Principal Announces 10 Best for Employee Financial Security 2009

August 18, 2009 ( - Times are tough, but for some growing companies, weathering the current financial environment means making changes but not cuts.

Ten of those firms are being acknowledged today as the Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security – 2009. The firms were selected by an independent panel of experts for “maintaining extraordinary benefits programs and showing a remarkable commitment to employees and their financial well-being,” according to a press release. In fact, winning companies didn’t just maintain employee benefits, in many cases, they increased them, according to the announcement.

Turnover Rates

The winning companies have turnover rates that are well below others in their industry, and significantly lower than the national average. The Principal 10 Best Companies’ average annual voluntary turnover rate is 8.9%, compared to the national average of 22.6%.

The 2009 Winners are

  • ASCD , Alexandria, Virginia
  • Credit Union West , Glendale, Arizona
  • Kennebec Savings Bank , Augusta, Maine
  • Knoxville TVA Employee Credit Union, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • PriMed Management Consulting Services, Inc. , San Ramon, California
  • Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. (PAR, Inc.), Lutz, Florida
  • Shenandoah Shared Hospital Services, Inc ., Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Synaptics, Inc. , Santa Clara, California
  • The Cleveland Foundation , Cleveland, Ohio
  • The Summit Federal Credit Union , Rochester, New York

Profiles of the winners are available at .

This is the eighth consecutive year the Principal Financial Group has sponsored the program, which honors growing companies (five - 1,000 employees) for their commitment to employees' financial security through outstanding employee benefit offerings.

"These 10 companies face the same challenges as other businesses - securing new business, managing budgets and rising benefit costs. What makes The Principal 10 Best extraordinary is the priority they place on employee financial security," said Luke Vandermillen, vice president at The Principal. "The winning companies see the direct connection between strong benefits, a strong workforce and a strong bottom line - in the best and worst of times."

Trends Lines

While The Principal 10 Best represent a diverse array of organizations - in size and industry - judges noted several clear trends:

  • Handling healthcare costs - winners worked hard to manage the cost of health care benefits; sharing significantly in the cost or premiums, passing decreases on to employees where possible and focusing on helping employees become better healthcare consumers
  • Pumped up wellness programs - there was a significant increase in the depth and breadth of wellness programs offered by The Principal 10 Best and a stronger focus on incorporating wellness into corporate culture; one company making participation mandatory for management
  • Buckling down on benefits - winning companies did not cut benefits in the face of recession, citing the importance of providing employees stability and consistency during volatile times; many even increased benefit offerings; budget adjustments were made other ways, such as forgoing bonuses for management
  • Employees and the economy - companies provided additional support to help employees weather the economic storm financially, physically and emotionally; lowering anxiety and helping them make wise financial decisions

To learn more about the winners, visit best. A full report on the benefits strategies of the winners will be published in January.

Last year's guide is available at