Aurora (CO) State of the Chamber event serves as platform for presentation of 2010 Sloan Awards

January 13, 2011

The Dec. 10 State of the Chamber breakfast provided members with a broad overview of what their Chamber had been involved in during 2010. It also served as an ideal occasion to present the 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.

Caitlin Ward, programs and communications coordinator at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce began her presentation by explaining how the Sloan Awards came to be. She said that for many years, the U.S. Chamber had been asked for assistance in identifying effective workplace practices that would help businesses recruit talented workers as well as retain their best performers. The answer was to join forces with the Twiga Foundation and Families and Work Institute to promote the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Workplace Flexibility; a program that has proven to be a great success.

The Aurora Chamber is proud to be involved in these efforts to encourage more effective, more efficient workplaces. The four companies honored this year exemplify workplace flexibility:

Arapahoe/Douglas Works! has done a great deal to engage staff with activities such as events during the workday, socials, and jeans days as well as by providing access to paid training programs and tuition reimbursement for participation in higher education programs. Leadership at the organization recognizes the importance of placing employees in positions where they can excel – which results in the continued success of the organization. In fact, last year Arapahoe/Douglas Works! met or exceeded all performance goals set for the fiscal year, and is on track to do the same this year.

Aurora Mental Health Center brings employees together through leadership training, faith-based programs, and focus groups. And employees appreciate the organization’s flexibility and innovation, exampled by allowing those who work together to work out their schedules among themselves, and also encouraging them to come up with creative ways to complete tasks. The Center’s recognition program rewards employees for their innovation, because the Aurora Mental Health Center recognizes that “when our employees are happy, that the place runs better.”

Since the E-470 Public Highway Authority’s establishment in 1988, they have been involved in a number of successful workforce effectiveness programs, both through technology and inter-personal relationships. On-site, employees take part in educational “Lunch and Learns,” and pot-lucks. Another benefit is employee access to an on-site workout room, which keeps turnover and sick-day usage low, by helping them to stay well and to manage stress through exercise. Other initiatives include flexible work schedules for special situations, and remote access to desktops and voicemail which increases efficiency and productivity. E-470 is a charitable organization, which gives back to the community – as well as to its employees.

McGladrey, Incorporated, who was unable to attend the event to receive their award, provides financial, business consulting, CPA, tax and professional services to hundreds of client firms in more than 75 countries world-wide, and also provides a work environment that helps each employee reach their personal and professional goals. Their commitment to this is further solidified by their 2008 “Declaration of Flexibility” under which they guaranteed a long list of flexible work options.

For more information about the awards or how to apply, contact Caitlin Ward at cward@uschamber.com or visit or visit http://whenworkworks.org.

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All photos credited to Brian Molitoris, Photographer