The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption today announced last week the Best Adoption-Friendly industrial and manufacturing companies in America, based on adoption benefits offered to employees. The top five companies were Dow Corning Corp. (Midland, Mich.), Signature Custom Cabinetry, Inc. (Ephrata, Pa.); Hypertherm, Inc., (Hanover, N.H.); Standard Register (Dayton, Ohio); Brady Corporation (Milwaukee, Wisc.); and Texas Instruments (Dallas, Texas).
Dave Thomas, who was an adopted child and founder of Wendy's Restaurants and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, started the adoption benefits in the workplace initiative more than 15 years ago. He simply began calling other CEOs to suggest they add adoption benefits to their human resource packages because, as he said, "It's the right thing to do."
Thirty-nine percent of the employers surveyed by the Foundation agreed with Dave. They also cited multiple other factors that influenced their decision to offer adoption benefits, such as employee requests for adoption (40%), equity for adoptive parents (52%), a family-friendly image (61%), and a competitive work/life benefits package (62%).
Rita Soronen, executive director of the Foundation, said roughly 64% of Americans have had a personal experience with adoption. "The Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in America lists recognize employers who excel at supporting their employees who adopt by providing financial assistance and paid leave."
The Foundation also recognized the top 10 by size and companies who support the cause of adoption and adoptive families in other ways (go to www.AdoptionFriendlyWorkplace.org to view each list). Survey respondents offer financial reimbursement ranging from $500 to $20,960 and paid leave ranging from one to 16 weeks with averages of $4,700 in financial reimbursement and five weeks of paid leave.
According to Hewitt Associates LLC, a global outsourcing and consulting company providing human capital management services, the number of employers offering adoption benefits is increasing. The company's United States Salaried Employee Benefits 2006-2007 study reported a steady rise of companies offering adoption benefits, from 12% in 1990 to 45% in 2006.
Soronen said organizations recognize the value of adoption benefits -- to both the employee and the company. "The monetary support is tremendous for the adoptive parent, and having time off to bond with their child is vital," she said. "As for the employer, adoption benefits are an affordable way to enhance employee recruitment, retention and goodwill. We find that most employers are surprised at how little adoption benefits cost the company."
The Foundation offers a free toolkit for employers to guide them through the process of proposing and establishing an adoption benefits policy. Order online at www.AdoptionFriendlyWorkplace.org or by calling toll-free (877) 777-4222.