On April 25th we gathered to celebrate and recognize 2023 Family Friendly Business Award® recipients at the 7th Annual FFNM Awards Luncheon! Among the festivities was a panel discussion featuring leaders sharing expertise from across different industries. Because we know how important it is to learn from our peers, this week we are sharing the rest of that discussion in our blog (click here to read part 1)! We are excited to share the creative ways employers implement workplace policies and how that impacts company culture, and employee satisfaction.
- Amanda Armenta, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Principal Human Resources Business Partner, Sandia National Laboratories
- Jill Beets, VP of Marketing & Communications, Adelante Development Center
- Vince Moffitt, President/CEO, Basin Health Companies
Retention….The Great Resignation……How do you think your stand-out policy helps retain employees at a time when there are so many reasons why employees leave?
Nearly every business in New Mexico is facing the challenge of recruiting and retaining strong employees that match their culture and their work processes and Adelante is no different. Today, you have to have stand-out benefits to even compete in the job market. They are not only the right thing to do, they are essential to recruiting the best people.
The combination of benefit offerings and stand out policies sends a strong signal that the organization is not only listening to what is important to them, but also committed to implementing their feedback. If we are asking our workforce to be innovative in addressing the nation’s toughest challenges every day, we have to be innovative in how we support them and their families.
The Family Friendly Business award was essential in helping me look at the policies we currently offer and explore new ones to improve the employee work experience. In addition, I look at the policies other awardees have implemented and try to incorporate them whenever possible.
I know that only some people like to work. But, unfortunately, for many of our employees, not working isn’t an option. So I try to look at it from the perspective of “they have a choice on where they work, and I want them to pick us, again and again.” I want to make the work experience as enjoyable as possible. At the end of the day, we have a job to do, but that isn’t a reason to make it the best experience possible. Employees rarely leave our company, so we are onto something.
How do you see these stand-out policies and other family friendly workplace policies help create more equitable communities?
Our amazing staff make our mission happen every day. Without them, we are not Adelante and not able to provide the care and services that we need to for people with disabilities and seniors across New Mexico. That said, people at all levels of an organization should have access to fairly priced health, dental, and vision plans. People should know their expected schedules as much as possible, to plan for their actual lives outside of work; and have time off to enjoy their family and friends. Too often this is denied entry-level employees, especially those without college degrees, but that should not be the case. Each of us has family – parents, significant others, and/or children – so these policies should apply across the board. I am proud to work for a company who has had generous leave for decades and that provided equal benefits coverage to life partners of people who are in the LGBTQ+ community well before gay marriage or most organizations recognized these partnerships. These sorts of policies when applied equally, create great equality above and beyond the socioeconomics.
Every year as we celebrate the organizations of all sizes across the state, I’m reminded that our state is working hard to support its workforce and their families. This work will have long term impacts on the economic, educational, and social outcomes for our state. For example, think about the parents that are able to take time off of work to attend a school event. It may seem small, but over time, this investment in our communities will pay off huge dividends.
We stress empathy in our mission statement and company values. This is reflected in our workplace policies. It doesn’t matter what gender, race, or age you are. We look at the individual and their wants and needs and accommodate them. Using my analogy that our employees are our customers, our mission statement and values are passed on to our consumers and customers because of the example shown in our business operations.
What is your best advice to other employers looking to stand out with their family friendly policies? Are there low cost/no cost ways to stand out?
As a nonprofit, we are always looking for low cost ways to make a big impact. A policy that comes to mind is our employee loan fund. In exchange for some HR time and payroll set up to take payments, and a $10 processing fee, our team members can get loans of up to $500 three times a year. With zero interest and payroll deductions for payments, these micro loans can make a huge difference for entry level employees who might live paycheck to paycheck. Too often, people fall victim to predatory loans they cannot pay off just because of a car repair or other unexpected expense. This eases the way and it doesn’t cost us much to operate.
Communicating your values through your employee benefits is another great way to stand out. If you’re not sure where to start on the Family Friendly policies, think of your corporate values and start from there. We want to cultivate a culture of caring about the community and staying innovative, which is how the Kivitz Legacy Innovation Fund and grants came to be, but there are endless options. Want people to get more professional development and stay invested in your organization? Invest in their training and help them grow. Want people to take care of their health? Host internal health fairs so they can be assessed, host flu shot clinics, and reimburse them for their gym memberships. Many of these items are not overly expensive, they just take an investment in time. Start small, where you can, and build from there.
Certainly. There are a few ways to do this. You can start by asking your employees what they’d like to see. It might surprise you and be something relatively easy to implement. Second, try piloting the ideas. If it isn’t negatively impacting your bottom line or putting anyone’s safety or security in jeopardy, take those risks. Lastly, measure the return on investment. Look at your key business and people metrics before and after to evaluate if what you implement is making a difference.
Keep it simple. Remember that the things that motivate you are only sometimes what would motivate your employees, and everyone is different. The old-school work environment might have worked for the older generations, but the new generations are inspired differently. Talk to them, conduct employee satisfaction interviews, allow employees to evaluate supervisors, and conduct polls. Our employees are our greatest resource; if we aren’t finding ways to inspire and motivate, we aren’t doing our jobs as leaders.
Amanda Armenta is a Principal Human Resources Business Partner for Sandia National Laboratories, the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation. With 20+ years’ experience, Amanda has worked in the technology and construction fields in the private sector as well as federal government and higher education. She is accomplished in progressive employee relations solutions, development of people strategy and culture, employment law, communications, staffing, training/facilitation, and is a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Jill Beets is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Adelante Development Center, one of the largest social service nonprofits in New Mexico. As an organization, Adelante has a positive impact on the lives of over 57,000 people across the state of New Mexico, including people with disabilities, seniors, and people with disadvantages. Jill has worked for Adelante for over 20 years and handles their media relations, marketing, and advocacy work both locally and nationally.
Vince Moffitt is the owner and CEO of Basin Health Companies, the largest private employer in San Juan County. A retired Battalion Chief from the Farmington Fire Department and former Director of Field Operations and Incident Management Chief with Team Rubicon, Vince now manages several home healthcare businesses in Farmington, Gallup, and Grants under the Basin Health Companies umbrella. His passion for leadership, healthcare, and service continues through his active involvement with Basin Health Companies, civic organizations, advocacy work, and disaster response, making him a respected leader in these industries.