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Big Y Foods, COCC Receive 2018 Employer of Choice Recognition

AGAWAM — Big Y Foods Inc. of Springfield and COCC of Southington, Conn. have been selected by the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE) as Employer of Choice Award recipients for 2018.

Employer of Choice awards recognize companies and organizations for developing workplaces that value employees, foster engagement, invest in employee development, and reward performance. Past winners view the award as a cornerstone of their company credentials and often highlight the award in recruiting and retention, grant and funding applications, and business development.

“We are always delighted to see the innovative programs used by our applicants to retain talent and engage employees. Our winners this year had some exceptional initiatives and formal measurement processes,” said Meredith Wise, president of EANE. “Salary increases may be more stable, but work-life balance and company culture are still seriously valued.”

Doing business for over 80 years, Big Y Foods is a family-owned supermarket chain with more than 11,000 employees throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. The chain prides itself on a culture of caring, which manifests itself in the form of workplace ‘huddles’ to celebrate employees who have gone above and beyond, and through the organization’s strong commitment to retain employees.

Big Y stands out for its overall benefits, employee satisfaction, training and development, and recognition and rewards. One novel program, called Building Firm Foundations, is a collaboration in which employees help other employees with home-repair needs by utilizing their skills, expertise, and time. Projects have included building ramps, fixing decks and windows, landscaping, and more. Another initiative, called the 10 Foot Rule, combines a user-friendly customer-service model with a fun graphic reinforcing how to treat customers. The Big Y University and Big Y LIFE, an internal communication portal, are among the other employee-centric engagement offerings.

COCC is a client-owned technology company serving more than 200 financial institutions for more than 50 years. With more than 500 employees, the company offers profit sharing when objectives are met, a rich total rewards package, and a generous paid-time-off (PTO) plan. In fact, new employees begin with four weeks of PTO.

Employees receive continuous feedback from multiple channels, including a peer-driven acknowledgement program and regular check-ins from the management team. One of the cornerstones of its successful culture is the Peer2Peer program, which recognizes when co-workers go above and beyond and celebrates winners quarterly with recognition, gifts, and food. COCC uses regular benchmarking to assess compensation, and overall satisfaction is 89%.

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