Washington State Endorses Lifelong Learning Benefit for Workers

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has signed a bill into law creating the Lifelong Learning Program. This program encourages workers to continue their education with assistance from their employer. The program legally defines Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs) as savings accounts funded through matching employer-employee contributions and dedicated to covering the education costs of the participating employee.

“Washington State Endorses Lifelong Learning Benefit for Workers.” GrowSeattle Office of Economic Development, Daily Digest. 19 March 2012. http://seattle.gov/economicdevelopment/oed_daily_digest1.htm
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How to Become a Best Company to Work For

From great leadership to creative benefits, to inclusive environments and effective talent management, the best companies to work for take a strategic approach. The following strategies will help you become the best of the best.

Corporate culture: Encourage employees to act and think independently. Focus on long-term success. Allow employees to act on their convictions.

Hiring and retention: Offer opportunities to advance. Maintain low turnover. Establish a plan for identifying future leaders.

Performance standards: Create challenging but attainable performance goals mutually agreed upon by managers and employees. Conduct evaluations that are updated regularly. Inspire employees to do well. Encourage team spirit. Respect employees and their opinions. Promote diversity. Encourage employees to take leadership. Build strong relationships based on trust.

Responsibility and decision-making: Foster an environment of accountability. Give employees latitude and authority. Encourage problem solving and teamwork.

Rewards and recognition: Provide competitive and equitable salaries. Implement performance-based compensation. Provide bonuses for excellent performance. Regularly recognize individuals and groups.

Training and education: Promote employee development. Train mentors. Encourage employees to share expertise and experiences.

Benefits: Provide a comprehensive benefits package. Offer a comprehensive retirement plan, paid vacation and sick leave, flexible hours, telecommuting and job-sharing opportunities.

Communication: Share good and bad news about the business. Make management accessible to employees and encourage feedback.

Work environment: Encourage creativity and brainstorming in a comfortable and safe setting. Provide balance between work and personal needs.

Horton, Nick. “100 Best Companies to Work For 2012” Seattle Business Mag, July 2012. http://www.seattlebusinessmag.com/article/100-best-companies-work-2012
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