By Lt. j.g. Laura K. Stegherr, Diversity Directorate Public Affairs
May 20, 2010 - DALLAS (NNS) -- The Navy's Task Force Life/Work (TFLW) initiatives received national accolades May 18 by the Alliance for Work Life Progress (AWLP) with the organization's Work-Life Innovative Excellence Award.
As the highest honor offered by AWLP, the Work-Life Innovative Excellence Award was created in 1996 to showcase programs and policies that demonstrate excellence in enhancing and promoting work-life effectiveness while achieving organizational goals.
Competitors for the award are evaluated on their program's responsiveness to employees' needs, innovation in overcoming barriers to implementation, and measurable benefits to the well-being of employees. Past recipients include Pepsi Bottling Group, Ernst & Young, Verizon Wireless and IBM.
Capt. Ken Barrett, director of the Navy Diversity Directorate and TFLW, accepted the award at the 2010 Total Rewards Conference, sponsored by WorldatWork, AWLP's parent company, in Dallas.
"We have found that addressing the professional and personal needs of our Sailors and their families is an important aspect of retaining our best and brightest," said Barrett. "This award signifies that Task Force Life Work is steadily meeting that goal." The Navy received a standing ovation during the ceremony, which also recognized the life-work balance programs of Hospital Corporation of America and Palm Beach County, Fla.
Anne Ruddy, president of WorldatWork, commended the award winners for the progress they had made in advancing professional and personal goals for their workforces.
"I've said many times before that it is our job at WorldatWork to support total rewards professionals and advance the profession. But this morning is the reverse," said Ruddy. "This morning is to recognize those professionals who offer best and next practices to learn from and to celebrate the way these people and organizations have advanced total rewards concepts by leaps and bounds."
The Navy's TFLW program began in 2007 to address the professional and personal development needs of Sailors and to enhance healthy life/work balance. The focus of TFLW is to provide a menu of workforce options aimed at retaining the Navy's talent to ensure mission accomplishment.
Since its inception, several TFLW initiatives have been launched, including greatly expanded telework programs, flexible work schedules, paternity and adoptive leave, and one year deferment of sea duty for new mothers.
Steffanie Easter, assistant deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education, also shared her thoughts on the significance of the AWLP award and the importance of the Navy's TFLW programs.
"Historically, the Navy has been a great place to work," said Easter. "To win this award, we needed to determine what it takes to recruit and retain the best talent our country has to offer. This award recognizes that we as an organization offer many opportunities and benefits that our Sailors and civilians find attractive."
The Navy's TFLW and quality of life programs have previously been awarded by both the Families and Work Institute, the Telework Exchange, and Working Mother Magazine.