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A Publication of WTVP

Several months ago, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce encouraged member companies to consider participating in a statewide “Best Places to Work” program offered by the Illinois State Chamber, Illinois State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management, and The Business Ledger. The program offered employers a chance to take a closer look at their workplace and their employees’ perceptions of their workplace experience.

It’s been said the best way to lead is by example, so The Heartland Partnership also participated in the program. Our employees completed surveys that were then evaluated by HR experts at the Best Companies Group of Harrison, Penn. The end result? The Heartland Partnership is being recognized as one of Illinois’ Best Places to Work. Your Heartland Partnership is one of 15 companies throughout the state that were recognized with this honor at a luncheon in April.

What does it mean to be a best place to work? More importantly, why does it matter?

Companies with great workplaces outperform their peers. Numerous independent studies have shown companies from Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list consistently deliver higher returns than their peers. Research shows great workplaces receive more qualified job applicants for open positions, experience a lower turnover rate, and experience reductions in health care costs. Great workplaces also enjoy higher levels of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty; foster greater innovation, creativity, and risk taking; and benefit from higher productivity and profitability.

When you invest in your people, you invest in your organization’s success. A comprehensive review by the Department of Labor of more than 100 studies that examined the link between progressive people practices and improved bottom line results concluded there’s a positive relationship between training, motivating, and empowering employees and improvements in productivity.

According to the “Great Place to Work” Institute of San Francisco, great workplaces define themselves in many ways, including sharing information broadly, ensuring accessibility to employees, delivering on promises, showing recognition and appreciation, and demonstrating personal concern and acknowledging personal interests.

Empowering employees to have a stake in maintaining and enhancing this workplace is a critical step. Remaining open to feedback and suggestions is important, and offering employees a chance to be responsible for the implementation of great workplace initiatives can make a big impact.

In a great workplace, how people are treated adds significantly to the competitive advantages available to the organization. These effects carry over into our ability to succeed as a region. The collective effect of having so many wonderful employers in one region is tremendous. If our region wants to continue to attract some of the best and brightest employees in the world, we must continue to offer them the outstanding workplace experiences for which we’re becoming known. Thank you for joining The Heartland Partnership in our commitment to maintaining great workplaces in central Illinois. IBI

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