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Springfield, MO

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Scotti Ann Siebert, Director of Human Resources
Scotti Ann Siebert, Director of Human Resources

2011 Choice Employers, 300+ Employees No. 3: Drury University

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Private liberal arts institution Drury University employs 456 full- and part-time employees. The school’s benefits package includes 100 percent company-paid health insurance coverage for full-time employees, and all employees are eligible for bonuses. Drury offers domestic partner benefits, an employee mentoring program and scholarships/tuition reimbursement for employees’ children. The university also offers several on-site wellness programs, such as yoga and tai chi. Drury’s strategic plan incorporates community service as a leading strategic imperative, and faculty and staff are encouraged to help. A recent community initiative is the Smart Mob, a “flash mob with a cause,” that will complete a service project in Joplin as part of ongoing tornado recovery efforts.

Tell us about your firm’s team-building activities or events.
“Drury’s connections with the local Springfield community and the Ozarks region, and our commitment to helping meet the needs of our community have provided some of the best team-building activities. … Whether it’s working on a team for the United Way Day of Caring, making and wrapping hundreds of sandwiches to send to victims and disaster workers in Joplin, or swinging a hammer with others to help construct a Habitat for Humanity house, these opportunities to connect with each other outside the workplace not only strengthen the Drury team, but serve to further connect us to our community. … Our Career Planning and Development department offers free team-building sessions for departments on campus, customizing the activities based on the goals of the individual group.”

How does your business support work-life balance for employees?
“In most departments or offices, we are able to provide flex hours for employees who need that flexibility to attend to family or other needs outside of work. … As a result of staff input and suggestions, we recently revised our sick leave policy so that staff are allowed, in certain circumstances, to use their sick leave when they are absent because they are needed to provide care for a sick family member. Prior to this change, employees had to use vacation or paid personal hours to cover absences of this nature. For the third year in a row, we also are awarding additional paid time off to staff between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays (when) many of our employees’ children are out of school.”

Has the economy made it difficult to award raises? How are employee efforts rewarded?
“We have, in most years, been able to award salary increases, albeit small, to our employees. In years where salary increases have not been possible … we have been able to award a lump sum bonus payment in lieu of a permanent salary increase. … We also have several employee recognition programs in which employees are recognized for their efforts. There are annual faculty awards for teaching, scholarship, leadership, advising and liberal learning. One or more staff members may be recognized each month with a Lifesaver Award by one of their peers. One staff member is recognized each month with the Staff Excellence Award, and one staff member is recognized each year with the Distinguished Staff Award, which (comes with) a significant cash award. Departments also may reward exceptional performance.”

What makes your company’s benefits offering stand out in the market?
“Our tuition remission plan is probably one of the most generous benefits we offer. That, coupled with employer-paid health insurance, employer retirement match and a generous paid time off plan, makes for a … combination of benefits that are so important to our employees and potential employees.”

Click here for the full 2011 Choice Employers.
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