Slideshow 10 growing companies protect employees in a volatile economy

  • November 22 2011, 4:17pm EST

Associates for International Research, Inc.

AIRINC is a human resources consulting firm in the field of global mobility located in Cambridge, Mass., with 89 employees.
“We made conscious decisions over the years to make plan designs and vendor changes to cut costs behind the scenes,” explains Julia Pilleri, assistant controller for Associates for International Research, Inc. “Benefits are a crucial part of people’s compensation. When organizations make decisions to cut back benefits, I think it’s shortsighted.”

Consolidated Federal Credit Union

The organization is located in Portland, Ore., and has 39 employees.
To help with higher health care premiums the credit union added a health reimbursement account, 100% funded by the company. “The HRA has become very popular,” says Jenifer Phillips, executive vice president and CFO of Consolidated Federal Credit Union.

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Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

ECFMG is a not-for-profit organization that certifies international medical graduates for medical residencies in the United States located in Philadelphia.
ECFMG has 829 employees.
"Instead of cutting health care coverage, we gave people more options for coverage — so their cost matched their usage level,” says Betty LeHew, director of human resources for ECFMG.

Greeley and Hansen

Greeley and Hansen is a civil and environmental engineering firm located in Chicago with 300 employees.
“I believe the biggest thing we’ve done is hold the line in terms of employee contributions to the medical plan," says John C. Robak, COO of Greeley and Hansen.
"We’ve experienced increases, particularly in health insurance. But we’ve absorbed the majority of those costs so the amount employees are contributing has not significantly changed in several years."

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Home Builders Institute

Home Builders Institute is a residential construction training and education organization located in Washington, D.C., with 282 employees.
“Like everyone else, our employees are troubled by what they see in the news about the economy," says Fred Humphreys, CEO of the Home Builders Institute.
"The fact that we can offer them stable, thoughtful, impartial financial advice and planning on a consistent basis several times a year, year after year, is very important."

Postal Credit Union

The organization is located in Woodbury, Minn., with 136 employees.
“We’ve stayed the course with our benefit packages, communicating with employees along the way. We also did some heavy shopping with our benefits providers to help keep costs down,” says Jeanine Swanson, SVP of human resources at Postal Credit Union.

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RED F Marketing

The marketing communications firm is located in Charlotte, N.C., with 51 employees.
Dan Roselli, president of RED F Marketing says the company helped employees boost their morale through charitable giving and volunteering.
“We implemented a match on charitable contributions, we held more outings into the community to help other people and we gave paid time off for volunteering. In times of potential crisis, focusing on other people allows you to feel more in control of your destiny because you can have a positive impact on your community," says Roselli.

Veridian Credit Union

The credit union is located in Waterloo, Iowa with 517 employees.
“We maintained our benefits and our salary increases,” says Renee Christoffer, SVP of administration at Veridian Credit Union. “We’ve been very honest with employees about the increases we’re seeing and how they can help control our costs,” says Christoffer.

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Water Environment Federation

This association for water quality professionals is located in Alexandria, Va., with 97 employess.
“Many employees have faced having a spouse laid off or another kind of severe cutback," says Jeff Eger, executive director of the Water Environment Federation. "In those cases, it becomes even more important that we are a source of stability for our employees so they can count on the security of our benefit programs."

Western National

Western National, a property and casualty insurance company located in Edina, Minn., has 374 employees.
“Stability is very important to employees, particularly when it comes to benefits. So we’ve kept the benefits stable," says Stuart Henderson, JD, CPCU, president & CEO of Western National Mutual Insurance Company.
"We also implemented a loan program, in which people can borrow up to $1,500 for any kind of emergency need, paid back by payroll deduction with no interest. That program has been very popular from the beginning," he adds.