Strauss wins first place in Israel’s Socially Responsible Employer 2016 competition
Zion Balas, CEO of Strauss Israel, and Debora Meczyk, the Company’s VP Human Resources, accepted the Socially Responsible Employer award at the Calcalist National Economic Conference held yesterday (September 14) in Tel Aviv. The award was presented on behalf of the Calcalist financial daily and the Magalim Foundation in the presence of the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, MK Haim Katz, and President of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, Shraga Brosh.
The Awards Committee’s reasons for naming Strauss in first place included the statement that Strauss is a groundbreaking company in labor relations in Israel, and that it had won the competition thanks to the quantum leap made in the past year in the establishment of its social program: payment of a monthly supplement of NIS 300 to minimum wage earners, grant of an advanced study fund to all employees of the Company, and monthly subsidization of daycare centers and kindergartens for the children of employees. “Strauss understands the employees’ difficulty in coping with the cost of living in Israel and took action”, the Committee said.
After accepting the award, Strauss Israel CEO, Zion Balas, said: “I am proud and moved. I have been given the privilege of being the one to stand here, but I am standing here thanks to generations of managers at Strauss during Strauss’s decades of doing business in Israel.
I have worked for the Company for 24 years and know it from the management perspective as well as the lower levels. Our employees are a paramount value to the Company, and human dignity and the dignity of our people are above virtually everything else. This is not something that was invented in the past year but is the heritage and tradition of the founder generation, which is passed on from manager to manager. Yesterday’s employee is different to the employee of today or tomorrow, but one thing has held true for all these years – basic respect and the employee as a value. This oral doctrine has become a written doctrine to ensure that it is maintained in the years to come.
I hope that this award will inspire other companies to do things for their employees, and I congratulate Calcalist and the Magalim Foundation for encouraging other companies to do things for their employees. The competition over the employee will continue – it’s good for the businesses, for the employees, and for the country.”
The competition, which is now in its third year, shines a spotlight on one of the most important spheres in the labor market – socially responsible employment and making sure that employees stay employed. The companies that competed for the award were examined across a series of parameters, including wage gaps, labor relations, employee training and mobility (particularly in high burnout professions), employee benefits, career opportunities, and diversity of the workforce and human capital in the organization.
This year, emphasis was placed on the degree of balance between work, family and leisure, which is connected to hours of work, activities and benefits for the employees’ families, separate mechanisms of reference to the employee on the basis of family status, arrangements for working at home, observing a maximum threshold of work hours, provision of services to the employee, planned vacations, etc. Candidates in the competition are organizations with over 200 employees and an annual turnover of at least NIS 50 million.
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The panel of judges includes Calcalist editor, Galit Hemi, Magalim Foundation Chair, Yaffa Vigodsky, Deputy Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, Ruby Ginel, Director of the Center of CSR at the College of Management Academic Studies, Amira Dotan, and Ika Abarbanel, expert on human resources and organizational integration (formerly VP Human Resources at Teva). The competition was supervised by Oren Grupi, CPA, a partner in the CSR Department at KPMG Somekh Chaikin.