Exclusive: Candid chats with HR at America's healthiest workplaces

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Every year, the American Psychological Association highlights best practices with its ‘Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards’, and this month, four organizations took out the honor: Tasty Catering, Certified Angus Beef, St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth, and the University of Southern California.

We spoke to three of the organizations about what their secrets were to creating those successful workplaces. USC did not respond to requests for comment.

What’s your turnover?
Tasty Catering director of communications Jamie Pritscher: One employee left, making for a 1.3% turnover rate in 2013.

St Luke’s HR director Marla Halvorson: In 2013 it was 12.2%. I think the national average for healthcare was 15%. We had a little bit of a jump in 2013, but what really happened was our retirees who were holding out for their 401(k)s to bounce back did (see them) bounce back because of the markets, so they were able to leave.

Certified Angus Beef HR director Pam Cottrell: 2-3% every year.

What has been the number one reason your turnover is so low?
TC: It definitely is the culture that’s been created and is fostered by employees. It’s like one big family: everybody truly cares for each other both professionally and personally.

SL: It’s a good place to work.

CAB: The turnover is one thing that is impacted by the culture of our organization, which is very positive, very focused, very engaged. It’s not one thing. Like a good recipe, it’s a lot of different ingredients.

What initiative gives you the most pride?
TC: The financial transparency gives all employees pride in their work. Sales is one of the most lauded parts of an organization because they bring in the money, but how does everyone else fit in? It’s through the Great Game of Business program that helps everyone else understand how they affect the business. I think it’s the Great Game of Business that gets people pride in their work and knowing how they affect the organization and that everybody in the organization matters.

SL: Our most remarkable accomplishment in HR is a reduction in employee injuries. From 2006 to 2013, we’ve increased our number of employees by 14%, but we’ve reduced our number of workers’ comp claims by 29%, and that is just unheard of. Another way that you measure workers’ comp is the cost, so in 2006 if you were to take the cost of workers’ comp per $100 of payroll, for every $100 we spent $1.36 on workers’ comp claims. In 2013 we spent $0.41 per $100. We’re really proud of that.

On page two: health screenings, unique programs and managing workers comp

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