Business Awards Honor Workplace Innovation and Flexibility

Retaining workers is not just a concern during good economic times. Employee turnover not only costs money, directly and indirectly, but affects a business’s ability to satisfy its customers.

Businesses that truly rely on team work; those that listen and act on employee input; companies that understand that community and family commitments, when balanced with work, increase productivity; are all invited to apply now for the Sloan awards.

It takes less than an hour to apply. In exchange, companies receive an individual benchmarking report, comparison benchmarking among Savannah companies and applicants from their industry from around the country, and a directory of past national winners’ best practices and contacts. Winners’ names are published in “USA Today” and the “Congressional Record.”

Savannah is one of just 30 communities around the nation where employers are being offered the chance to apply for this national award. In the last two years, two Savannah businesses have been Business Excellence award winners.

Last year, the Savannah office of Environmental Services Inc. was a national winner. ESI offers opportunities for its employees to work from home and to set up offices in their homes to accomplish their goals and support company clients, according to Robin Bullock, national human resources director.

In 2007, Lazard Dana, now Deemer Dana & Froehle, LLP, a public accounting firm, was recognized. John Matthews, managing partner of Deemer Dana & Froehle, said he is extremely proud to be recognized by and associated with the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.

Matthews sees the line that can be drawn between team member satisfaction and customer service. “We know that team members who feel they are valued provide better service to our customers, who in turn feel valued,” Matthews said. “This is an integral part of our firm’s mission and culture. It is what makes us all winners.”

This year, for the first time, When Work Works, the project that administers the Sloan awards, has integrated questions regarding flexibility practices for lowwage workers into its employer questionnaire. This effort focuses on increasing the spending power of low-wage workers and is funded by the Ford Foundation, and administered by the Families and Work Institute.

Companies can find out more information and apply online today. Go to 966-2044. The deadline to apply is April 6.

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