Employers Association of New Jersey
A nonprofit association helping employers create exceptional workplaces since 1916.

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"I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed today’s seminar.   Clearly there was a lot of thought and effort put into delivering such a detailed and up to date presentation and I really appreciate what was provided.   The day exceeded my expectations and I look forward to attending upcoming seminars."

- Brenda Santillo
Human Resources Director
Avionic Instruments

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Solix, Inc. Recognized Exceptional Employer of 2008

Jul 2008

(Livingston, NJ) When Solix, Inc. was established in 2005 as an independent administrative process-outsourcing firm, employees were not sure what to expect. Many had gone through various reorganizations and permutations.  The firm was being spun off from the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) originally formed NECA in 1983 as a not-for-profit entity to perform telephone industry tariff filings and revenue distributions following the breakup of AT&T.  NECA Services Inc. (NSI) was formed, in 2000, to handle a growing portfolio of for-profit contracts. Eventually NSI became Solix, in 2005, to more effectively administer discount and lifeline programs for both Federal and State Agencies.

For the 330 employees located in Whippany, change has been a constant. But one thing that has not changed is the firm’s core values and the sensitive approach it has always taken with employees during the change process.

Among the firm’s core values are:

  • Teamwork: Employees try to help one another, share a sense of accomplishment in the team and corporate successes.
  • Open Communications: The firm is committed to open dialogue; staff and management have ready access to each other; input and opinions are valued.
  • Camaraderie: Employees strive to respect one another, to have fun on the job, and to care about fellow employees.
  • Diversity: Diverse staff members are valued for their individual backgrounds and talent and are encouraged to see themselves as part of the greater community, though volunteerism and participation in community service projects.

The Exceptional Employer Award

Established in 1916, Employers Association of New Jersey has strived to apply the collective knowledge and expertise of its 1,000-plus membership to help employers make sound and responsible employment decisions.  The Harold R. Hawkey Exceptional Employer Awards are an outgrowth of the association's work, which encourage excellence, and replication of best workplace practices. http://www.eanj.org/about/exceptional-employer-award.

Challenged by customers to increase productivity, Solix took a novel approach – instead of demanding more of employees by increasing the workload and demanding more hours the company decided to become more flexible.  Instituting flexible working hours, telecommuting, compressed work schedules, part-time options and time off policies for volunteering and sabbaticals allows employees to balance their work/family needs, ensures employee job satisfaction and engagement and perhaps, most notable, increased production and met customer demands.

Results are Measurable

  • Allowing employees to start their day anywhere between 6:30 and 9:30 AM provides “live” customer service for longer periods.
  • A “Green Team” made up of associate managers works 3-4 days per week from home allowing employees to save on the time and costs of commuting, as well as helping to reduce facility costs.
  • When challenged by a customer for increased productivity, Solix designed a program where employees would switch to a 40-hour workweek, an increase from the company’s typical 37.5 hours, while providing those employees with additional time off benefits at year-end.
  • When many companies are faced with shutdowns due to weather, power-failures or other events out of their control, they suffer huge dips in productivity.  Not so with Solix because of their work-from-home initiatives.
  • By having such flexible programs in place, lost-productivity is hardly an issue for Solix.  The most notable result is the low rate of unscheduled employee absences at 2.1 days per year and a turnover rate that was cut by more than half.  Realizing employees have many on-going demands these programs and many others aim to provide them with a work-family balance that works for everyone.

Other Notable Solix Accomplishments

As an organization focused on assisting government in delivering its promise, Solix believes it has a special obligation to its communities.  Involvement in community volunteerism and outreach is at the heart of the Solix business.

The firm established an organized approach to promote employee philanthropic involvement.  This program supports socially conscious employees by promoting the individual’s efforts to the larger Solix workforce.  There is only one golden rule: All community fundraisers and outreach projects are employee initiated and whole-heartedly supported by management. 
Solix believes the way to truly connect with communities is through its employees.  It’s about linking employees and charitable organizations together. Some recent initiatives include the following organizations:

  • Morris County Chamber of Commerce
  • Morris Museum Interfaith Food Pantry
  • Interfaith Food Pantry
  • Susan Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation

The Harold R. Hawkey Exceptional Employer Award includes recognition at EANJ’s Annual Meeting, trophy and other benefits. The Award seeks to encourage excellence and replication of Best Practices in the following categories:

  • Resolving Employee Disputes
  • Developing Teamwork
  • Balancing Work and Family
  • Health & Safety
  • Knowledge Management
  • Employee Involvement
EANJ is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to improving employer-employee relations and facilitating the exchange of information among employers. It does not render legal services, offer legal opinion or engage in the practice of law.