Leading by "Eggs-ample:" ERC Makes Workplaces Great

IMG_4363-1ERC is serious about making workplaces great. We created and cultivate an "F" workplace culture: Family-First, Fun, Flexible, Fitness-Minded, Footprint-Light, and Financially Supportive to employees. This week, ERC's Fun Committee organized the 1st Annual Easter Egg Hunt for all staff in the office. This fun activity was organized because ERC understands a positive employee experience is crucial to the health of the organization.

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ERC President Kelly Keefe Featured on iHeartMedia's "Cleveland CEOs You Should Know" Radio Program

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ERC president Kelly Keefe was recently invited to iHeartMedia's radio studios in Independence for an interview on the network's Cleveland CEOs You Should Know program. This segment features high-impact Northeast Ohio business leaders who are making a difference at their companies and in the community. A portion of this broadcast will air until March 3 on various regional iHeart stations, including WMJI, WMMS, WGAR, and WTAM. Listen to Kelly's full-length podcast here!


Learning to Advance Women in Leadership: An Interview with Kathleen Buse


The Institute for Experiential Learning recently sat down with ERC's Director of Research & Women's Leadership Institute, Kathleen Buse, to get her take on women in the workplace. In this article, also published below, Kathleen discusses what females and organizations can do to overcome unconscious bias, increase gender diversity, and improve overall company performance.


Gender diversity is a driver for success, reports Turban, Wu and Zhang in Harvard Business Review.  If this is true, why are women under-represented in some STEM professions?  To answer this question, we consulted with Kathleen Buse, PhD, Director, Women’s Leadership Institute at ERC.  Kathleen has made it her business to research how organizations can recruit, retain, and advance women, especially in STEM professions.  As an engineer and leader, she uses her own experience to inform her research and practice.

Kathleen reports that, despite progress in many professions, women remain severely under-represented in leadership (e.g. women comprise 5% of S&P CEO’s) and in critical professions (e.g. women comprise 12% of professional engineers) and industries (e.g. women comprise 33% of the manufacturing workforce).

Businesses pay for this in both overall business results and increased recruiting costs. Under Kathleen’s direction, the Women’s Leadership Institute at ERC advocates for, and empowers women to achieve in these capacities, ones that have been described as difficult.

Leveraging the latest research, the ERC provides professional and leadership development to help women understand the bias and barriers they face and what they can do to eliminate them. They also help leaders in organizations understand why they are falling short and how they can take action to increase gender diversity across roles.

One key action is to develop a critical mass of women (greater than 30% of an organization or more than 3 people in a small group) so that their opinions are not minimized or their experiences undervalued.

Kathleen believes it is important to translate well-documented academic research into practical strategies that women use to overcome the barriers and to achieve their goals. For example, her research revealed how unconscious bias in organizational practices inadvertently lead to the promotion of male candidates over equally qualified or even better qualified female candidates.

The ERC Women’s Leadership Institute program demonstrates that once women understand how the bias manifests in organizational practices, they are self-motivated to change these practices.  In addition, women who understand the bias and barriers help both men and women recognize and overcome bias in decision-making.

One of the outstanding characteristics of the women who participate in the leadership development programs at the Women’s Leadership Institute at ERC is that they are life-long learners. They increase their self-awareness and expand the choices they view as possible.  For instance, over 40% of the women who attended one leadership development program initiated promotions for themselves within one year.

Learning is essential to empower women to achieve in leadership positions and in non-traditional roles. Kathleen’s work shows that individual and organizations willing to learn are those that are mostly like to recruit, retain, and advance women—and to be more successful in the marketplace.

Listen to the interview with Kathleen Buse as she tells about her history, research, her learning style preferences, and ways she continues to learn.

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ERC's 2019 NorthCoast 99 Application is Now Open Through April 26!


Get Recognized as a Great Northeast Ohio Workplace for Top Talent

ERC is excited to announce the launch of our 21st annual NorthCoast 99 award! The 2019 application is open now through April 26.

Apply for the 2019 NorthCoast 99 Award

The Value of Applying

  • Find out what drives your organization's top performers
  • Be branded as a great Northeast Ohio workplace for top talent
  • Benchmark your company's performance with other top local workplaces

Learn More About NorthCoast 99

Thank You, Sponsors!
The 2019 NorthCoast 99 event is made possible with the generous support of our sponsors.


How to Re-Engage Employees Who Are Ready to Leave

How to Re-Engage Employees Who Are Ready to Leave

Do you currently have an employee who has one foot out the door? There are endless reasons for voluntary turnover, and data from ERC's 2018 NorthCoast 99 Top Performer Survey specifically identifies four of the most commonly cited sources of disengagement.

Employees are likely to chase after new advancement opportunities and more competitive compensation, while fleeing from a lack of flexibility and a lack of organizational support.

Once employees become disengaged, it can be a struggle to change their minds in a way that makes them want to stay.

Consider the following 4 ideas to re-engage those employees who could be on their way out.

1. Keep Lines of Communication Open

If regular employee-manager conversations don’t occur, you might find yourself quite surprised when you hear a top performer express intentions of leaving the company. Listen to all concerns intently and take them seriously. Consider preventive measures such as conducting regular “stay” interviews or employee engagement pulse surveys. Keeping your employees engaged requires continuous communication.

By maintaining an awareness of how your people are doing and how they feel about their work and roles in the organization, there will be more time and opportunity to engage your talent base.

It could be easier to remedy employee issues as they come to surface, rather than continuously cycling through the talent attraction and hiring process as a result of turnover.

2. Get Them “Un-stuck”

Give disengaged employees somewhere to go within the company. When you give them the opportunity to re-engage they feel less inclined to take their talent and knowledge elsewhere. Advancement opportunities allow top performers to feel continuously challenged and in charge of their learning, which not only serves to fulfill their needs for growth, but also benefits an organization’s competitive advantage.

Take note of the knowledge, skills, and unique attributes your organizational talent pool consists of, and figure out how you can better utilize your employees’ capabilities.

When they feel ready to move on to an external opportunity, offer to move these individuals into a new set of responsibilities in which they can flourish. And when you add new work to their plate, make sure their compensation is adjusted accordingly.  Having a talent-management system in place can facilitate this process. (Ultimate Software is an ERC Preferred Partner offering succession planning and talent development services.)

3. Recognize and Reward

A number of employees could be on their way out because they feel unappreciated for their efforts, and are no longer motivated to work for an organization that doesn’t recognize their contributions.

While no employee is likely to turn down a bonus for a job-well-done, money alone is not an effective long-term motivator. 

Showing appreciation can take on many forms, such as giving public recognition during staff meetings or interoffice email, awarding extra paid time off, or giving employees the chance to work on challenging projects that provide more work autonomy.

4. Support Work-Life Balance

If organizational policy is rigid and forces individuals to choose between work and family, employees will likely recognize that they have options that will better suit their needs (that don’t include their current employer).

Granting employees more robust benefits such as flexible work schedules, generous parental leave, telecommuting opportunities, and unlimited bereavement leave, is a way to communicate to employees that you recognize they are holistic humans and not productivity machines.

Don’t lose your best people to the competition by hanging on to traditional workplace practices that hold them back from living an enjoyable life.

In the end, if you feel unwilling to put in the effort required to re-engage departing employees, consider whether you can truly afford to lose this talent and adjust accordingly.


Interested in learning more about engagement surveys?

Submit your contact information and receive instant access to a brochure that overviews what is included in ERC's engagement surveys and our process for conducting and assessing.

View the Engagement Brochure


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