Employees seek sense of meaning, direction at firms big and small


The 2015 Top Workplaces in Toledo show great diversity in size and sector. There’s BP Husky Refining LLC, with more than 650 employees, and U.S. Xpress Logistics, with 37. What common thread winds through these 30 Top Workplaces?

It’s not the perks, though there are many great perks represented in the Top 30, such as Hanson Inc., where every day is bring your dog to work day. Our research of employee feedback concludes the common thread is having a healthy organization.

That begs the question, what is a healthy organization and what role do people play in it? Healthy organizations thrive on people who feel connected to their workplace through meaningful work and the belief their company is moving in the right direction. That gives executive leadership the task of ensuring their employees buy in to where the company is going and how it is getting there. Executives are challenged to create a sense of connection between company and employee.

Think about where you work or volunteer your time. Do you buy in to where the organization is heading and how it is getting there? Do you feel a connection?

Employees among The Blade’s Top Workplaces buy in to where they’re going and how they are getting there. So much so, they are not afraid to use the “L-word” when it comes to their jobs — “I love my job.”

For example, an employee at Bolt Express LLC commented: “I love the people I work with and the overall culture of Bolt Express. I look forward to coming to work each day and taking on new, exciting projects.”

In eight years of research with millions of workers nationwide, WorkplaceDynamics has determined more money or perks do not account for the difference between an average or poor workplace. Employees want to work at a place that is organizationally healthy.

By promoting organizational health, employees, leadership, and investors are aligned. Employees want high levels of organizational health because it enriches their working life. Investors want organizational health because it makes their companies more successful. Good leaders want to serve both groups. And when more employees are fulfilled and more organizations are successful, communities benefit.

Doug Claffey is the chief executive officer of WorkplaceDynamics, an employment survey firm that partnered with The Blade to find the area’s best places to work.