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Family friendly? Step up and be noticed

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Task Force on Work Life Balance is launching a new online business award to recognize and

Staff at Betty's Bath and Day Spa, which was recently recognized for its family-friendly policies. (Courtesy of Betty's Bath and Day Spa)

Staff at Betty’s Bath and Day Spa, which was recently recognized for its family-friendly policies. (Courtesy of Betty’s Bath and Day Spa)

celebrate firms with family-friendly policies, such as paid leave and health, work schedule and economic support.

The Family Friendly Business Award officially launches on Friday as part of “Family Friendly Business Day” at the state Legislature. However, businesses can begin applying now as part of the “soft launch,” according to a release from the task force.

Businesses that are “family friendly” receive a seal or certificate as soon as they finish the application, which they can download and use immediately.

One of the first to be recognized was Betty’s Bath & Day Spa in Albuquerque’s North Valley. The company, which will celebrate 15 years this summer, offers employees paid sick and vacation time, four paid hours per month for volunteering outside of work, paid maternity leave, a monthlong sabbatical after being with the company for seven years and a flexible work schedule.

“Our business would be nothing without the people who work hard for us every day. We want to be sure we’re giving them the same respect as how we would want them treating the people walking in our doors,” said Adriana Candelaria, the spa’s director of operations.

Candelaria said the award recognition is nice, but more important is being able to show others that they don’t need to be a large company to offer employees a good working environment. She said such policies are good for business, as well. The spa has a loyal work force, with low turnover and people who are always happy to help out in a pinch.

The Family Friendly Business Award is an ongoing program. Businesses can apply at any time and awards will be made as new applicants qualify.

The award application can be found at www.nmfamilyfriendlybusiness.com.

According to the task force, businesses with family-friendly policies align their core values with their policies; improve the health and well-being of employees; improve employee retention; improve productivity and quality so they can successfully achieve their mission; and reduce costs associated with turnover, health care and lost productivity.

“A child today is as likely to have a working mother as a working father and, in New Mexico in 2010, about 60 percent of children under 6 had all parents in the labor force,” said Giovanna Rossi, co-chair of the Task Force on Work Life Balance. “Family-friendly policies benefit both employees and employers. They positively impact the health, education, economic stability and job satisfaction of employees and their families, while increasing sales and productivity, and lowering turnover costs for employers.”

The new award was developed by a committee of the Task Force on Work Life Balance. The statewide task force was created by the New Mexico State Legislature in 2010, and convened and chaired by Giovanna Rossi of Collective Action Strategies and Lee Reynis of UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

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