The June 28, 2018 MCCC Business EXCELerator featured the topic Employee Engagement – How We Make It Fun! Each panelist offered first-hand experiences about the work they do to attract and retain employees in a highly competitive job market.
Jim Sweet, President & CEO, Smokey Glen Farm spoke about the value of outdoor venues for employee engagement, team-building and positive experiences. As the largest single employer of youth in the County, they have weekly planning meetings and send ‘Thank You’ emails after a big events.
Sarah Heitkemper, Vice President of Human Resources with Boland, discussed building the “ties that bind” employees to the company by creating connections and engaging employees. The company values of wellness and professional development are known to staff. Knowing that there isn’t “one thing” that will appeal to all employees, the employer works to “meet the employees where they are” to provide meaningful and impactful experiences across a broad range.
Jerry Shapiro, President, Shapiro & Duncan, Inc. mentioned many of their employees work on job sites, so they organize ways when the staff can be together. The company engages staff at social events and with the several non-profits they support such as Junior Achievement. Professional training is important and offered. He shared some of the practical jokes he and his brother play on each other at work which makes the workplace fun.
Diane Pippin, Regional Director of Human Resources, CohnReznick LLP, remarked that employee recognition is a big part of what they do. One way to recognize their employees is through an awards program where the Firm recognizes the talent and achievements of employees who go above and beyond in demonstrating the company’s core values through their interactions and activities. The Firm seeks feedback from employees to gain a better understanding of what keeps them at the firm and engaged, they focus on the onboarding process for new employees to ensure a positive experience from day 1, and offer flexible work arrangements. They also have a “dress smart” attire policy so employees can dress more casually based on their schedule for the day. CohnReznick and their employees are passionate about giving back to others; it's part of their philosophy. The firm promotes volunteerism, community service, and charitable giving, and recognizes those who are role models in service to their communities.
In addition, it was mentioned that opportunities for family participation should be planned. This is a great way for the company to demonstrate their appreciation.