Feb. 12, 2007

Landscape Structures recognized for balancing work and life

Landscape Structures (LSI) of Delano recently received recognition for its work-life balance initiatives.

At a recent awards ceremony at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel in St. Louis Park, Landscape Structures was one of 22 winners of the 2007 Minnesota Work-Life Champion Awards, Minnesota’s state-wide awards program spotlighting the efforts of Minnesota businesses to implement programs and practices that create flexible and supportive workplaces.

The event was attended by more than 175 Minnesota business leaders and professionals, and included a keynote address by Chuck Feltz, President and COO of Lifetouch National School Studios, who spoke about leadership and culture within organizations.

Twenty-two Minnesota employers were recognized with Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards.

Three employers were presented with Innovative Initiative Awards, calling attention to distinctive practices within each organization.

Other organizations received Work-Life Advocate certificates, acknowledging their efforts to commence the work of creating supportive work-life cultures.

“We were excited to see so many of this year’s applicants focusing on flexibility,” said Susan Seitel, president of WFC Resources, a partner organization in the Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards project. “Studies keep proving that giving employees more control over their schedules and the flexibility to handle personal responsibilities raises productivity and increases engagement. Minnesota companies are obviously getting the message. All of our winners this year have shown that they respect employees as whole people, and employees told us on their surveys how important that is to them and how grateful they are.”

Landscape Structures was in the medium category, which had between 250 and 999 employees.

“When we hear that an employee has something personal that they are struggling with, we meet with them to ensure that we expect them to take care of themselves or their loved one before taking care of LSI,” read the application.

“If there is a way that we can accommodate to an employee’s need without disrupting a premier experience for our external customers we are willing to do it.”

“Landscape Structures is an employee inspired organization. Our employees have made our organization successful. We strive to be premier in our industry with both our internal and external customers.

“Wellness has become a major focus of our organization. We encourage and support employees in becoming physically active, making healthy food choices, taking time to focus on themselves and to strive for a healthy work-life balance. We understand that our employees have lives beyond these walls and the struggle in today’s society to balance it all,” according to the application.

Other LSI practices include:

• Donating vacation bank to assist employees who have a family crisis, but have no more leave time available.

• Active programs to encourage health and wellness among employees and in the wider community.

• A “welcome back moms” program including products and other ways of saying LSI is thinking about you and trying to be helpful.

Minnesota employers had the opportunity to apply for the 2007 Minnesota Work-Life ChampionsAwards from Aug. 7 through Oct. 20, 2006.

Small and large, for-profit, non-profit, and public sector employers were eligible.

Evaluations focused on organizational culture and leadership; work practice and flexibility; health, wellness and benefits; leave options; help with personal and family issues; and community involvement.

Applicants were also evaluated based on a survey that was administered to a random sampling of employees from each company. The judging panel for the 2007 awards was comprised of delegates from Minnesota businesses of varying sizes and industries.

The awards were sponsored by The Minnesota Work-Life Champions Partnership, a group of local chambers of commerce, business and professional associations, foundations, and non-profit work-life advocacy organizations committed to making Minnesota’s employers the strongest in the nation.

The awards program, initiated by a grant from The McKnight Foundation, was managed by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, with assistance from WFC Resources, a nationally recognized publisher and consultant on work-life practices.

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