Recession-Proof Human Capital Strategy Earns Leviton Recognition From SHRM


Leviton's HR team recognized by world-class business association for innovative workforce strategies during lean times

Little Neck, NY, March 20, 2009 - Leviton, North America's leading manufacturer of electrical and electronic wiring devices, was one of 15 companies to earn recognition from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for its "HR Confronts the Downturn" economic stimulus contest submission. SHRM invited member organizations to submit case studies describing human capital strategies they implemented in response to the current economic downturn. Winning entries needed to represent "best practices" in one of four areas: 1) recruiting and retaining employees through training and development; 2) avoiding layoffs through other cost-cutting; 3) cutting healthcare costs through employee wellness programs; and, 4) implementing financial literacy programs to help employees cope with difficult times.

Leviton was recognized for its talent management program - a program designed to harvest and reward the most promising members of the company's workforce, while providing training to other motivated employees seeking to take their career to the next level. Through largely in-house resources, the program was implemented virtually without cost, while producing significant results in the first few weeks it was implemented: it identified several promotion-ready candidates throughout the company's various business and support areas.

"Focusing our attention on our existing employees during tough economic times is paramount to our survival. Recruiting, retaining and developing a workforce of talented professionals is a core ingredient of Leviton's 103-year long legacy of success," said Mark Fogel, Vice President of HR and Administration for Leviton upon accepting the award on behalf of his HR team. "While third-party application software providers charge in excess of six figures to provide off-the-shelf solutions for measuring employee contributions and leadership, we developed a homegrown system at an infinitesimal fraction of the cost." Speaking of the contest winners, SHRM's President and CEO Laurance O' Neil said, "I salute these 15 outstanding professionals for their leadership and bold thinking to tackle some of the toughest workplace challenges caused by this recession."

SHRM received 164 submissions from HR executives around the country at non-profit organizations, private companies, universities and state and local government agencies. Winners received a $1,000 "economic stimulus" check from SHRM along with an award certificate. Leviton is putting its stimulus check to good use by updating its in-house Learning Library -- a resource library comprised of hundreds of books and tapes that are available on loan to employees to improve skills and keep abreast of new and innovative business concepts.

"The purpose of the program is to provide a low-cost, organic employee development program aligned directly to the pressing needs of our different businesses," Fogel explains. "Evaluations are performed by superiors, subordinates and peers, along with a self-assessment. Ten leadership attributes are assessed for six leadership levels up to Vice President. Respondents rate co-workers on-line by selecting responses to a multiple-choice questionnaire and results are compiled through Survey Monkey, a third party survey vendor," Fogel added.

The talent management system was developed wholly by members of Leviton's HR team, and the only cost to the program is the $150.00 annual subscription to the Survey Monkey portal. Company employees can attend a series of skills-strengthening programs both on-line and in class-room sessions that help them identify career goals and pathways to achieve development objectives.

SHRM honored Leviton in 2007 for its HR excellence and Fogel was named its Human Capital Business Leader of the Year for his commitment to making Leviton's human resource department a strategic partner in achieving company goals. Last year, Leviton was saluted by healthcare services provider Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) for the quality and success of its employee wellness programs. The company's "Turn On to Wellness Program" consists of an offering of health management initiatives including Weight Watchers® at Work and Walk@Lunch programs, reduced fees for prescription drugs for chronic illness, biometric screenings and healthy meal and menu choices at employee cafeterias.

About SHRM

Based in Alexandria, Virginia, SHRM is the world's largest association devoted to human resource management, with over 200,000 active members. The association's mission is to serve the needs of HR professionals by providing comprehensive resources and advancing the profession by promoting HR's essential, strategic role. Founded in 1948, SHRM represents more than 250,000 individual members in over 140 countries, and has a network of more than 575 affiliated chapters in the United States, as well as offices in China and India.

About Leviton Manufacturing

Founded in 1906 at the dawn of the electrical era, Leviton manufactures over 25,000 different electrical wiring devices and is North America's leading electrical and electronic wiring device producer. Leviton products are used in homes, commercial facilities, industrial plants and OEM operations. A third generation family owned and operated business, Leviton is committed to enlightened management and business practices and corporate social responsibility initiatives and to leading the industry as a human capital trend setter and employer of choice across its locations. For more information, contact Leviton Manufacturing Company, 59-25 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck, NY, 11362, 1-800-323-8920 or visit leviton.com.

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