it’s great: Making managers accountable for their team’s time off helps ensure that workload is evenly distributed among teams, and that employees have the mental and physical energy they need to bring their best selves to work.

Why you should try it: Unused vacation time costs employees and employers. Not taking vacation is shown to be detrimental to an employee’s health and productivity, and yet many employees report losing unused vacation time or being afraid to request time off. Practices like this let employees know
you support their work-life balance.

Join us at the 10th Annual Great Place to Work® Conference to learn more Best Practices from Best Companies.

Leslie Caccamese serves as Senior Strategic Marketing Manager with Great Place to Work® Institute.

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