Mayor James, Women’s Foundation and SHRM Honor Three Kansas City Area Employers with National Award for Workplace Effectiveness

KANSAS CITY – Wendy Doyle, Women’s Foundation President and CEO, joined Kansas City Mayor Sly James and the Society for Human Resource Management of Greater Kansas City to present three area employers with the 2018 When Work Works Award for exemplary workplace practices.


The honorees – CBIZ Retirement Plan Services of Overland Park, the City of Merriam, KS and Travois – were recognized for offering services such as an onsite daycare, access to a caregiver database, flexible work arrangements, continued education opportunities, overall wellness programs and more to employees. The City of Merriam is the only city to receive the award this year.

“These area businesses are national models for creating effective, flexible work environments,” said Doyle. “Flexible workplaces not only benefit families and communities, but businesses as well – generating higher job satisfaction and lower turnover. As a proud When Work Works community partner, the Women’s Foundation is honored to be recognizing these forward-looking employers for strengthening families, communities and our economy.”

The prestigious When Work Works Award is part of SHRM’s When Work Works project, a national initiative that helps employers become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces.

“As one of the first cities in the nation to provide paid parental leave to city employees, we’ve seen first-hand how flexible, family-friendly workplaces benefit employers and employees alike,” said Mayor James. “I’m extremely proud that our efforts here in Kansas City have led to changes in other cities on both sides of the state line and across the country. I commend those employers for putting employees and families first.”

The award is earned after a rigorous assessment that emphasizes the real-life experiences of employees and incorporates national benchmarks of employer practices from the National Study of Employers and the employee experiences from the National Study of the Changing Workforce. Two-thirds of an organization’s winning score is based on a survey of its employees.

Applicants are scored on six research-based ingredients of an effective workplace: opportunities for learning; a culture of trust; work-life fit; supervisor support for work success; autonomy; and satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement — all factors associated with employee health, well-being and engagement.

“Congratulations to both Kansas and Missouri winners of the When Work Works Award,” said Lisa Horn, SHRM vice president, Congressional Affairs. “The winners found that cultivating a positive, caring workplace culture is vital for building a dynamic, engaged and committed workforce.”

The recipients of the 2018 When Work Works Award are:

CBIZ Retirement Plan Services of Overland Park, KS: Associates at CBIZ can flex their start and end times, compress workweeks and telecommute. CBIZ launched a multi-year program to ensure that leadership and policies were creating a positive workplace for associates. Since the launch, employee surveys reported a higher overall favorable rating, and the firm’s financial performance improved. CBIZ supports parents providing access to an online database of caregivers for children and elders and other resources.

City of Merriam, KS: The City of Merriam promotes and encourages a strong work-life fit, offering work-from-home and gradual return to work opportunities. Their culture supports overall wellness, allowing employees access to free workout facilities and a fitness specialist. The City provides quarterly city-wide luncheons hosted by each department and employee appreciation events. The tuition reimbursement program offers up to $2,500 each year in educational expenses.

Travois of Kansas City, MO: Travois’ business is helping their clients create good jobs in underserved communities and build beautiful homes for indigenous families. Travois wants the same for their employees: a warm, welcoming and dog-friendly office with a daycare for staff’s children, flexible schedules for growing families and to spend time with loved ones, generous benefits and a living wage to support themselves and their families.

Women’s Foundation promotes equity and opportunity for women of all ages, using research, philanthropy and policy solutions to make meaningful change. More information about the organization can be found at

When Work Works is a national initiative led by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to help businesses of all sizes and types become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces. When Work Works is one of the foremost providers of resources, rigorous research and best practices on workplace effectiveness and flexibility in the nation. The initiative administers the prestigious annual When Work Works Award, which recognizes exemplary employers for creating effective workplaces to increase business and employee success. Visit and follow us on Twitter @WhenWorkWorks.