Updated August 28 at 3:28pm

Seeing employees as whole people

By Susan Shalhoub
Contributing Writer
Part of fostering a work-life balance for employees includes offering resources when life’s problems overshadow the workplace. Things like drug dependency, financial challenges, caring for an elderly parent or the side effects of stress.

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BEST PLACES TO WORK

Seeing employees as whole people

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Part of fostering a work-life balance for employees includes offering resources when life’s problems overshadow the workplace. Things like drug dependency, financial challenges, caring for an elderly parent or the side effects of stress.

With that in mind, The Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Co. in Warwick funds the Employee Assistance Program, a network of referral resources for counseling or advice. The great thing about the program, said Ty Cottam, executive vice president, is that it’s far-reaching: “These programs also cover family members,” he said.

Managers at Providence Mutual are also encouraged to be on alert for ways they can help employees, said Cottam, and go a step beyond. “Do they need us to facilitate that first phone call? I think ... especially with a difficult economic environment, we see employees’ lives affected,” he said. “This is definitely appreciated and valuable.”

Other ways Providence Mutual shows employee appreciation is by events such as a Halloween costume contest, a May breakfast to celebrate spring and a tailgate party to kick off the start of football season. Spot-award programs are in place, as are award systems for length of service to the company for its 70 employees. Overtime is kept to a minimum.

To Cottam, things like fun office events and employee assistance are just good business.

“The more we can provide support for our employees, the more effective they are at work and interacting with our clients,” he said. •

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