Great Places to Work: Prudential Financial

If you work for Prudential, there’s a good chance you don’t work at Prudential. Roughly 60 percent of the workforce participates in the company’s Alternative Work arrangement, at some point in any given month pulling up a chair in the kitchen or family room and connecting to the company’s systems remotely.

Prudential Financial
Location: Newark
NJ employees: 8,000
Chief executive: John Strangfeld
Who they are: A full-service financial firm offering life insurance, various investment products, and real estate services
What we love: Family-friendly policies that help employees balance work and life, and encourage volunteerism and community service

The opportunity to telecommute is only one item on an impressive list of family-friendly benefits that make working at Pru a positive experience for employees—and, as it happens, a more productive one for the company.

Carolyn Broderick, a systems analysis and development specialist, works from home most Tuesdays and Thursdays, a schedule that gives her more time with her 4- and 6-year-old daughters. “On days that I work from home, I can start spending time with my family at 6 pm as opposed to 7:30, so we can eat dinner earlier,” she says. She also takes advantage of the company’s flextime, which allows her to arrange her schedule according to personal and professional demands. 

That means she can take a morning off for the kids’ dental appointments, or come to work on a Tuesday or Thursday to take part in an important meeting; last summer she worked a four-day week so she could take one of her daughters to acting classes. In addition, she received a generous tuition reimbursement toward a B.A. in English, used the firm’s life-coaching benefit to help her attain more interesting work and promotional opportunities, was able to volunteer at a number of community nonprofits through Prudential Community Volunteer grants, and recently worked with a health coach to address a number of medical issues.

In fact, according to an in-house work-life survey, the most popular benefits at the company are its on-site medical- and health-related programs: In addition to wellness and fitness centers, there are free screenings for diabetes and depression, free mammograms, and a variety of diet and nutrition programs. The company also offers backup child and adult care, discounts with national child-care providers, a 24–7 Mothers at Work lactation program, elder-law services, and an employee assistance program that provides counseling and support for workers and their families. 

All of this translates into a more satisfied and productive workforce, says Maureen Corcoran, a vice president in the corporate human resources department.  “Organizations within the company whose employees use, for example, telecommuting have definitely seen increased productivity,” she says.

And employee opinion surveys indicate that workers who take advantage of so-called alternative work arrangements like telecommuting are more favorable about the company overall.  “If employees don’t have to worry about the care of a child or an aging relative,” she adds, “they can focus more on their job.  It’s good for the employee and it’s good for the firm.”

Prudential is currently hiring in a number of areas.  The company, says communications director Peter Price, is “always looking for employees with particular skills such as actuaries, underwriters, client service representatives, and sales associates.”

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