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First Runner up: Bureau of Reclamation
Bureau of Reclamation helps employees balance work demands with personal lives
The Bureau of Reclamation may have been founded in 1902, but the federal agency's Yuma Area Office — this year's first-place winner in the Workplace Excellence Awards program — is decidedly 21st century.
Besides laptops, air cards and cell phones that promote telecommuting, there's also an on-site fitness center and an extensive wellness program that promotes a healthy lifestyle.
“The Yuma Area Office supports a work-life balance through these programs,” said Jennifer McCloskey, area manager. “We recognize that our most valuable assets are the employees.”
One of those employees is Sue Keyttel. She's an IT specialist at what's called the YAO or Yuma Area Office. In her nomination form, Keyttel praised the YAO leadership.
“Employees have numerous opportunities to embrace a healthy balance, including family-friendly leave, flexible work schedules and lunchtime training through Toastmasters meetings.”
Employing 170 Yumans who are responsible for distributing water for agricultural use and for operating and maintaining well fields and one of the world's largest reverse osmosis desalinating plants, the YAO goes beyond what Keyttel mentioned.
There are numerous programs in place to ensure staff is commended for their work, including a Performance Management Program, Special Thanks for Achievement Award and Non-Monetary Award. The “We Save Challenge” lets employees submit cost-savings ideas to improve efficiencies.
“The leadership values its employees and works hard to ensure programs are in place that enhance their skills and motivate them to achieve results,” said McCloskey.
The results in one particular area — safety and health — are admirable. A team of employees, union representatives and management meets and discusses safety issues. An annual Safety Action Plan is put into place so the staff always has the appropriate safety equipment and recognizes any hazards. And at the time nominations were due, the group had gone nearly 300 days without incidents.
“The leadership and employees are very proud of this achievement,” said McCloskey.