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PetSmart, Target and Valassis named ‘best for hourly workers’

Thursday, April 5, 2012  
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Network of Executive Women platinum sponsor Target and gold sponsors PetSmart and Valassis were named three of the "Best Companies for Hourly Workers” by Working Mother magazine. The list recognizes 12 employers that have the best policies and programs for promoting women and a dynamic work life culture.

Working Mother honored the NEW sponsors and other organizations for their family-friendly track records in recruiting, retaining and advancing hourly employees, benefits and other criteria.

"Hourly workers are often overlooked as a vital source of talent and in some cases are assumed to be uninterested in development,” Jennifer Kohler, director of advisory services for Catalyst, told Working Mother. "This is a fallacy that successful companies don’t fall for.”

Non-exempt employees at Working Mother’s "Best Companies for Hourly Workers” represent 89 percent of the workforce, on average. At PetSmart, nonexempt employees are 91 percent of the workforce, at Target 92 percent, at Valassis 70 percent.

Women represent 53 percent of the non-exempt employees at these companies on average and 51 percent of hourly workers nationwide. Women represent 71 percent of PetSmart’s nonexempt hourly workforce, 57 percent at Target and 54 percent at Valassis.

All of working mother’s "Best Companies for Hourly Workers” require managers to receive training in how to help hourly employees advance. "Talent development is a core part of Target’s culture that runs very deep,” Network of Executive Women member Kim Strong, vice president of diversity and inclusion of Target, told Working Mother. "There is tremendous pride in being seen as a person, team or store that’s recognized for growing talent.

"As soon as team members start in our stores, we look at them as leaders,” she added. "We want to know where their interests lie. We talk a lot about what steps we can take to develop them.”

Like other recognized companies, PetSmart fosters hourly employee feedback. "Associates are taking care of our customers every day. They are so qualified to have great ideas,” NEW Ambassador Cathie Spain, director of associate relations, told Working Mother. The retailer has put a "Fetch button” on its intranet to garner employee suggestions. In less than a year, the site received 2,700 ideas. The company implemented 50 are considering another 250.

All of the "Best Companies for Hourly Workers” offer flexible work arrangements. On average, 73 percent of hourly workers at these companies use flextime, up from 68 percent in 2011. At Valassis, numerous work schedules exist to meet business needs while offering opportunities for family time. Valassis also offers a wide range of options that enable associates to take care of family needs, such as school meetings, doctor's appointments and children's activities.

Inclusion on the list of "Best Companies for Hourly Workers” is a testament to the dedication of Valassis’  hourly associates, the passion they have for the work they do and their continued efforts to change to meet the rapidly changing needs of the industry, said Valassis COO Ron Goolsby, who oversees the company's manufacturing operations, client services, strategic sourcing and information technology areas, where a majority of the company’s 3,000 hourly associates work.

"Our associates and leaders work together to achieve flexibility between business and family needs,” Goolsby said. "I am very proud of our ability to balance these factors and create a positive overall career environment important to all of our associates, especially working mothers.”

The other organizations recognized were Best Buy Co., Bon Secours Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation, Cricket Communications, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International Inc., Sodexo, University of New Mexico Hospitals and University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics.

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