You Want to Be a Great Workplace. So Now What?

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You Want to Be a Great Workplace. So Now What?

It is true that becoming a “great workplace” doesn’t happen overnight. But instead of getting overwhelmed by a seemingly endless list of programs and offerings (and money...being “great” must cost so much money!) that so called “great workplaces” should all have, let’s take a look at what it means really to be “great”—with a few practical bite-sized pieces that you might be able to tackle at your organization right now sprinkled in for good measure.
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Is Your Organization Ready to Trade in Blazers for Sneakers?

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Dress code policies are an age-old topic within the business world. Should you continue to require your employees to wear suits or buy into the casual jeans-and-t-shirt look all the Millennials are craving? This really all depends on who you are as an organization and what your culture is. For some organizations, it seems as if you have to choose between buttoned-up or laid-back but those aren’t the only options.
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3 Ways to Turn Workplace Conflict into Results

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3 Ways to Turn Workplace Conflict into Results

American essayist, Hamilton Mabie once said “don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind.” Think of this quote as a way of setting the tone when dealing with conflict. Conflict, in it’s truest sense, is not a negative despite the connotation. Conflict is simply any situation in which two or more people appear to have opposing needs or wants of the outcome. Instead of letting the conflict in your organization get the best of you and your employees, here’s 3 ways to turn workplace conflict into results:
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Create a Culture of Kindness to Boost Morale

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Heidi Weiker, MSSA
Executive Life Coach and Stress Resilience Specialist
Connor Integrative Medicine Network

University Hospitals is a Preferred Partner of ERC, offering Employee Wellness, Executive Health and Integrative Medicine services to ERC member companies.

As we begin a new year, consider making a resolution to create a culture of kindness in your organization. Giving and receiving kindness can improve our overall well-being and productivity by creating an environment that promotes team building and positivity.

Kindness – the warm-hearted gesture of a stranger genuinely smiling and holding the door, the friendly morning hello from a colleague, the sharing of hot cocoa with a friend in need. Whether random, planned, lasting, or just in the moment, the experience of kindness does something good to us, and inside of us.
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8 Ways to Get the Employee Behavior You Want

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8 Ways to Get the Employee Behavior You Want

Behavior is central to a productive and successful workplace. It affects how we pay people for what they merit, who we promote, and what we recognize and reward. And, ultimately, how our employees behave day to day ends up significantly affecting our culture and business.

Because of this, it’s critically important for organizations to make sure that their employees’ behavior matches what is needed in the organization. This includes the basics (respect, honesty, etc.), but also the behaviors that are crucial to the business' success (creativity, initiative, risk taking, etc.).

Much of what we try to do as managers is steer employees to behave in the ways that we want them to. We want them to stop complaining, take more initiative, produce better quality work, improve their performance, serve our customers better, act like leaders, and the list goes on. Essentially, we want them to change their behavior, and we're often stumped (and sometimes even baffled) over how to do it. Influencing and changing behavior is tricky in the workplace. Fortunately, there are some "tried and true" ways to do it.

Here are eight ways to get the employee behavior you want.
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The 15 Attributes of a Great Workplace

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The 15 Attributes of a Great Workplace

ERC's NorthCoast 99 program recognizes great workplaces that excel at the attraction, retention, and motivation of top performers. ERC is proud to have recognized great workplaces in Northeast Ohio, and has accumulated a great deal of insight into what makes a workplace truly great through the research we conduct as part of the program.

What makes a great workplace that draws extraordinary employees to love coming to work every day? What makes a great workplace that attracts, retains, and motivates the very best talent?

Here are 15 attributes that we believe are characteristic of great workplaces for top talent, based on our research over the last 15 years.

1. Offer Challenging and Meaningful Work

Great workplaces understand the importance of keeping employees' work interesting, exciting, challenging and meaningful, because consistently, top performers say that challenging and meaningful work is the number one attribute they seek in a job.

2. Hire and Retain Great People

Great workplaces are made up of great people. Within great workplaces, top performers work alongside other top performers who are positive, hardworking, committed and loyal, believe in what the organization does, and participate in making the workplace great.

3. Provide Competitive Compensation

Great workplaces offer competitive and fair compensation, above-average pay increases, and opportunities to earn more pay based on performance, such as bonuses, profit sharing, and other incentives to keep and reward top performing talent as well as attract new talent.

4. Value and Reward Employee Contributions

Great workplaces show they appreciate and value employees and their contributions. They celebrate success often, and praise, recognize, and reward employees in a variety of formal and informal ways. They never miss an opportunity to say 'thanks' for employees' hard work.

5. Invest in Training and Development

Great workplaces invest in training and development for their workforce to grow their talents and capabilities. They make time for learning and support it by paying for employees to participate in various opportunities and offering/delivering a variety of training and career development programs.

6. Guide, Support, and Develop Top Performers

Through performance management practices that help guide, support, and develop exceptional performance, great workplaces provide clarity on how to be a top performer, help other employees become top performers, and assist existing top performers in sustaining top performance. Reaching for excellence each and every day is what makes great workplaces successful.

7. Encourage Work/Life Balance

Great workplaces are flexible to employees' work/life needs and encourage work/life balance by offering flexible schedules, providing generous paid time off, accommodating individual requests and needs, and creating a supportive work environment that is understanding of personal and family obligations.

8. Invest in Employees' Health and Wellness

Great workplaces genuinely care about their employees' well-being. They offer wellness options that help employees develop healthy lifestyle behaviors as well as provide an array of benefits which support their employees' health and personal welfare.

9. Involve and Empower Employees

Great workplaces involve and empower employees by listening to their input, involving them in moving the organization forward, and giving them opportunities to lead initiatives, collaborate with one another, participate in decision-making, and make a meaningful difference at work. At great workplaces, employees believe that their opinions matter and that they can positively impact their organizations.

10. Share Information About the Organization's Performance

Leaders frequently share information about the organization's performance, its financials, the vision and direction of the organization, and other critical information and updates at great workplaces. In addition, leaders regularly interact with and communicate with employees one-on-one, in small groups, and as an entire staff. Additionally, great workplaces help everyone understand the mission and purpose of the organization, and how their work connects to the big picture.

11. Are Led by Exceptional Leaders

Great workplaces are led by exceptional and inspiring leaders. Leaders set the example from the top and lead the organization well. They genuinely care about and value employees. Relationships between leaders and employees are characterized by mutual respect, trust,  honesty, and support.

12. Encourage Innovation and Growth

Great workplaces are successful, growing, and innovative. They hold themselves to high standards, are focused on delivering exceptional customer service and quality, and strive to innovate and continuously improve their organizations. They are always raising the bar in their businesses and in their workplaces.

13. Hire the Best of the Best

Great workplaces hire the best—and only the best. They recognize that a great workplace and culture results from great people. They define the talent they need, strategically recruit it, and put into place selection practices that identify top performers, as well as on-boarding practices that engage top performers and set them up for success from the start.

14. Create and Sustain a Unique Culture

Great workplaces have a unique culture that is their own, often described as fun, congenial, collaborative, positive, passionate, and creative. Their work environments, people, and workplace practices all help create a vibrant, positive, magnetic, and infectious culture.

15. Serve the Community

And last but not least, great workplaces make an impact on and give back to their local community. Not only do they generously donate their company resources to the community, but they also serve their communities by helping others in need and offering their staff's time and talents.

There is no magic formula for achieving a great workplace, and these are just some common attributes of many that great workplaces seem to have. While no workplace is perfect, many organizations strive to become a truly great workplace and come close. The NorthCoast 99 winners are among these organizations, and they, as well as all other organizations that strive everyday to be great workplaces, should be applauded for their efforts to become employers of choice in Northeast Ohio. They are truly making a difference.

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8 Ways to Create a Culture of Wellness

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The workplace has a significant impact on employees' health, and likewise, employees' health has a great impact on the workplace. As employers increasingly realize that their actions in the workplace can positively affect the health and well-being of their employees, they are finding that improving well-being makes good business sense.

Many employers implement wellness programs, but fail to create a true culture of well-being in their workplace. As a result, they face many challenges in improving well-being in their workforce. Participation in initiatives may not be strong, employees may resist changes in their lifestyle behavior, and leaders may not be engaged in healthy lifestyles.
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Workplace Culture: What It Is, Why It Matters, & How to Define It

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Workplace Culture: What It Is, Why It Matters, & How to Define It

Culture is the character and personality of your organization. It's what makes your organization unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes. Here's an overview of why workplace culture is important, what affects it, and how to define it.

Why is workplace culture important?

Culture is as important, if not more important, than your business strategy because it either strengthens or undermines your business and the objectives it is trying to achieve. Culture is significant, especially because…
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