Annual Awards Program Seeks to Find the Answer
(St. Paul) – Do your employees enjoy coming to work every day? Are there programs in place to help them grow and feel fulfilled? And does your company go out of its way to make sure employees feel appreciated?
If so, yours may be a company well deserving of recognition in the Minnesota Psychological Association’s annual Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards competition. Nominations for the awards program, which is now entering its 12th year, are open through Feb. 16, 2018. The awards program recognizes organizations that make a commitment to programs and policies that foster employee health and well-being while enhancing organizational performance and productivity.
“Oftentimes, I compare the award to ‘Best Places to Work.’ I think it’s really nice recognition for organizations to say not only are we a nice place to work, but on a psychological level for our employees we have great benefits and a lot of opportunities to support our employees,” said Jennifer Pollard, who chairs the Minnesota Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award Committee. She is also the Minnesota Psychology in the Workplace network representative for the American Psychological Association.
Pollard points out that for-profits, non-profits and government agencies are all being encouraged to enter. “There is no fee to enter, and our plan is to recognize small, medium and large companies in all areas of business,” said Pollard, who also points out there may be multiple winners or no winners at all. “We didn’t actually have any winning companies in 2016 or 2017,” she said. “We don’t want to offer recognition to companies that are considered average. We are looking for companies that go above and beyond and deserve recognition for their efforts.”
To enter, all companies need to do is have a representative go to www.apaexcellence.org/applynow, click on the link at the top of the page that says, “click here” to apply, and register for a free account. “If someone wants to nominate their company anonymously, that would be okay too,” said Pollard.
During the nomination process, the applicant will be asked a series of questions, such as whether they are nominating a publically traded company, a for-profit, non-profit or government agency. The competition also considers the size of the company. There are categories for small, medium and large companies.
After the nomination is made, the next step in the process will be to fill out the Organizational Practices Questionnaire (OPQ). On this form, the applicant is asked questions about the five factors being analyzed at the company: employee involvement, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety and employee recognition.
“Members of the awards committee will analyze the responses, and those companies selected to continue on with the competition will be asked to have their employees fill out a questionnaire. There will also be a site visit where committee members get the opportunity to interview company leaders and employees,” said Pollard.
If there are any winners selected this year, the awards will be presented on Sat., April 21, 2018, at the Minnesota Psychological Association’s annual convention to be held at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth. Winners will receive a plaque, the ability to put a logo calling attention to the award on their website, and they will automatically be put into the running for recognition at the national level.
“I think it’s a great marketing tool not only for the organization as a whole to be recognized as a great place to work, it’s great to have when trying to recruit new employees,” said Pollard.
The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award was created to recognize organizations that understand the link between employee health and well-being and organizational performance and have implemented a variety of workplace practices in an active effort to create a positive work environment.
Past Minnesota winners have included Pella Windows, Orion Associates, Beehive PR, Loft Literacy Center, Women in Construction, Immanuel-St. Joseph’s – Mayo Health System, Lifeworks, Best Buy, the Minnesota State Bar Association and the City of New Hope.
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