FORTUNE magazine recently published its 13th annual listing of “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Several recognizable brands made the list, including SAS, Whole Foods Market, Google, FedEx, and Herman Miller. These brands represent a variety of industries, so what do they all have in common?
According to FORTUNE and the Great Place to Work® Institute, a global research and consulting firm, the listings are a result of a survey that solicits information from organizations and their employees about credibility of management, job satisfaction, camaraderie, recruiting, and employee services.
But this year’s list also considers the ways companies are helping their employees weather the recession. Although this past year wasn’t an easy one for Herman Miller, we reinforced our commitment to our employees by developing supportive programs and initiatives. These programs and initiatives are highlighted in three categories–Balancing, Including, and Celebrating–included on the Great Place to Work Institute Culture Audit©, which is used in part to establish the overall FORTUNE rankings.
Herman Miller understands the importance of helping employees balance their work lives with their personal lives. For that reason, we offer a health management program, through which many of its West Michigan employees can enjoy health education classes, on-site fitness classes, wellness facilities, and a farmer’s market.
Herman Miller also believes in a diverse, inclusive workforce, as evident in our corporate values statement, ”Things That Matter,” which states, “To succeed as a company, we must include all the expressions of human talent and potential that society offers—obvious and not so obvious.” This corporate-wide strategic business initiative, designed to enhance diversity and create a more inclusive workplace, includes the five critical areas of its value stream: Supplier Diversity, Dealer Distribution, Talent, Education and Awareness, and External Community Outreach.
In March 2009, we began a reduced work schedule because of uncertain economic conditions. Many companies in the same situation decided to reduce their employees’ base pay, but Herman Miller decided to work a reduced work schedule until business conditions improve. Meanwhile, management agreed to share back a portion of any operating income generated during this timeframe (above its required base-line level of performance) in a reduction recovery payment to employees working a reduced work schedule.
These programs and initiatives are just a few examples from Herman Miller’s “Best Companies to Work For” entry. Although they differentiate the company in many ways, they play a small role in what makes us unique. According to our President and CEO Brian Walker, “The people of Herman Miller have always defined our culture, both through their caring and their commitment to excellence. Through good times, and through difficult periods, it’s that spirit and determination that make our community special.”