Samantha Clyde Joins ERC as Director of Business Development

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Highland Heights, OH – ERC, the 101-year-old organization that provides people data and HR services to help leaders make better decisions, is pleased to announce that Samantha Clyde has joined the company as Director of Business Development. 

“Having Sam join our team is a huge win! Her experience and background align perfectly with our goals of bringing new products to market and expanding the many ways we serve our community," said ERC President Kelly Keefe.

Sam is an experienced leader in B2B demand generation. She specializes in developing and executing strategies to bridge the gap between digital marketing and sales. Sam brings over 7 years of sales and marketing experience to ERC from the software and lead generation industries.

In her role, Sam will direct business development, sales, and marketing strategies for new and existing ERC services. She will also manage and oversee the internal sales and marketing teams as well as the company’s vendor partners.

Sam comes to ERC after serving as the Director of Sales Development at Veroot, a leading provider of compliance and vendor management software for the logistics industry. In this role, she oversaw Veroot’s CTPAT website design and search engine optimization, digital marketing strategy development and execution, inbound sales, and target account sales.

“We’re thrilled Sam has chosen to call ERC home,” said Senior Vice President Carrie Morse. “She has a proven track record for nurturing and closing leads as well as the knowledge and ability to attract new leads through technical SEO and digital marketing best practices.”

"It's an honor to join an 101-year-old organization that serves thousands of employers across Northeast Ohio. As a Cleveland native myself, I'm excited to be a part of ERC's team and their long-standing history of helping employers attract and retain talent to our region," said Sam Clyde. 

About ERC

Since 1920, ERC has provided people data and HR services to help leaders make better decisions. Through our certified HR advisors, we offer consultative services, compensation benchmarking and data, workplace polls and surveys, networking, and cost savings opportunities.  We also offer virtual and classroom instructor-led training, on-demand learning, individual and team assessments, one-on-one coaching, and employee engagement services. In addition, ERC is the founder of NorthCoast 99 and sponsors the ERChealth insurance program for Ohio employers. 

Simple Ways to Be a Thankful Leader

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Be a Thanks-Giver

"It seems that the end of each calendar year comes faster and goes by quicker year after year. As leaders, it sometimes feels impossible to fit it all in. From budgets to sales quotas to holiday parties – there is a lot that we cram in from November to December!

The Thanksgiving season is also an opportunity for leaders to pause and self-reflect on where they have come and where they are hoping to go. As you take this time, I encourage you to challenge yourself. Ask yourself if you are giving as much thanks to your employees as they need and do you have the right policies in place to help attract and retain the talent you need.

Challenge yourself to be a constant “thanks-giver” in every interaction you have. The majority of your team members are burned out, working extra hours, and overwhelmed by the constant negativity on the news and on social media.

While it is the world we live in today, I believe as leaders, we can be part of changing this for our people! Your organization can be a safe place. Your organization can be a place where the individual feels appreciated and valued. Your organization can be a change agent in making the world a better place, one person at a time. Our research proves that thankful leadership matters to people.

Grateful Leaders Matter to Top Performers

In the spring of 2021, ERC surveyed over 10,000 individuals identified as “top performers” by their organizations as a part of our NorthCoast 99 application process. The leaders of these 99 winning organizations are doing things right. Specifically, their organizations were given a ranking of 5+ out of the possible 6-point agreement scale on the following two statements:

  • This organization’s leadership is concerned about my well-being. 
  • I am recognized or praised when I do a good job. 

These two statements don’t cost anything. You don’t need to budget extra funds to accomplish this. You do need to decide though if you are the type of leader who wants to make this a priority and a constant. Once you do, you will likely see turnover reduce and morale improve. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas for when to thank your people.

Ideas for When to Thank Your People:

  • They recommended a friend to your workplace. Even if the person isn’t hired, take time to appreciate the gesture as it shows that your current employee believes in your company.
  • If an idea is generated that saves the company and your employees either time or money, be sure this person is recognized for thinking holistically about the success of the organization.
  • Don’t save excellent performance comments for a quarterly or yearly conversation. Thank the individual in the moment for their great work.

In addition to the above, great leaders have great policies and practices in place. Below are just a few to help get you started.

Prioritize Policies & Implement Best Practices

  • An updated handbook that is shared and understood by all. (Stop pushing this project down the road. Make it a priority. For hundreds of reasons, including employee morale, this needs to be done.)
  • A written compensation philosophy that identifies your organization's pay and reward strategies and creates a framework for consistency. This will help you attract new people, increase retention, and boost morale and productivity.
  • Be sure your diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and philosophies are well understood by leadership and shared with all employees. This is a must. It is also a must that everyone at the company follows these policies and philosophies. 

I realize there may be some work to be done on these ideas. Understand though that once these have been discussed, written, shared and implemented, life will get easier. You should feel better about leading an organization that not only has a culture of thanking people for a job well done, but also has policies and procedures that ensure consistency for all.

On behalf of all of us at ERC, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving and hope it is filled with gratitude and continued success, and THANK YOU for your support of ERC!" 

- Kelly Keefe, President 

Case Study: Bettcher Industries

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In order to properly engage employees, companies are looking for insights and personalized training courses that offer a myriad of solutions. Through these courses, employees and leadership garner improved communication and team-building skills to succeed. Learn how our training classes helped our member and client, Bettcher Industries, with talent development and increased productivity and communication.

Key Points:

Client Background: Bettcher Industries has over 400 employees and has been an ERC member for more than 22 years.

Problem: They needed to enhance team cohesion and employee engagement  to improve scalability and growth potential.

Solution:  Participation in training courses that not only provided insights regarding their employee's personalities and skillsets, but also a roadmap to develop those skills and improve collaboration and communication.

 bettcher industries

 

ERC is extremely strong in talent development. With our employees, I think people appreciate our investment in them as leaders and as employees because they had never been invested in by the company beforehand. Learning how to communicate effectively was one of our biggest takeaways. I think communication is so critical throughout the organization, and it gave them a better appreciation about the importance of communication, and how to be more effective."

Tom Tomasula, Jr.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Bettcher Industries

Pinpoint and Develop Employee Skills with ERC

Training and development programs can teach both supervisors and employees new skills or enhance existing skills. ERC develops unique training courses that are customized for organizations to improve skill development and productivity. We also provide data and assessments to understand employees' personality styles and their decision-making processes to maximize their potential.

By utilizing our training courses, Bettcher Industries was able to better develop their teams and as a result, increase trust, mitigate conflict, and improve communication. Furthermore, they were able to utilize NorthCoast 99 data for both internal and recruiting purposes. It not only gave them insights and best practices for the organization, but also valuable marketing materials and branding to help attract senior-level talent, including their current CEO, CFO, and VP of Marketing. They also were able to gain guidance and advice through our HR Help Desk and our knowledgeable and certified HR professionals.

About Bettcher Industries

Bettcher Industries is recognized throughout the world as a leading manufacturer and supplier of food processing equipment. They have introduced successive designs of handheld cutting and trimming tools that are used in thousands of meat, poultry, and seafood processing plants. They also manufacture products used in the foodservice, industrial, and medical sectors.

About ERC

For over 100 years, ERC has provided people data and HR services to help leaders make better decisions. Aside from our virtual and on-demand courses, ERC also offers on-demand HR support, compensation & benefit benchmarking data, in-person instructor-led training, individual and team assessments, and employee engagement services. Please contact us to learn more. 

Case Study: The Cleveland Foundation

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As health costs escalate, employers are turning to innovative solutions such as wellness programs to mitigate employee health risks. Read our newest case study to learn how ERChealth helped The Cleveland Foundation improve their bottom line and enhance their workforce's overall health.

Key points:

Client Background: The Cleveland Foundation has approximately 93 employees. They have been a member of ERChealth, a leading provider of group health insurance, for 15 years.

Problem: The client needed a health insurance program that amplified their benefits to improve their employees' overall health and improve costs.

Solution: Initiate support for employee health through ERChealth's wellness program and provide risk management strategies to help reduce their average renewal by 3% annually.

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"When individual employers provide health insurance as a standalone company, there really isn't any kind of outreach or programmatic support for overall staff well-being. ERChealth actually comes with a package of services, applications, and programmatic elements that are designed to help organizations create a culture of wellness. The reduced premium cost, robust plan design, and wellness programs are major differentiators. I would highly recommend other organizations look into joining ERChealth."

Monica Brown
Vice President of Human Resources and Administration 
The Cleveland Foundation

Promote a Culture of Healthy Living Through Wellness Programs

ERChealth provided The Cleveland Foundation with an array of programs and opportunities to help their employees thrive. For example, one of the programs encouraged employees to see their physicians once a year to improve their overall health and mitigate risks.

Additionally, the Be Active program encouraged employees to stay active in their daily lives. It incentivized physical activity with rewards such as Amazon gift cards. With ERChealth's credit program, The Cleveland Foundation was able to realize savings at an average of 3% in yearly renewal costs.  ERC’s HR Help Desk also provided them with a wealth of support including access to experts that provided  HR guidance and the most recent hiring data. 

About The Cleveland Foundation

The Cleveland Foundation is a nonprofit organization that's dedicated to funding projects that enhance the lives of Northeast Ohio residents. Through grantmaking, they provide countless opportunities for local employers, neighborhoods, health care initiatives, and more. They are instrumental in convening community leaders - bringing together corporations, health care institutions, higher education institutions, and other establishments to address several vital community issues.

About ERChealth

ERC, the parent association of ERChealth, launched ERChealth in 1999 to provide Ohio-based, mid-sized companies with affordable, comprehensive, and quality health insurance for their employees. ERC and ERChealth provide employers with personalized employee resources and rewards to meet employee health and business HR needs. Interested in learning more about ERChealth? Visit ERChealth.com.

ERC Promotes Allison Kenney, Welcomes Helen Oshaben

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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, OH – ERC, the 101-year-old organization that provides people data and HR services to help leaders make better decisions, is pleased to announce that Allison Kenney, PHR, SHRM-CP has been promoted to Manager, HR Advisory Services, and Helen Oshaben, SHRM-CP has joined the company as HR Consultant.

Allison Kenney joined ERC as a Human Resources Advisor in 2017 and was later promoted to Human Resources Consultant in 2020. As a member of ERC’s HR Help Desk, she has provided ERC members with the most current information and professional guidance on a variety of HR and general business-related topics. She has also delivered consultation on HR projects to ERC members and clients. In her new role, Allison will continue to provide consultation, and she will oversee the HR Consultant team that staffs ERC’s HR Help Desk.

Helen Oshaben comes to ERC after serving for eight years at Hawken School (K-12) as Director of Human Resources. Prior to Hawken, Helen worked for Oswald Companies as a Senior Consultant and insurance advisor. As HR Consultant at ERC, Helen applies her extensive HR background, compliance knowledge, and experience in employee relations, benefits, and retirement plan compliance to member-inquires through ERC’s HR Help Desk.

“We’re thrilled to have such high-caliber talent on our team! Allison and Helen bring decades of experience and industry knowledge to our members and clients. Their varied background and combined expertise serve as a valuable asset to organizations of all shapes and sizes,” said ERC Senior Vice President Carrie Morse. 

“It’s such a pleasure to welcome Helen to ERC and to recognize Allison’s exceptional work in this fashion, said ERC President Kelly Keefe. “We are grateful to have a team of competent and knowledgeable HR professionals supporting our member organizations.”

About ERC

Since 1920, ERC has provided people data and HR services to help leaders make better decisions. Through our certified HR advisors, we offer consultative services, compensation benchmarking and data, workplace polls and surveys, networking, and cost savings opportunities.  We also offer virtual and classroom instructor-led training, on-demand learning, individual and team assessments, one-on-one coaching, and employee engagement services. In addition, ERC is the founder of NorthCoast 99 and sponsors the ERChealth insurance program for Ohio employers. 

Case Study: National Interstate Insurance

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When companies undergo a merger, they must also take the time to understand each company's respective culture, processes, systems, and workforce. Each factor is integral in developing strategic key performance indicators (KPIs) to merge the companies successfully. Through our rich hiring data, we were able to help National Interstate Insurance successfully merge three distinct companies and meet growth projections.

Key Points:

Client Background: National Interstate has over 900 employees and has been an ERC member for more than 16 years.

Problem: National Interstate was trying to merge three companies with three very different HR perspectives into one functional new system.

Solution: Identify and implement strategic KPIs to integrate the three distinct company cultures, processes, and systems to drive success.

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"One of the most valuable things about ERC was they helped us build an initial measurement scorecard, which has evolved so many times over the past seven years. Having access to data and market intelligence through the ERC HR Help Desk and NorthCoast 99 surveys has been a game-changer for us. We were able to take some of the things that they measure, like cost per hire and average time to fill stats, and quantify them internally."

Tony Prinzo
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
National Interstate Insurance

Strategic KPIs Drive Success

To encourage success, we provided National Interstate with hiring and demographic data that fortified their ability to make mindful decisions regarding their employees and develop strategic KPIs. By establishing a set of well-defined objectives, businesses undergoing a merger such as National Interstate can capitalize on new demographic markets, facilitate a successful acquisition of essential employees, and mitigate any potential redundancies.

The data also gave National Interstate the foundation to reevaluate how much time was spent on recruitment efforts in order to identify and implement more efficient processes. Additionally, our HR Help Desk assisted National Interstate with efficiently streamlining and integrating the three diverse HR systems, processes, and cultures during the merger. Our membership services support the company further with assistance in the recruitment and retention of top talent.

About National Interstate Insurance

National Interstate Insurance was established in 1989 and is headquartered in Richfield, Ohio. They also hold operations in Hawaii and Missouri. National Interstate is one of the leading specialty property and casualty insurance companies in the country. They offer more than 30 different insurance products, including traditional insurance, alternative risk transfer (ART) programs for commercial companies, and insurance for specialty vehicle owners.

About ERC

For over 100 years, ERC has provided people data and HR services to help leaders make better decisions. Aside from our virtual and on-demand courses, ERC also offers on-demand HR support, compensation & benefit benchmarking data, in-person instructor-led training, individual and team assessments, and employee engagement services. Please contact us to learn more. Or if you are interested in learning more about ERChealth, please visit ERChealth.com.

Supervisory Training: A Secret to Employee Engagement & Retention

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I recently participated in a young professionals (YP) networking event serving as an “experienced” professional that allowed the YP’s networking experience and the ability to ask career-related questions. Throughout the luncheon, I was asked over and over “what advice do you have for me?” Besides the obvious answers of “take risks, take on challenges, and be authentic,” I confidently shared that supervisory training played a critical role in getting me to where I am today.

The interesting thing about my training is that it truly fell into my lap. When I left the workforce to care for my newborn son, I quickly realized that I missed the professional world and wanted back in. Through a few strokes of luck, I restarted my career at ERC serving as a “host" for ERC’s Supervisory Training Series. My role was responsible for organizing and hosting ERC’s Supervisory Training multiple times a year. This also meant that I sat through supervisor training over and over and over again. I used to joke that I was the most trained non-supervisor in the world. 

With each class, I became more in touch with just how difficult a supervisor’s role is. I would have countless “a-ha” moments, those times when something clicks and brings light to the way those around you worked. It even helped me to better understand myself and how I interacted both in the professional and personal world. I learned that not only does a supervisor need to understand the goals, direction, and expectations from the top leadership, but they also need to communicate that to the frontline workers and make it engaging and challenging so that the entire company is in unison. They are the glue, the constant push and pull that keeps the organization moving forward.

I also learned that in many cases supervisors didn’t ask to be promoted, they were just really good at making their “widgets” and so leadership promoted them unannounced. I realized that in many cases these supervisors were concerned about how they were to manage someone they were just peers with the day before. And I learned that almost everything you need to know to be a good supervisor was never taught in high school or college.    

The world of a supervisor can be overwhelming, often thankless, and yet critical to the success of any organization. In today’s market, finding ways to retain and engage your employees is key to success. I know that finding the time to train anyone seems impossible, but experiencing what I experienced, I would offer that making this investment sooner than later will prove to pay dividends.

Want to equip your managers with supervisory skills? Enroll them in our Supervisory Series: Fundamentals  or Advanced courses now.

- Kelly Keefe, President 

Case Study: Apple Growth Partners

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Today's job market continues to become more competitive, and ideal candidates are receiving equally competitive offers that include enhanced benefits, a robust salary, and more. Discover how we were able to help Apple Growth Partners drastically improve hiring outcomes and make them stand out above their competition. 

Key Points:

Client Background: Apple Growth Partners (AGP) has approximately 115 employees. They have been an ERC member for over 10 years.

Problem: AGP was expanding geographically, so they needed to develop compensation strategies to attract high-quality candidates.

Solution: We provided AGP with reliable compensation survey data, people programs, and proven strategies that promote competitive and equitable compensation practices to drive growth and scale.

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"We used to use free data for salaries and job descriptions, but it was not specific enough to be effective. You tend to get what you pay for, and we recognized the value in spending a little bit on data that would later pay dividends. ERC’s local, specific and ample data drastically improved our outcomes and positioned us above the competition."

Chuck Mullen
Chairman 
Apple Growth Partners

Equitable and Competitive Compensation Practices Drive Growth

Through the data collected through our reliable compensation surveys, our client, Apple Growth Partners, was able to leverage that information to attract and retain top talent. AGP regularly participated and received recent local employment market data to ensure they were employing equitable and competitive compensation practices to grow. The firm currently has four offices in Northeast Ohio. They opened an additional location in 2018 and are on track for continuous growth. Having the right data bolstered their capabilities to evolve!

AGP is also a member of ERChealth, a leading provider of group health insurance. ERChealth offers small to mid-sized companies with affordable, comprehensive, and quality health insurance for their employees. Through ERChealth, AGP was able to offer employees annual checkups to keep employees happy and healthy while also keeping premiums low.

About Apple Growth Partners

Apple Growth Partners is an award-winning accounting and business advisory firm with more than 75 years of helping grow local businesses. With offices in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Kent, AGP offers a full range of services, including audit and assurance, tax planning and compliance, business valuation, litigation consulting, employee stock ownership plans, and transactional advisory services.

About ERC

For over 100 years, ERC has provided people data and HR services to help leaders make better decisions. Aside from our virtual and on-demand courses, ERC also offers on-demand HR support, compensation & benefit benchmarking data, in-person instructor-led training, individual and team assessments, and employee engagement services. Please contact us to learn more. Or if you are interested in learning more about ERChealth, please visit ERChealth.com.

Tackling Today's Talent Shortage

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This blog post was updated on October 21, 2021.

On September 22nd, ERC recognized and honored Northeast Ohio's 99 best places to work for top talent at our NorthCoast 99 Awards Ceremony and Event. 

Being known as a “Great Place to Work for Top Talent” should certainly mean something to leadership today. In the current market, finding and keeping anyone, let alone a top performer, is top of mind for almost every leader I talk to. The statement “I just can’t find anyone to work” is heard regularly. The question, “how do I keep my best people?” is asked of our ERC team daily. 

Leaders who make their people a priority and who are actively telling their stories are the ones winning the war for talent. These leaders have invested in policies and programs that are appreciated and valued by their teams and ultimately, prove profitable for their businesses. Through our NorthCoast 99 research, we've learned that successful organizations have been able to attract, develop, and retain talent with such policies. Here are a few facts about the 2021 NorthCoast 99 winners: 

  • 79% have a documented succession plan in place, which means their top performers know they have a path to advance
  • Two-thirds have a formal mentorship program for new employees
  • 62% have a sustainability or environmental responsibility policy in place
  • 98% have formal development and career advancement discussions with top performers
  • 93% have a compensation policy

Becoming an employer of choice doesn’t happen overnight but it can happen. As businesses continue to be challenged by the current labor shortage, I encourage you to have these discussions with your leadership team and share your aspirations with your employees.      

Don’t wait until you’ve lost your best people —be proactive and committed. You will find it will be worth the effort. ERC's people data proves that.

Need help getting started? ERC Membership is a great place to start.

- Kelly Keefe, President 

ERC Offers New Online Training Courses to Empower Leaders & Employees

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ERC is pleased to announce that we have launched a new series of courses that meet the needs of diverse industries.

 

Foster a Productive Workforce with Supervisory and Leadership Trainings

ERC's virtual, instructor-led training courses aim to empower leaders in mid-level and supervisory positions. The courses include new Supervisory tracks that cover fundamental and advanced concepts; the six-part Supervisory Series Fundamentals Path and the four-part Supervisory Series Advanced Path. The courses begin in early September and are designed to equip leaders with a wealth of resources, assessments, and collaborative opportunities to evaluate and discover effective behaviors that foster a robust and productive team. ERC will also be offering a six-part Mid-Level Leadership Series that will introduce leaders to practical models for strategic planning. It will also provide interactive opportunities to facilitate critical thinking and management skills through actionable and meaningful coaching. 

 

Employee Online Training Courses

Conversely, ERC’s online training courses offer employers more flexibility by allowing learners to go through the courses on their own time and at their own pace. ERC is thrilled to share four new courses: Behavioral InterviewingCommunication in the Workplace, Harassment Awareness and Professionalism in the Workplace (One-Hour Course), and Harassment Prevention and Professionalism in the Workplace for Managers & Supervisors (Two-Hour Course).

 

ERC strives to assist employers in enhancing their company culture, empowering employees with resources to make informed decisions, and promoting healthier and safer work environments. For example, the Behavioral Interview e-learning course can assist employers with their hiring success rate through proper and nuanced preparation, practice, and reflective exercises to accurately evaluate candidates.

 

"These types of courses are timely and allow us to help employers create great workplaces. We are on a mission here at ERC," said ERC President Kelly Keefe. "We know that we are making a difference. We know that we can help change workplace cultures. We know that we can help leaders become the best leaders they can be and empower employees with a wealth of resources."

Start Improving Your Workplace Today

For over 100 years, ERC has provided people data and HR services to help leaders make better decisions. Aside from our virtual and on-demand courses, ERC also offers on-demand HR support, compensation & benefit benchmarking data, in-person instructor-led training, individual and team assessments, and employee engagement services. Please contact us to learn more.

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