VCU honored for rich workplace experience

In recognition of innovative programs that create a positive work environment, Virginia Commonwealth University has received a Seal of Distinction from WorldatWork, a global nonprofit human resources association and compensation authority.

VCU is the only Richmond-area employer to receive the 2017 Seal of Distinction. The honor is awarded to companies that meet defined standards for workplace programs, policies and practices weighted on several factors, such as the complexity of implementation, required organizational resources, perceived breadth of access and overall level of commitment from leadership.

In everything we do, we strive to make VCU a great place to live, learn and work.

Cathleen Burke, assistant vice president for human resource at VCU, said the Seal of Distinction demonstrates the overall quality of the workplace experience at VCU. VCU’s application highlighted its generous employee benefits and tuition waiver programs, work/life programming, wellness initiatives and on-campus fitness facilities, community involvement and employee recognition programs. 

“In everything we do, we strive to make VCU a great place to live, learn and work. VCU is a place of opportunity with an important mission,” Burke said. “We are honored to receive the WorldatWork Seal of Distinction. It validates the commitment our leadership, faculty and staff have to living the VCU values each day and creating an environment to do meaningful work and have a thriving career.”

VCU is currently redesigning its HR plan in an effort to even better align the everyday work of employees with the university’s strategic goals and mission, Burke said. The Great Place: HR Redesignwill modernize HR processes, including performance management, professional  and career development, compensation, and paid leave, among other components.

The redesign project, which is a response to a 2013 Great Place Initiative employee survey, is being conducted as part of Virginia’s Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act of 2005 (Restructuring Act), which provides public colleges and universities with more operational independence. The Great Place: HR Redesign project will allow VCU employees to keep what they appreciate most about public employment (retirement, health benefits, due process, etc.) while making improvements necessary to recruit and retain top talent (career development, market- and merit-based pay, promotional opportunities, etc.). The target launch date for VCU’s redesigned HR plan is January 2018.

This year’s Seal of Distinction recipients represent the industries of education, finance, government, health, law, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals — and hail from 36 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. VCU is one of six recipients in Virginia.

“We congratulate all of the recipients of the 2017 Seal of Distinction. These recipients represent a wide variety of industries from across the U.S. and Canada, showing that the total rewards model applies to employers and employees everywhere,” said Anne C. Ruddy, president and CEO of WorldatWork. “This year, we saw the highest number of applicants since the Seal of Distinction was created. I’m confident that this means an increasing number of companies are recognizing the importance of a workplace environment that benefits both the employer and employee.”

The 2017 recipients will be recognized during the WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference & ExhibitionMay 7-10 in Washington, D.C.


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