Committee for Children: A Great Place to Work

August 21, 2009

SEATTLE—Committee for Children was honored at an awards event on August 20 at Safeco Field, where the Puget Sound Business Journal named the local nonprofit a runner-up in the 2009 Washington’s Best Workplaces program.

Committee for Children, a 30-year-old organization with offices in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, develops research-based safety and social-emotional learning materials for children from preschool through grade 8. Perhaps the organization’s greatest feat is walking its own talk. Says Executive Director Joan Duffell, “This honor clearly affirms for me the importance of emphasizing positive social skills in the workplace: taking the time to proactively teach and practice empathy and problem-solving skills and working intentionally to build a culture of respect among staff.”

After an extensive screening process involving the completion of surveys by company employees, the finalists and winners were chosen based on their various employee benefit offerings, leadership culture, and work-life balance philosophies. Although Committee for Children offers its staff such benefits as paid sabbatical, childcare reimbursement in lieu of medical coverage, and yoga classes, the most valuable benefits the organization provides are less tangible. “We’re a nonprofit. We can’t offer our staff free food, Wii breaks, or other popular perks,” says Duffell. “But this nomination is a great reminder that the best things in life—and in the workplace—are free. Respect doesn’t cost a dime, but the payoffs of developing a socially healthy, respectful workplace are enormous. The fact that we were named a finalist in such challenging times makes me doubly proud of our outstanding staff and board.”

What’s next for this small company with a big heart? Business as usual, working to make sure that children all over the world can learn the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.