Work-Life Balance Programs Better the Employer-Employee Relationship

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Work-life balance programs can reduce turnover and improve recruitment, increasing the productivity of an employer’s workforce. These practices are also associated with improved employee health and decreased absenteeism, a major cost for employers. Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP, Announces 5th Annual Excellence in Work-Life Balance Award to honor the efforts of a company to achieve work-life balance through development and implementation of policies and programs, either company-wide or inside corporate legal departments.

The changing demographics of the workforce mean the workplace has no choice but to change as well. Employers that support innovative scheduling, with no stigma attached to its use, have a clear edge in recruiting, retention, productivity, and customer service – in short, they win.

"The single greatest threat to our lives is not the terrorists, or the pollution in the air: the greatest threat in our lives is our lifestyle."

So says Dr. Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of The Stress Institute. But she’s not the only one who feels this way.

A 2008 study by Hudson Highland Group Inc. of more than 1,500 U.S. workers reported that nearly a third considered work-life balance and flexibility to be the most important factor in considering job offers. In addition, the U.S. President’s Study of American Work-Life Balance (March 2010) states that work-life balance programs “can reduce turnover and improve recruitment, increasing the productivity of an employer’s workforce. These practices are also associated with improved employee health and decreased absenteeism, a major cost for employers.”

Work-life balance programs, through applications such as flexible work arrangements, employee wellness programs, telecommuting and job-sharing, can help employees feel truly connected to their companies, fostering loyalty, mutual respect and a positive work environment. Particularly since the onset of the recent recession, many employees who have been downsized have been inspired to reconnect with their family and personal interests and are actively seeking a new career conducive to work-life balance.

“Flexible work programs have become business imperatives,” says Cynthia Thomas Calvert, co-founder and senior advisor, Project for Attorney Retention. “The changing demographics of the workforce mean the workplace has no choice but to change as well. Employers that support innovative scheduling, with no stigma attached to its use, have a clear edge in recruiting, retention, productivity, and customer service – in short, they win.”

So that we may recognize companies that create and promote work environments conducive to work-life balance, Constangy established an award program in 2006 honoring outstanding work-life balance initiatives or programs either company-wide or inside corporate legal departments. Constangy’s Excellence in Work-Life Balance Award is designed to honor the efforts of a company to achieve work-life balance through development and implementation of policies and programs. No matter how large or small the initiative or program – or the size of the employer – the award recognizes excellence in work-life balance in either overall efforts or in the application of one particular program, with an emphasis on measurable results.

“Work-life balance can be not only an important recruiting and retention tool, but it really benefits the employer-employee relationship,” says Neil Wasser, chairman of Constangy, Brooks & Smith. “We have seen this in our own firm as well as with the past winners of our work-life balance awards. We look forward to reviewing this year’s applications and learning from them while honoring entrants’ successes.”

Nominations may be made by human resources departments on behalf of entire companies for company-wide work-life balance efforts, or by in-house counsel on behalf of in-house legal departments’ work-life balance efforts. Nominations may be made for comprehensive programs that cover several work-life balance efforts, or for one initiative in particular that has had a substantial positive effect on the company and its employees.

The winner will receive a crystal trophy and a $1,000 donation in the company’s name to the charity of its choice. Applications are due July 30, 2010.

To nominate your work-life balance initiative or program, please visit http://www.constangy.com/balance-awards.html. For more information, contact Wendy Angel at wangel(at)constangy(dot)com or at 404-230-6724.

About Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP:
Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP has counseled employers on labor and employment law matters, exclusively, since 1946. A “Go To” Law Firm in Corporate Counsel and Fortune Magazine, it represents Fortune 500 corporations and small companies across the country. Its attorneys are consistently rated as top lawyers in their practice areas by sources such as Chambers USA, Martindale-Hubbell, Super Lawyers, and Top One Hundred Labor Attorneys in the United States. More than 120 lawyers partner with clients to provide cost-effective legal services and sound preventive advice to enhance the employer-employee relationship. Offices are located in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, California, Massachusetts and New Jersey. For more information, visit http://www.constangy.com.

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