A Publication of WTVP

What is it that makes a workplace great? According to Great Place to Work Institute, a great workplace is one where employees trust those they work for, have pride in what they do, and enjoy both who they work for, and what they do. When you break this all down, a great workplace really starts with the employees. So in other words, a great workplace starts with a great workforce.

Employees need to feel appreciated, valued and respected in the workplace if the organization wants to see success. But aside from this, employees must first feel passionate about what they are doing, and confident in their ability.

While manufacturing is still a top industry in the area, the EDC is seeing an increase in professional and technical jobs throughout the Peoria Metro. This increase is partially due to the continual advancement of technology happening in central Illinois and in workplaces around the world. “As technology advances, the workplace is continually changing in order to adapt,” states Vickie Clark, president of the Economic Development Council for Central Illinois. “This advancement means that our economy is becoming more of a knowledge-based economy, making it imperative that our workforce keeps their skill sets current, and their education up-to-date.”

Not only is it crucial for employees to keep their skill sets current in order to succeed in today’s workplace, but workforce skill sets are also an important factor in the retention of current businesses and the attraction of new businesses to a region. When a business decides to locate or stay in a particular region, they take into account the skills and knowledge of the workforce. The International Economic Development Council highlights the top factors that influence a business’s site selection. Obviously, financial incentives play a big role, along with the community and quality of life in a region. But workforce quality is a top factor in drawing businesses to a location.

In a recent labor study developed by the Economic Development Council for Central Illinois, businesses expressed just how important the skills and talents of the workforce are to the workplace. While salary and wage costs are important to employers, quality and availability of the necessary skills and talents in the workforce are of even greater importance. The greater the quality and availability of necessary skills, the greater productivity will be. When employees possess the necessary talents and skills to perform at work, they will, as a result, have a greater sense of confidence and pride in what they are doing. When employees are passionate and successful, productivity is high and morale is good.

The study further shows that the Peoria Metro does indeed provide both a stable and mature workforce. When it comes to quality and skill characteristics, employers ranked the quality and skill characteristics of the region’s workforce above statistical averages. Areas such as active learning, comprehension, management and technical skills, along with characteristics like honesty, reliability and work ethic all received above-average ratings.

While a lot goes into creating a quality place to work, it all boils down to the people in the organization. When you start with a great workforce, you can only advance from there. iBi