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Workplace Culture: Creating Workplace Awards Nominations that Win

April 30, 2012

Casa Grande Regional Medical CenterThis is the first in a series of four articles on how to create strong workplace awards nomination essays. While these articles are centered on the Arizona’s Most Admired Companies program, these ideas can apply to many workplace awards programs.

Workplace culture is one of the four elements assessed in the Arizona’s Most Admired program. Here are some tips for beefing up your nomination in this area.

To put it simply, “culture” is what it is like to work at your organization. Culture is the result of a company’s values (the real ones, not necessarily the ones on the wall), its mission, and the tone that is set by leadership throughout the company. Some cultures are casual and fun, while others are more formal and professional. Some are competitive, some demonstrate pride, and some are caring and supportive.  What defines your company? While benefits can reflect the culture, they aren’t the full measure of it.

A clearly defined employer brand, in which the organization has defined, developed, and packaged its culture in order to emotionally connect employees to the company, is a major competitive advantage.  A well-developed employer brand differentiates the culture of an organization, and there will be specific examples to back it up.

Casa Grande Regional Medical Center, for example, is building its employer branding around a culture of caring. Recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies in Arizona in the “Best of Heart” category, CGRMC has planned its service anniversary awards ceremony around the theme of “A Caring Heart”. It’s no surprise that CGRMC offers flexible schedules and a job-sharing program focused on pre-retirees. The benefits are congruent with the culture.

Create a strong statement by describing your employer brand, and providing examples to back it up in the areas of career development, diversity programs, performance management, recognition, advancement opportunity, learning programs, social events, and management. The more distinctive and different, the better. Would others be inspired by reading your culture and employer branding story? If so, the judges may be inspired, too.

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