AMERICAN (American Cast Iron Pipe Company) has received the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in recognition of workplace practices promoting employee well-being and organizational performance. The national award was presented to the company in ceremonies held in Washington, D.C., on March 6.
“Creating a psychologically healthy workplace takes a firm commitment in the best of times,” said David W. Ballard, Psy.D., APA assistant executive director for marketing and business development. “Employers that maintain a strong commitment to employee well-being even under difficult circumstances have a distinct competitive advantage in their ability to attract and retain the very best staff.”
“AMERICAN believes in taking care of its people.”
AMERICAN was nominated for the award by the Alabama Psychological Association, which previously recognized the company as a state winner. The company won the state and national awards in the large for-profit category.
AMERICAN was also recognized by APA as a Best Practices Honoree for its health and safety programs. Its award-winning wellness program is recognized as cutting edge, especially among manufacturing companies. The 5,000-square-foot Eagan Center for Wellness houses staff offices, an exercise room with weights and fitness equipment, an aerobics room, and a physical rehabilitation clinic. Educational programming available to employees, dependents and retirees includes diabetes education, injury prevention, exercise, nutrition and smoking cessation classes. In addition to classroom instruction, wellness staff visits employees on-site to accommodate workers throughout the plant.
The company mandates employee participation in a comprehensive safety program that uses peer-observation activities to encourage safe work habits, and each department has an ergonomics team to focus on issues specific to different work areas.
“AMERICAN believes in taking care of its people,” said Sheri Snow, wellness manager. “We do it because it’s the right thing to do. But also, it’s just smart business. It helps ensure a healthy, present and committed workforce, and that’s evident in our success.”
AMERICAN also offers its employees opportunities for career growth through Eagan College, the company’s professional development and training program. The program provides apprenticeship, leadership, personal development and basic skills training.
The company’s Bright Ideas Suggestion System regularly recognizes employees for improvement and cost-saving ideas implemented at the company.
As part of its commitment to work-life balance, the company supports community, social and recreational events. On-site health care services and a credit union provide employees convenient access to services that help them manage life’s demands.
“AMERICAN’s workplace practices help create a work environment where both employees and the organization can thrive,” said Ballard.
Founded in 1905 in Birmingham, Ala., AMERICAN is a manufacturer of ductile iron pipe, fire hydrants and valves for the waterworks industry and electric-resistance welded steel pipe for the oil and natural gas industry. The company’s diversified product line also includes spiral-welded steel pipe up to 144 inches in diameter, fire pumps, static castings and fabricated assemblies.
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists.
More information about APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award winners and Best Practices Honorees is available on the Web at www.apa.org .