Building Great Places to Work

September 28. 2015

Great Workplaces & Top Performers: A NorthCoast 99 Fairytale

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September 28. 2015

A NorthCoast 99 Fairytale

Chapter 1: The Great Quest Begins (a.k.a. Attracting Top Talent)

Once upon a time…in a faraway land (Northeast Ohio)…long, long ago (2015)…there lived 99 NorthCoast award winning employers. Applicants would flock from far and wide in search of a job with one of these NorthCoast 99 winners and their HR Departments were always on the look-out to add top performing employees to their teams. As they set out on their quest to attract and retain the best and the brightest to their organizations, these NorthCoast 99 winners knew that their efforts would be in vain without the help of their trusty best practices in recruitment and hiring. More...

September 1. 2013

Case Study: Workplace Flexibility

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September 1. 2013


Over time, Main Street Gourmet has needed to gradually develop flexibility initiatives in response to various scheduling conflicts among its staff and institute greater acceptance and encouragement of people having lives outside of the workplace. The organization determined that it was to the mutual advantage of the company and employees to explore some options in terms of providing more flexibility in work schedules. More...

December 11. 2012

Emerging Practices & Innovations Among Top Employers

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December 11. 2012

Each year brings new practices and innovations to the workplace and 2013 will be no exception. In NorthCoast 99 program, we collect information about the creative tactics employers use to attract, retain, and motive employees and we’ve compiled some emerging practices and innovations (with links to case studies embedded) that forward-thinking companies are using to create a great workplace.

Mobile recruiting. With more job seekers using mobile devices, a handful of NorthCoast 99 winners have started using mobile applications to recruit by not only developing applications, but making sure their websites, job postings, and application process are mobile-friendly.

Dynamic and engaging content. Some NorthCoast 99 winners are creating engaging, personalized recruiting content for their job seekers such as employee-written blog posts, videos, graphics, photos, and other types to engage applicants in learning more about their organization and culture.

Hiring assessment. Several NorthCoast 99 winners have designed unique hiring assessment approaches to find top performers including job tryouts, assessment tools, and other experimental hiring tactics.

Learning “bits and bytes.” Some NorthCoast 99 winners are moving to short forms of learning to supplement classroom and online training. Short lessons, articles, podcasts, videos, learning games, etc. are now used by some winners to reinforce concepts participants learned in training.

Future leader initiatives. A number of NorthCoast 99 winners have created targeted, strategic future leadership and management development programs for unique groups of employees such as young professionals, thought leaders, and technical leaders.

Coaching and mentoring. Forward-thinking employers like many of the NorthCoast 99 winners are using formal and targeted one-on-one coaching and mentoring relationships and programs to a greater degree to supplement training and development initiatives.

Advancement resources. Some employers are moving towards creating specific resources to provide greater clarity regarding how employees can advance in their organizations. Such resources include interactive matrices and maps as well as career management websites and tools.

Line of sight programs and campaigns. Some NorthCoast 99 winners have implemented programs, initiatives or campaigns to communicate to employees how their work matters and has purpose – to their organizations, customers, and even the world.

Holistic wellness. A number of NorthCoast 99 winners are broadening the focus of their wellness programs, implementing tactics to improve employees’ social, emotional, financial, and even spiritual well-being.

Flexible workforce. Telecommuting, virtual work options, and creative alternative scheduling practices are gaining ground as some workplaces provide more flexible options that support employees’ work/life and can be customized to their personal needs.

Employee services. Innovations in services offered to employees continue to expand with more employers offering unique services such as concierge, holiday gift-wrapping, a hair salon, coffee bars, a seamstress, and more.

Engagement. Some organizations are creating programs to reinforce employee engagement like “engagement employee groups” to implement tactics to enhance engagement and create an engaging work culture.

Innovative cultures and workplace environments. For some employers, traditional workplace environments of stale wall colors and cubicles have been replaced with vibrant, open work environments equipped with areas for collaboration, tools for innovation, and an atmosphere that contributes to creativity.

These are just a few of many innovations we see in the NorthCoast 99 program, but perhaps are some of the most notable ones from 2012. The NorthCoast 99 winners consistently tackle and solve traditional workplace problems with new, innovative solutions. For more ideas and information about workplace innovations, consult the 2012 NorthCoast 99 Winners Report.


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