Applicants are evaluated on the quality and scope of their policies and programs in several key categories. The CARE Awards selection process has three main areas of focus:
- Policies and benefits
- Ease of utilization
- Company culture and philosophy
In addition to reviewing the policies that are in place, the CARE Nominating Committee evaluates how companies publicize their programs and how easily accessible they are to employees. Less tangible, but perhaps even more important, is the company philosophy and culture. The Committee wants to learn why the company instituted these policies and how they fit into the overall goals of the organization. Finalists will be selected based on cumulative scoring of written application, site visit and employee survey.
1. CARE Award applications are evaluated on the quality and scope of their policies and programs in the categories of:
- Flexible Work Arrangements
- Dependent Care
- Work/Family Stress Management
- Benefits and Community Involvement
2. Finalists receive intensive site visits in order to gain further insight into the companies’ programs and cultures. This is when the Nominating Committee tours the company and interviews a cross section of employees from entry-level to senior management. The site visit’s goal is to determine whether company policies truly respond to its workforce’s needs, that the policies are freely utilized and that leadership supports the creation of a flexible workplace. In addition to confirming the information provided in the application, the site visit allows the Committee more insight into the company culture.
3. Finalists are asked to administer a short web-based survey to a random sampling of their Northern Virginia-based employees. (Participant names remain confidential.) The results supplement the findings of the Committee during the site visit. Each organization selected to participate will receive a copy of their survey results.
4. The Nominating Committee makes its recommendations in a report to the CARE Advisory Committee.
5. The Advisory Committee makes a final decision on the award winners.
How can my company apply?
Applications are available in March of each year. To be eligible, businesses must be located (not necessarily headquartered) in Northern Virginia. They must complete a benefits certification and application and return it to NVFS in June of the application year. Previous winners are encouraged to apply again. Finalists should be prepared to discuss all information in more detail during an on-site interview.
Application available online: March
Application Deadline: May
Applications screened: May/June
Semi-finalists notified/participate in CARE survey: June
Finalists’ site visits: July/August
Award winners announced: September
Awards breakfast and ceremony: November
When are the winners announced?
Winners are usually announced in mid-September. The CARE Nominating Committee, which is composed of business leaders, human resource professionals and former CARE Awards winners, work throughout the summer and early fall to determine the winners. The process culminates with the announcement and presentation of awards at the annual CARE Awards Breakfast.
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