When Work Works: DesignHammer Named 2018 Finalist

June 8, 2018

We are excited to announce that DesignHammer has been named a 2018 finalist for the “When Work Works” Awards. An award-winning company since first applying in 2012, DesignHammer has officially advanced to phase two of the judging for the 2018 winners, which are to be announced in October.

The award is exclusively given to companies that excel at creating effective workplaces by maintaining a suitable work/life balance for their employees. Last year, 351 different workplaces across the United States, representing 43 states in total, were granted the "When Work Work’s Award" seal of approval - and similar to previous years, DesignHammer is honored to be one of the many diverse companies selected for this year’s competition.

The When Work Works Awards is a national undertaking, introduced by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute (FWI). For contextual purposes, the Society for Human Resource Management is the world’s largest HR professional society and represents 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. The Society has been a leading provider of resources servicing HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management for roughly seven decades. Similarly, Families and Work Institute is a nonprofit “research-to-action” institute, that dedicates its efforts towards providing research for the modern family living in today’s continuously evolving workplace.

The qualification system for the When Work Works Awards takes into account several factors including but not limited to work/life fit policies, flexible scheduling and transition to parenthood programs for employees. For a company to qualify for the award, they must first pass a rigorous, two-step selection process. The process involves an evaluation of employers’ flexibility programs and practices, as well as a confidential employee survey on the key ingredients of an effective and flexible workplace. In addition to these factors, a noted commonality between many of last year’s winners was the promise of opportunities for employee growth and development through various learning and mentoring programs.

In order to pass the first stage in the selection process, a worksite must rank in the top 20 percent of the country based on a nationally representative sample of employers. These applicants are evaluated on six research-based ingredients for an effective workplace, ones that are associated with employee health, well-being, and engagement. Two-thirds of the information that is taken into account for evaluation purposes comes from an employee survey, which includes questions framed around these six concepts:

  • Opportunities for learning
  • A culture of trust
  • Work/life fit
  • Supervisor support for work success
  • Autonomy
  • Employee satisfaction with earning, benefits and opportunities for advancement

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that there is a correlation between happiness and productivity. In fact, did you know that companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20 percent and earn 1.2-1.7% more than their peer firms? The Department of Economics at the University of Warwick found that happy workers are 12 percent more productive than the average worker, and conversely found that unhappy workers are 10 percent less productive. Considering that these discrepancies between happy workers and unhappy workers cost American businesses over $300 billion each year, it should come as no surprise that the most successful American companies are now placing employee satisfaction at the forefront of their endeavors.

DesignHammer has been a proud proponent of workers’ rights since the company’s inception in 2001, with policies and procedures adjusted to keep the best interests of employees in mind.

"Early on, we recognized the importance of a flexible corporate culture. It’s continued to demonstrate benefits for both our employees and business." 

- David Minton, DesignHammer Managing Partner

At DesignHammer, support for workplace flexibility comes from the top and filters down to all levels of the company. This keeps the company efficient and profitable, while also keeping employee turnover low. Paid maternity and/or paternity is provided by DesignHammer, and employees have the option to bring their children into the workplace under necessary circumstances. DesignHammer was even featured in this 2016 inc.com article on parental leave, within which we have received praise for our existing policies. While DesignHammer keeps core office hours, the staff also has the flexibility to adjust start and end times, as well as breaks based on their particular needs. It is also company policy to not interrupt employee vacation time with work issues.

DesignHammer aims to continue implementing effective work/life policies as the needs of employees evolve throughout the years.


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