In the midst of a turbulent economy, these “10 growing companies stood firm in their commitment to employee financial security by maintaining, and even adding to, their first-class employee benefits,” according to the announcement.
And, it appears to be paying off. According to the Principal, the winning companies have turnover rates that are well below others in their industry and significantly lower than the national average, with an average annual voluntary turnover rate of 7.1%, compared to the national average of 24%.
The 10 companies honored are:
- American Immigration Lawyers Association, Washington, D.C.—professional association
- Clif Bar & Company, Berkeley, Calif.—organic health food and drink manufacturer
- Davidson Technologies, Inc., Huntsville, Ala.—aerospace and defense consultant
- Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.—property and casualty insurance
- Franklin International, Columbus, Ohio—adhesive manufacturer
- Red River Credit Union, Texarkana, Texas—federally chartered credit union
- RLI, Peoria, Ill.—specialty insurer covering niche markets
- The Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla.—private college prep school
- The Delp Company, Maumee, Ohio—wealth, risk management and employee benefits consulting firm
- The Graham Company, Philadelphia, Pa.—insurance broker and consultant
Profiles of the winners are available at www.principal.com/10best.
This is the ninth consecutive year the Principal has sponsored the program that honors growing companies (five – 1,000 employees) for their commitment to employees’ financial security through outstanding employee benefit offerings.
According to the announcement, the independent panel of judges noted the following top trends among this year’s winners:
- Well-developed wellness. There was a dramatic increase in the quality and creativity of wellness programs, with more incentives to live healthy lifestyles, including discounts on medical premiums, personal trainers onsite, paid time to work out and subsidies to buy bicycles.
- Holding health care costs. Winning companies continued to share significantly in the cost of health care, doing what they could to avoid passing along double-digit increases and focusing on helping employees become better health care consumers.
- Bolstering benefits during the recession. Every winner either added or enhanced benefits during the economic downturn. Two companies added retirement programs: a defined benefit pension plan and an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and several companies added insurance and supplemental coverages. Winners also held fast to their generous retirement plan contributions.
- Expanding education. All companies offer one-on-one meetings with financial professionals or benefits specialists and all but one pays for investment advice, to help employees make the best use of benefits. One company requires one-on-one meetings for new hires and those nearing retirement.
Luke Vandermillen, vice president at the Principal Financial Group, noted, “Adversity inspires innovation and that’s what our panel of judges found with this year’s winners. They worked with employees to find creative ways to cut expenses without cutting benefits. They focused on adding and improving benefits that really meet the unique needs of their employees. And they greatly expanded wellness programs to hold down health care costs.”
While the downturn has impacted every company differently, Vandermillen said that the Principal 10 Best share a common philosophy: investing in employees is a top priority. “They know that great benefits are a key to getting great work from great people—and all of that can lead to a better bottom line.”
You can find out more about The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security at www.principal.com/10best
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