Like most of you, I've heard my share of employee horror stories over the years. Drawing on personal experience, I once reported to someone who, over the span of just two years, accumulated more harassment complaints than a Kiss concert in a nursing home. Needless to say, that was not an employment memory I would press between the pages of a scrapbook.
Another company was so tethered to a meeting culture that one of the vice presidents actually suggested with a straight face that we schedule a meeting -- in order to determine the best time to schedule the real meeting.
This was also a company, I may add, that at one time boasted more vice presidents on its payroll than salespeople, and subsequently wondered why ad revenues were falling faster than Lindsay Lohan at 4 a.m.
But I digress.
In an era where the phrase "work-life balance" is tossed out more often than a deadbeat relative, there are not only awards bestowed for being a best place to work -- there's now one for being a "psychologically healthy" place of employment as well.
Recently, the Long Island, N.Y., firm of Holtz Rubenstein Reminick was judged the most psychologically healthy for-profit workplace in the Empire State. According to the firm, its chief human resources officer was approached about applying for the award after a member of the New York State Psychological Association attended a lecture he gave for the New York State Society of CPAs on what seems to be the eternal topic of the accounting profession -- recruiting and retention.
The process went something like this: Holtz Rubenstein filled out a survey and submitted the requisite information on its firm practices and policies to the NYSPA. The association subsequently commissioned several psychologists to visit the firm and interview roughly a dozen of its employees. The firm was evaluated on several criteria, including employee involvement, employee growth and development, health and safety, employee recognition and, of course, work-life balance.
For its part, Holtz had to provide the association with samples of its internal communications, the employee handbook, orientation material, and its health and safety record for the past four years.
In November, the NYSPA announced that the firm had been ranked No. 1 in New York State in the "for-profit" business category. Holtz said that it now plans to compete for the award on a national level.
In an age that coined the phrase "going postal," it's refreshing to see that companies can balance profitability not just with employee perks, but with a "mentally healthy" atmosphere as well. And I'm sure there are dozens of firms across the country that practice this mix of fiscal and mental fitness.
Just think of what it could do for recruiting and retention.
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