Simple Ways to Be a Thankful Leader

From Leader to Leader 850 x 445

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


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. 

Supervisory Training: A Secret to Employee Engagement & Retention

From Leader to Leader 850 x 445

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 

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.

Read this article...

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.


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