September 1, 2004
CHARLOTTE, NC - Attention to policies and programs that help workers balance the needs of their families and their job responsibilities makes the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) a choice employer, according to a media group that focuses on parenting.
DSS employs 1,182 professional staff in four divisions that provide services to individuals and families who qualify for help with such needs as finances, food, health care, child care, energy assistance, preventing abuse of children and the elderly, transportation and employment assistance.
"We received this award because a significant number of our staff submitted anonymous paper surveys evaluating our Work/Life performance," said DSS Director Richard W. "Jake" Jacobsen, Jr. "Their approval shows that our effort to create an environment where employees can have a quality experience is working. We want to be the preferred employer."
Carolina Parenting, Inc. (Carolina Parent, Piedmont Parent and Charlotte Parent magazines) recognizes 40 North Carolina companies each year that make life a little easier for working parents, according to the letter announcing the department's selection. Renea Erby, with the DSS human resources office, spearheaded the nomination effort and several employees sent in evaluations of the department's work/life performance.
The department conducted a survey of its employees last fall and asked for input on how to improve efforts toward work/life balance. Later, 571 employees participated in follow-up focus groups. Some of the needs and wants identified included employee lounges, discounts for dry cleaning, on-site membership drives for warehouse shopping, cellular telephone providers, house cleaning services, car wash discounts and lawn care providers.
Through its Work/Life Committee, DSS responded to the suggestions and also began a series of Lunch & Learn sessions on topics such as exercise at your desk and other wellness issues.
DSS representatives will be honored along with others on the list at the Charlotte Parent's seventh annual Moms at Work luncheon at the Hilton Charlotte on September 7, 2004.
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