Isthmus Recognized for Innovative and Effective Workplace Practices


The When Work Works Award - effective and flexible employers

The prestigious When Work Works Award is part of the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) When Work Works project, a national initiative that helps employers become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces.

The award recognizes employers of all sizes across the country that are excelling at offering a variety of top-rated employee initiatives such as work-life fit policies, flexible scheduling, and transition to parenthood programs. The award goes beyond work-life programs and includes initiatives that address the additional evidence-based aspects of effective workplaces, such as opportunities for learning, a culture of respect and trust, and job autonomy.

Isthmus among the top 5%

“I founded Isthmus with the belief that it is possible to have it all: a fulfilling career and a meaningful personal life. At first our employee policies around flexibility were intended to be an altruistic gesture in support of this belief; but through the years I have come to appreciate that employees who have time to pursue personal priorities outside of work – whether that be family, volunteering, or a hobby - bring more to their work each day," reflects Isthmus' founder and president, Katie Toghramadjian.   "I was excited to learn about the When Work Works initiative and the work they do to promote effective and flexible workplaces. I was even more excited to learn that our firm was selected - based upon input from our employees - as a recipient of the award; it is affirming of our founding premise and our efforts to extend autonomy to our team members while holding them accountable to high quality work. To have been recognized among the winning worksites as one of the top 15 employers in the nation is both humbling and inspiring."

In applying for the award, Isthmus was evaluated on factors associated with employee health, well-being, and engagement: opportunities for learning; a culture of trust; work-life fit; supervisor support for work success; autonomy; and satisfaction with earnings, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.

“Considering that 78 percent of employers report difficulty recruiting employees for highly skilled jobs and 38 percent report difficulty recruiting for entry-level hourly jobs, When Work Works Award winners have leveraged this recognition opportunity to distinguish themselves as exemplary employers that offer new or enhanced options that help them attract and retain top talent,” said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, the original creator of this award, and senior research advisor at SHRM.

“These winners have reinvented their workplaces in ways that benefit business and employees alike and are reaping the benefits in terms of employee job satisfaction and retention,” said Cassidy Solis, senior advisor, workplace flexibility, at SHRM.

The award is earned after a rigorous assessment that emphasizes the real-life experiences of employees and incorporates national benchmarks of employer practices from the National Study of Employers and the employee experiences from the National Study of the Changing Workforce. Two-thirds of an organization’s winning score is based on a survey of its employees.

To learn more about the awards, read the announcement from SHRM or view an interactive map that lists winning organizations by state and a list of winners by name.

Additional information about the When Work Works Award and the When Work Works initiative is available online.

About When Work Works

When Work Works is a national initiative led by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to help businesses of all sizes and types become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces. When Work Works is one of the foremost providers of resources, rigorous research, and best practices on workplace effectiveness and flexibility in the nation. The initiative administers the prestigious annual When Work Works Award, which recognizes exemplary employers for creating effective workplaces to increase business and employee success. Visit and follow on Twitter @WhenWorkWorks.

Isthmus Engineering
500 Jackson Street
Saint Paul, MN 55101
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When Work Works Award Winner
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