Business

Work-life balance helps this Top Workplace retain employees

The Charlotte office of the law firm Alston & Bird toasts employees of 20 years or more with an annual special dinner. Alston & Bird was named a 2015 Top Workplace in the midsize company category.
The Charlotte office of the law firm Alston & Bird toasts employees of 20 years or more with an annual special dinner. Alston & Bird was named a 2015 Top Workplace in the midsize company category.

At the Charlotte office of law firm Alston & Bird, it’s not hard to find an employee who has been there a while.

Of the office’s nearly 200 employees, 18 percent have worked there at least 20 years, according to John Hartnett, director of administration for the firm’s Charlotte office. Two people have been with the office 43 years: “We love them.”

And then there are the boomerangs - people who leave for another workplace, only to come back to the firm. Hartnett said there were two last year, including one who returned after about a month.

Workplace atmosphere plays a big role in employees sticking around. “The firm is great about work-life balance.”

Employees’ appreciation of that is one reason that Alston & Bird was named a Top Workplace last year.

Think your company is deserving of similar recognition? Nominations to be a part of the Charlotte Observer’s 2016 program are now open. The Observer is looking for the region’s best employers to feature in our special report, which will publish Sept. 25.

Any organization in the Charlotte metro area with 35 or more employees can become a Top Workplace.

Nominations can come from workplaces in this eight-county region: Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Union in North Carolina, and Lancaster and York in South Carolina. Workplaces can be in the public, private, nonprofit or government sectors.

To conduct the survey, we’re teaming with WorkplaceDynamics, a research firm that conducts surveys for more than 40 newspapers, and surveyed nearly 2.5 million employees at more than 6,000 organizations last year.

WorkplaceDynamics will contact nominated businesses and ask to reach out to employees with a short, 22-question survey. Companies will be surveyed during March through May.

The nomination deadline for our 2016 report is April 15.

You can nominate your workplace at http://www.charlotteobserver.com/nominate or by calling 704-954-8760.

Alston & Bird and other winners have found that having TopWorkplaces status draws attention.

Clients say, “‘We’re really proud to be a part of your organization’,” Hartnett says. “It’s more of a pat on the back.”

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