When Work Works Kicks Off in Kansas City

February 11, 2016 - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

A nationally recognized program, designed to foster effective workplaces as a way of improving businesses and employee satisfaction, was launched in Kansas City today.

Mayor Sly James was joined by Wendy Doyle, president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation and Stacie Engelmann, immediate past president of the Society for Human Resource Management of Greater Kansas City to announce When Work Works.

“When we first saw the documentary film, The Raising of America, last year, I knew we had to do something in Kansas City to promote family-friendly policies such as paid parental leave and affordable childcare,” James said. “When Work Works can help Kansas City businesses support employees and their families so they can attract and retain dedicated workers that, in turn, will keep the local economy strong.”

Doyle said: “Our partnership with Mayor James and SHRM-KC will help organizations — first in Kansas City and then statewide in Missouri and Kansas — to promote regional economic development; recruit and retain diverse, quality workforces, including women in leadership roles; and further establish our community as a great place to live and work.”

Engelmann said studies show that employees in effective and flexible workplaces report higher engagement on the job, greater job satisfaction, a strong desire to stay with the organization, and overall greater well-being.

“SHRM-KC works to keep our members and businesses informed of progressive and competitive workplace practices and benefit programs in order for them to attract key talent to their own organizations,” Engelmann said. “When Work Works provides us with key insights on effective workplace practices that they might implement in their own organizations, and we see this as a win-win for employers and employees.”

Effective workplaces are marked by features such as opportunities for employee learning, a culture of trust, work-life flexibility, supervisor support for work success, satisfaction with earnings, benefits and advancement opportunities, and the ability for employees to have input on aspects of their work responsibilities.

Included in the program in Kansas City will be a family and work summit to be scheduled this summer. Representatives of businesses and interested organizations will gather to discuss what constitutes a good work-life balance for employees, how that benefits employers and their organizations, and learn practical solutions for implementing family-friendly and flexible workplace policies. Private businesses, large and small, as well as non-profit and government employers are welcome to participate.

Later in the year, local businesses and governmental employers will have the opportunity to compete for the national When Work Works award. Employers are encouraged to access complementary benchmarking through When Work Works at any time by completing the initiative’s “workflex assessment,” in addition to formally competing for the national award. The When Work Works survey process helps employers assess how they stack up against peer organizations, by industry and size, on a national scale.

The program continues through the winter, culminating in a celebration in the spring of 2017, at which time participants will review scoring, celebrate success and learn how to continue to make improvements for the future.

When Work Works is an outcome of the Women’s Empowerment (WE) Initiative, a partnership of the mayor’s office, the Women’s Foundation, Central Exchange  and the UMKC Women’s Center. The goal of the partnership is to develop and implement strategies that make Kansas City government a conduit for success for women in the community.

Questions about the When Work Works community partnership in Kansas City may be directed to Kendall Seal at the Women’s Foundation, 816-988-2006 or kendall@womens-foundation.org.

Employers with questions about the When Work Works benchmarking and awards process may contact Lori Maher, SHRM-KC executive director, at 913-948-8623; or visit whenworkworks.org.

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Note to editors and reporters: A press kit with a fact sheet, a timeline and other information is available by contacting Michael Grimaldi at michael.grimaldi@kcmo.org.

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