Work-Life Balance (Jeff Hankins Publisher's Note)

by Jeff Hankins  on Monday, May. 18, 2009 12:00 am  

For the last seven years, we have played an active role with the statewide awards event celebrating companies that are family-friendly and understand the value of helping employees balance work and life.

In a tight labor market, companies that embraced this concept won many recruiting wars. Those that continue these practices even in a recession when job candidates are plentiful will prevail in the coming years when the labor market tightens again.

Here are some of the best initiatives that we heard last week at the Governor’s Work-Life Balance Awards event:

• Several companies took on initiatives to help employees who were commuting and facing $4 a gallon gasoline. These included lodging options, paying for gasoline, shorter workweeks or work-from-home options.

• Nabholz Construction Co. uses a wellness coordinator to assist employees with a variety of health issues, from exercise to smoking cessation.

• Flexible work hours remain popular to help employees accommodate college classes, reduce travel time or enable them to use transit systems.

• The Benchmark Group pays for two hours of personal legal services for employees each year and provides a catered lunch once a week.

• The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith rewards employees with health and dental insurance cost benefits if they enroll in an employee wellness program.

• Delta Dental of Arkansas pays for a prescription smoking-cessation drug that isn’t covered by health insurance and pays bonuses to employees who meet and maintain weight-loss goals.

• 3M helps employees pay for adoption expenses.

• Southwestern Electric Power Co. offers pet insurance for veterinary care.

• Procter & Gamble Distributing LLC drew gasps and applause when it was announced that it brings a massage therapist to the office twice weekly.



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