Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some Companies Out There Really Care

Each year, The Principal highlights it's "10 Best Companies". You can read the report from Principal here:

The companies that make this list typically have low turnover and high loyalty among their employees. These are employees who will go out of their way for their employers because their employers have shown that they care. This year, the Top 10 are in alphabetical order:

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington, DC
  • The Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL
  • Clif Bar & Company in Berkeley, CA
  • Davidson Technologies, Inc. in Huntsville, AL
  • The Delp Company in Maumee, OH
  • Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE
  • Franklin International in Columbus, OH
  • The Graham Company in Philadelphia, PA
  • Red River Credit Union in Texarkana, TX
  • RLI in Peoria, IL
Why are these companies so wonderful? Here's a capsule of some of their ideas.
  • AILA focuses on bigger benefits in lieu of bigger pay to lure attorneys away from higher-paying for-profit law firms.
  • The Bolles School focuses on continuous communication with its employees (mostly teachers).  During open enrollment, they held 8 open meetings on 4 campuses over 3 days. They continue to educate their employees throughout the year about their benefits. As a result, they boast these statistics:
    • Open enrollment meeting attendance: 90%
    • 401(k) plan participation: 90%
    • Average 401(k) deferral rate among those who are participating: 10% of pay
    • Voluntary turnover rate: 2%
  • Clif Bar put in a multi-faceted wellness program because they thought it was the right thing to do. Later on, they learned it was saving them money. Here aree some key components:
    • Contests and incentives for wellness activities
    • Nutrition counseling
    • Commuter bicycle allowance
    • Subsidized organic lunches
    • On-site gym with free personal training, class instructors and subsidized massages
    • 30 minutes gym time for each employee each work day
  • Davidson Technologies has kept its benefits consistent and very rich even during the down economy. Highlights include 10% of pay profit sharing and fully-paid medical.for employees and dependents. They understand that the medical costs have been a substantial hit, but they are of the belief that increased productivity from happy, secure employees more than makes up for it. In other words, they are looking at results, not counting beans.
  • The Delp Company has true flexible compensation. They decide how much the rewards package for each employee should be and then tailor the package to them. So, an employee who needs health care benefits gets them, but one who doesn't need them (spousal coverage, for example) would have those dollars allocated elsewhere.
  • Farmers Mutual Insurance uses its benefits program to promote tenure with the organization. They have kept their defined benefit plan and have been rewarded with low turnover.
  • Franklin International has a flexible education benefit plan. It varies depending upon age and needs from a tuition reimbursement plan to a matching 529 plan to a textbook reimbursement plan depending on needs. They also offer phased retirement with full medical and dental benefits.
  • The Graham Company put in a high-deductible health plan with an HSA that saves both the company and its employees money. Graham saves through the plan design. The employees save because Graham funds the entire deductible and family coverage through its savings.
  • Red River Credit Union boasts a 3.7% turnover rate. They say their benefits are very responsible. They pay more than 95% of medical costs, have a 401(k) plan and profit sharing plan, and just last year began offering full-time benefits to employees working 30 hours per week.
  • RLI is different from most companies these days in that it links benefits to profitability. Employees receive an automatic 3% employer contribution to the 401(k), but depending on profitability, the company may contribute up to an additional 15% of pay to the 401(k) and ESOP.
So, there you have it, some old ideas and some new ideas, but these are Principal's 10 Best for 2010.

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