For the second year in a row, the Center for Community Career Education at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga received the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. Those organizations who received the award scored in the 80-90th percentile as measured against a representative sampling of employers across the country. USA Today recently carried a congratulatory announcement of the winners.
With a staff of 13, the Center helps community members embark on educational opportunities ranging from university enrollment and financial aid to high school completion. More than 2,000 individuals a year are touched by the Center’s employees, often through evening and weekend presentations. Employees’ schedules are obviously very demanding. The Center believes in empowering its professional employees by allowing them to set their own schedules.
“Our staff works very odd hours in order to meet customer demands,” said Sandy Cole, By allowing them to control their schedules they are better able to take care of themselves and maintain a high level of quality service,” says Sandy Cole, Director, Center for Community Career Education. “We manage by results. And, those results are very high bars set by those who fund our programs.
“Staff members may not come in until 10 a.m., but they may stay until 8 p.m. The Center also empowers staff at all levels to bring forward their ideas to strengthen the group and the way it’s managed. It’s important to turn people loose to brainstorm and find better ideas,” Cole said.
Cole says salaried employees at each level are given a lot of control over setting the hours they work, and hourly workers can control the number of hours they work. She adds that former valued employees are encouraged to return to work when they are able, and employees who are on a management or leadership track have the option of moving off and returning back to the track when they are ready.
See the complete list of organizations who have received the 2007 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.