Working Mother Magazine is out with its '100 Best Companies' list and this year, nearly 20 major New Jersey companies have made the cut for their commitment to family-friendly work policies.

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"It's a commitment to a wide variety of topics. Flexibility and the support and commitment for it was key in the decision this year and it's important that everyone have access to it, not just a few people," said Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother Magazine. "It's also a commitment to getting women up the pipeline to get them into positions that can prepare them for leadership. With that comes flexible child care options and training for managers on how to handle flexibility requests."

"This year we looked a lot at wellness commitment," said Owens. "So, that includes things like health screenings on-site, on-site flu vaccinations and nutrition counseling. It covers a broad array."

"Every study that I've read says that if you give your employees the power to decide how the work gets done, whether it be at night or in the morning or what have you, they end up being less stressed, there is less absenteeism and there's more productivity when they judge you on employee engagement. Turnover goes down. It's a very cheap benefit that has really big returns," said Owens. "Flexibility is one of those things that empowers you to take responsibility, so you're part of the decision making which adds to productivity because you're engaged in what you're doing. There is also a level of gratitude. You're happy that you have the flexibility to do other things in your life while still having the importance of your job."

"Many of these companies allow new mothers to come back to work on a part-time basis for a certain amount of time to help ease them back into the workforce," said Owens.

"If you can help new moms over that hump when they're trying to figure out their new way of life as a working mom, there is a sense of gratitude and engagement and they will get the job done. It's such a short period of time in your employees life, but it's an intense period for them. So, if you can be supportive of them, you'll reap the benefits."

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Bank of America
  • Merck
  • Prudential Financial
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Horizon
  • MetLife
  • Automatic Data Processing
  • Novartis
  • Citi
  • Marriott International
  • Goldman Sachs
  • IBM
  • General Electric
  • Bayer
  • Pfizer
  • Pearson
  • Unilever North America