Good Human Resources Equals Good Civic Economy

Good Human Resources Equals Good Civic Economy – Brief Article

In celebration of the strides made to build Detroit into a world-class, renaissance city, a group of business and academic leaders has come together to develop new HR benchmarks by honoring the city’s most outstanding employers.

The “101 Best and Brightest” program is a joint initiative of the human resources and organizational development consulting firm Linwick and Associates and the Wayne State University School of Business Administration, in cooperation with the Detroit Regional Chamber. A panel will identify and honor the most desirable employers in the metro Detroit region and will build a database that will be used to conduct research on human resource policies and practices in relation to organizational performance.

The selection of the “101 Best and Brightest” firms is the final phase of a process that began six months ago, when employees nominated their companies for the award. The program committee asked all nominees to provide detailed information on their human resource policies and practices. An anonymous sample of employees from each company completed a survey designed to measure perceptions of the work climate.

The panel of WSU researchers who analyzed and interpreted the data included faculty members in business and in the industrial/organizational part of the Department of Psychology. The panel assessed the firms according to a set of criteria that included human resource planning, compensation and benefits, training and development, recruitment and retention, communication, work life balance, inclusiveness and diversity, absenteeism, safety and health, and employee enthusiasm.

These criteria were measured by multiple sources of data, including the information provided by firms, the employees’ survey and nomination responses and additional information obtained from independent sources. Research has shown that human resource policies and practices have strong effects on a firm’s competitive success and survival. Panelists Dr. Ariel Levi and program founder Lisa Wicker say, “The way that firms treat their employees has a measurable impact on bottom-line performance. Two developments have made this connection between human resource policies and firm outcomes more apparent. The first is that better methods for measuring the tangible effects of human resource practices have been developed.

“In many cases, we can now ‘translate’ human resources policies and practices into financial cost/benefit terms. The second is the increasing recognition among executives and managers that the ‘intangible’ elements of organizations–especially work climate and culture–have real effects on a firm’s performance. Many leaders now see these intangibles as important causes of their firms’ effectiveness.”

By selecting the “101 Best and Brightest” companies to work for, the Detroit project will allow businesses to showcase their best human resources practices and demonstrate why each of them would be an ideal place for employees to work.

Detroit officials say the event will develop new human resource benchmarks and research for businesses in the area while improving the city’s image and accelerating its economic development. The significance of the event is attributed to the current labor market’s competition for talent. City boosters say the need to recognize outstanding human resources business practices used to recruit and retain outstanding workers is of vital civic importance.

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