Mayor James Announces When Work Works Initiative

December 4, 2015 - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Program provides benchmarking in workplace flexibility, effectiveness

Mayor Sly James today announced that his office will join the Women’s Foundation, the Society for Human Resource Management of Greater Kansas City (SHRM-KC) and other organizations in launching a community partnership around the national When Work Works initiative.

This initiative aims to improve workplace effectiveness and flexibility in Kansas City area businesses and will include workshops, symposia and other activities to equip businesses with best practices that support employees and their employees’ families. It also includes an awards program to help businesses track progress and to recognize companies that set the standard for workplace effectiveness and employee support.


“When Work Works will advance innovative, family-friendly policies that will put Kansas City on the map as one of the best workplace communities in the nation,” James said in the announcement at the annual luncheon of the Women’s Foundation at the Sheraton Crown Center. “Ensuring that workplaces are supportive of employees and their families will help Kansas City businesses attract and retain dedicated workers that, in turn, will keep the local economy strong.”

Joining the Women’s Foundation, SHRM-KC and the Mayor’s Office in When Work Works are the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Greater Kansas City and the Central Exchange.

When Work Works, which began in 2003, provides benchmarks that show businesses where they stand in the areas of workplace flexibility, paid leave policies and more. It also recognizes exemplary employers through the When Work Works Award and local community events.

Award program applicants receive a personalized benchmarking report comparing their effective and flexible workplace practices to a nationally representative sample of U.S. employers and to award winners.

James told the luncheon that the launch of When Work Works in Kansas City was inspired by the documentary film, The Raising of America. The documentary explores how a lack of family-friendly policies such as paid parental leave and affordable childcare can contribute to parental stress and hurt the development of young children. James hosted a screening of the documentary for civic and business leaders in May 2015.

Supporting When Work Works nationally are the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit center dedicated to providing research for living in today’s changing workplace, changing family and changing community; and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Workshops and other When Work Works activities in Kansas City will be announced in the near future. Applications for the 2016-2017 cycle of the When Work Works award are expected to be made available in August 2016.

For further information:

Questions about the When Work Works community partnership in Kansas City may be directed to Kendall Seal, Women’s Foundation at or .

Employers with questions about the When Work Works benchmarking and awards process may contact Lori Maher, SHRM-KC executive director, at ; or visit


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Contact: Michael Grimaldi: 816-513-6579 or cell: 816-945-2902