EBN announces Benny Award winners
The annual Benny Awards recognize excellence in the employee benefits/human resources field. Four awards — Benefits Professional of the Year, Benefits Leadership in Retirement Planning, Benefits Leadership in Health Care and Judges’ Choice — are presented to employee benefit or human resource practitioners selected by EBN editors.
Benefits Professional of the Year
Senior director of global benefits
In the highly competitive, highly demanding tech industry — notorious for fast-paced projects and harried employees — work-life balance often seems like a myth. That was a workplace challenge shared by Akamai Technologies, the global content delivery network service provider. And it was a challenge Sarah Sardella set out to address.
That’s why, over the last few years, Sardella and her team set their sights on adding a number of work-life and family-friendly benefits that support flexibility — from caregiving benefits and backup day care to a telework program, unlimited PTO and a paid family leave policy. Those were in addition to Akamai’s already-enviable suite of benefits, which includes a robust health and wellness program, tuition benefits and employee stock options.
Those efforts helped increase employee satisfaction by 6%, created a better workplace environment and landed Akamai on a number of “Best Places to Work” lists — as well as helping the company address its gender-diversity problem.
“A competitive benefits package is essential in attracting and retaining talent, especially in the high-tech field, where talent is scarce,” Sardella says. “Some benefits are table stakes at this point — things like insurance and a retirement plan. It’s the programs that go beyond the foundational benefits that typically serve to differentiate one company from another. Those are also the things that employees tend to talk about the most.”