Work/life balance helps non-profits be top places to work

Recently, I came across a non-profit I wasn’t familiar with. Interested, I wenthead_logo2.jpg to its Web site and a logo popped up for NorthCoast 99, an award that honors the top 99 places to work in Northeast Ohio. Although I believe the awards to be a bit subjective, its presence got me thinking. What makes a non-profit worthy of being a top place to work?

fortune_magazine.gifAs I hunted the blogosphere for my answer, I noticed that several bloggers, including Tom Durso’s of The 501(c) Files, were proud to see non-profits along side corporations in Fortune magazine. In January, Fortune announced its 100 Best Places to Work For and several non-profits made the list, including MITRE, a non-profit research firm that has made the list seven years in a row.


So, what sets a non-profit apart from an average corporation? What I and many others see is the one thing that is moving non-profits up the ladder of prominence is work/life balance.

Seeing as MITRE has cracked the code of employee satisfaction, at least according to worklifesign.jpgFortune, it’s a great place to start the examination of work/life balance in non-profits. Among MITRE’s work/life programs, which include adoption assistance and wellness programs, is the program entitled “Flexible Work Arrangement.” In short, this program allows employees to flex their time at the workplace and telecommute from home in order to deal with personal and family priorities.

MITRE is not only flexible non-profit. Many non-profits have foregone adhering strict schedules so that employees can see to personal issues. In my own experience, the greatest perk at my non-profit job was knowing if a crisis came up or a Northeast Ohio snow day occurred I could work from home. This was a great asset when my dad was battling a fatal disease and we didn’t know when I’d be needed at home.

Another increasingly popular work/life program offered by MITRE and other non-profits is child care. MITRE offers employees resources for emergency childcare in case school is canceled or a babysitter backs out. Other non-profits host full-time on-site childcare for employees, which invaluable to working parents.

The work/life balance movement is on a roll and if they have formalized programs or not, non-profits are helping set the curve. Although students and young professionals may be wooed by the opportunity of a big paycheck, no amount of money can by you extra hours in a day or a second chance at your kids’ first day of kindergarten.


1 Response to “Work/life balance helps non-profits be top places to work”

  1. 1 greatworkplace March 17, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the interesting post…to elaborate on your mention of NorthCoast 99, it’s an annual recognition program that honors 99 great workplaces for top talent in Northeast Ohio. The winners are chosen objectively based on an extensive application.

    And you are quite right, work/life balance is one of the things that makes a company a great place to work. I invite you and your readers to visit our blog, Where Great Workplaces Start, for more information on building a great workplace:

    I also invite you to visit the NorthCoast 99 website that has information related to the award, now in it’s 10th year:

    Thanks again!

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