20 Practices That Distinguish the Best Places to Work

What does it take to be one of the best places to work for top talent? This is a common question that many employers ask ERC as they seek to develop workplaces that attract, retain, motivate and engage top performers. This past year, ERC identified 20 common practices among the best places to work in Northeast Ohio spanning the full cycle of employment from recruiting for a position to planning for the future talent needs in the organization. These practices include:

Staffing & Workforce Planning

  • Aligning their workplace with the needs, interests, and preferences of top performers
  • Branding the workplace by promoting aspects of their organization and highlighting aspects of Northeast Ohio using attractive messages, images, and materials
  • Recruiting talent by selecting effective sourcing, advertising, and marketing strategies aligned with definitive policies for hiring only top performers and a definition of what characteristics, competencies, and behaviors those top performers exhibit
  • Selecting top performers using a variety of effective selection processes and tactics including trained hiring personnel and a combination of valid selection tools, measuring the success of selection decisions, and amending processes as needed
  • Developing an effective on-boarding program and engaging new-hires
  • Planning for the future workforce by engaging in succession and workforce planning practices

Compensation & Rewards

  • Compensating top performers competitively according to market rates and reviewing compensation structures in order to maintain competitive compensation
  • Paying for performance by linking, differentiating pay according to performance,  offering opportunities to earn more pay based on performance
  • Recognizing and rewarding employees in meaningful ways; showing appreciation using formal and informal programs to recognize top performance
  • Providing a competitive array of health, welfare, work-life, and retirement benefits that support employee well being, work/life balance, and wellness

Development & Training

  • Providing training opportunities and ensuring that these training solutions meet the needs of employees and contribute to improved job performance
  • Developing and advancing careers by providing developmental services and programs that help employees attain their career objectives
  • Building challenging, meaningful, autonomous, and empowering job experiences for employees’ by using their skills and abilities to their fullest potential

Organizational Culture

  • Being socially responsible by providing ways for employees to engage in community efforts and initiating environmentally-friendly workplace practices
  • Effectively supervising and managing performance by providing supervisors with a variety of tools to manage their employees and their performance, and having general philosophies/policies surrounding managing others in the organization
  • Fostering coworker relations and teamwork by building a positive and collaborative work atmosphere, providing opportunities for teambuilding and peer recognition, and embracing a diverse workforce
  • Leading with talent integrity by engaging employees through communication, support for programs, positive interaction, and accountability
  • Celebrating success as an organization and recognizing employees’ personal events

Organizational Innovation, Success, & Performance

  • Facilitating creativity and innovation by providing opportunities for ideas, suggestions, and feedback; developing both informal and formal ways to promote creativity and innovation; and initiating processes/initiatives for employees to enhance products or customer experiences
  • Measuring and communicating organizational performance as well as customer, client, or product achievements

For a more detailed guide on specific best practices in implementing all of these practices as well as examples of how the best places to work in Northeast Ohio (our 2009 NorthCoast 99 winners) have incorporated these practices into their organizations, please download our guide to creating a great place to work.

If your organization strives to attract, retain, motivate, and engage top performers in any of the ways listed above, consider applying for the 2010 NorthCoast 99 Award. We encourage your organization to complete an application at www.northcoast99.com/application.  The deadline to submit an application for the 2010 NorthCoast 99 Award is April 30th. For more information about the application process, please visit www.northcoast99.com.

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