PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- The Naval Education and Training Command's Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE) selection to receive the 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility was announced in NAVADMIN 022/11, Jan. 24.
The Sloan award is presented annually to employers of all sizes and types across the country that use flexibility as a strategy to increase workplace effectiveness and enhance business and employee success.
"CSFE is an outstanding example of integrating mission accomplishment with workplace flexibility," said NETC Commander Rear Adm. Joseph Kilkenny. "By being flexible with our workforce, NETC commands are successfully executing the mission of maintaining, training, and equipping mission-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining the freedom of the seas."
Recipients of the award become part of a national flexibility leadership network, to exchange ideas and serve as models for other employers and community leaders throughout the U.S.
Sloan awardees rank in the top 20 percent of businesses nationally in terms of programs, policies and culture for creating an effective and flexible workplace.
The center is responsible for the oversight of training for the Navy's construction and facilities engineering personnel, providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to build and maintain bases, airfields, harbor facilities, roads, and more.
CSFE's flexibility programs and practices were measured against national norms from the Families and Work Institute's (FWI) national study of employers. CSFE employees were surveyed confidentially on their access to flexible work options, the supportiveness of the culture and on nationally tested measures of workplace effectiveness.
"My staff has been very receptive to the various workforce flexibility programs offered by CSFE," said Ramon Flores, director of knowledge management and information technology. "They participate in a compressed work schedule, telework program, and health and wellness programs. These programs have resulted in quantifiable time-and-attendance increases, as well as increases in team morale.
"Specifically, one employee's participation in the telework program allowed him to cut his 3-hour round-trip commute to three times per week, instead of five. By taking advantage of the compressed work schedule, he also fulfilled his life-long dream of coaching his son's high school football team," said Flores.
The award is part of the national When Work Works project, an ongoing initiative of FWI, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for a Competitive Workforce and the Twiga Foundation, with funding from the Sloan Foundation.
Tom DeWitt, director of career management, is one of the participants in the CSFE telework program.
"I telework on Wednesdays, and I love it as far as less driving, cost, and wear and tear on my vehicle," said DeWitt. "Because I experience less stress and interruptions, I am able to get more administrative work done. As a matter of fact, I use it as my catch-up day for admin items."
FWI's national representative studies of employees and employers have found that flexibility is a key ingredient in creating effective workplaces that can yield important work-related outcomes. Employees in effective and flexible workplaces report having greater engagement on the job, greater job satisfaction, better overall health, lower stress levels and a greater desire to stay with the organization.
"CSFE's Health and Welfare program not only provides an opportunity for our staff to design and implement a healthy lifestyle, but it also stimulates production by minimizing workforce sick days," said Katrina Helm, CSFE administrative officer.
CSFE will be among those businesses highlighted in the upcoming "Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work," a national publication that compiles innovations and promising practices from all Sloan Award recipients.
For more information on CSFE, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/csfe/.
For more information on the Naval Education and Training Command, visit the NETC website at https://www.netc.navy.mil/.
For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.