APA's Practice Directorate presents its second annual National Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards and its fourth annual Best Practices Honors to organizations promoting employee health and well-being, in addition to organizational performance and productivity. The directorate will present the awards at its State Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., this month.

With support from APA, state, provincial and territorial psychological associations have presented state-level awards since 1999. APA's national program showcases the very best from the state-level winners; the association chose this year's nominees from 2005 and 2006 state-level awardees. A judging panel evaluated nominees on employee involvement, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety, and employee recognition.

This year's six winners in five organizational categories are:

  • Small Not-For-Profit: Healthwise.This Boise, Idaho-based publisher of consumer health information is on a mission to help people make better health decisions. Their employee-centered approach includes a volunteer "Mentor Corps" that helps new employees transition into the organization, a family-friendly workplace policy and an extensive workplace wellness program with incentives for making healthy lifestyle and behavior choices. The result: Healthwise reports high employee satisfaction ratings, a low 8 percent turnover rate and more than 125 applications for every job opening.

  • Medium Not-for-Profit: Koinonia Homes. Based in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio, this social service organization provides residential and vocational services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Koinonia Homes takes extra care to help employees achieve healthy, fulfilling and enriched lives. The organization offers extensive training, flexible scheduling, generous personal time off and the opportunity for employees to reduce their health insurance premiums by participating in an annual health fair. The result: Koinonia Homes engages its work force and touts a turnover rate 20 to 40 percent below the industry average.

  • Large Not-For-Profit: YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities.This health and human services agency in New York City has a mission to "build brighter futures" not only for the people it serves, but also for its staff. A participatory management philosophy, emphasis on employee development and an extensive menu of employee benefits have helped YAI build a reputation as a leader in the field. The result: 92 percent of employees say they would recommend working at YAI, a claim supported by the approximately 40 percent of new hires that come from internal referrals. YAI has also benefited from health-care cost savings and a reduction in workplace injuries.

  • Medium For-Profit: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.Through its breadth of training and development opportunities, attention to both physical and mental health, commitment to flexible work arrangements and a program that allows employees to donate one hour a week to nonprofit work, this coffee roasting and distribution company based in Waterbury, Vt., strives to be a role model both regionally and nationally. The result: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has increased productivity, improved financial performance, reduced workplace injury and illness rates, and is widely recognized as an employer of choice and an outstanding corporate citizen.

  • Large For-Profit: El Nuevo Dia.The most widely read newspaper in Puerto Rico, El Nuevo Dia also prides itself on being a great place to work. From on-site day care and an after-school program for children of employees, to exercise classes, a healthy menu at the onsite restaurant and stipends for educational sabbaticals, this family-owned newspaper is committed to providing a balanced and healthy work environment. The result: El Nuevo Dia reports an 89 percent employee satisfaction rate and turnover that trounces the competition, at a mere 3 percent.

  • Government/Military/Educational Institution: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.This local government agency maintains its reputation as a great place to work by valuing recognition, communication, education, wellness and fun, and by offering its employees a superior pay and benefits package. The result: a turnover rate of less than 9 percent, a 61 percent reduction in worker compensation claims since 2004 and more than 75 awards in the areas of human resources, marketing, purchasing and financial reporting.

2007 Best Practices Honorees

  • Community School: Each year, this Roanoke, Va., school involves the entire staff in developing a theme that concretely ties all aspects of the curriculum to the school's mission and philosophy, enhancing the learning environment for students and teachers alike.

  • DuBois Regional Medical Center: The Health Quest program at this Pennsylvania health-care facility uses health education, motivation, friendly competition and incentives to positively affect employees' lives and the medical center's bottom line.

  • The Good Samaritan Hospital of Maryland: When employees of this Baltimore hospital complete the annual employee opinion survey, they can feel confident that their input will be translated into actionable steps to make workplace improvements.

  • Houston Texans: The leaders of this NFL franchise are vocal advocates for mental health and back up their message by providing employees with full insurance parity for mental health treatment.

  • Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority: Through its Las Vegas Authority Academy, this local government agency provides employees with orientation, training, customer service programs and an online learning catalog of more than 800 professional development classes.

  • Next Level Cafe: Weekly "dream sessions" give employees at this Burnsville, Minn., computer support and technology consulting firm the opportunity to step outside of their usual job role, share new ideas and brainstorm ways to improve the organization.

  • El Nuevo Dia: To help employees manage work and life demands, this Puerto Rico newspaper offers Eureka, an onsite after-school program where their children can get assistance with homework, access to resource materials and supervision by registered teachers.

  • OMNI Youth Services: For the past 25 years, this Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based organization has brought employees together for an all-staff meeting to celebrate accomplishments, build a sense of community and enhance communication, tying it all together with food and fun.

  • Stratix Corporation: When employees of this Norcross, Ga., enterprise mobility solutions provider hand over $25 per quarter to dress casually on Fridays, they know their donation is helping the community and that their employer is matching the contribution.

  • Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center: Embodying this Hawaiian health center's philosophy of inclusiveness, its personnel task force engages employees from all levels of the organization in a process of turning new ideas for organizational improvements into reality.

Of the awards program, Russ Newman, PhD, JD, APA's executive director for professional practice, says: "It helps psychology build relationships with the business community by recognizing organizations that lead the way in nurturing healthy employees and demonstrating our profession's expertise in enhancing organizational performance."

-A. Cynkar