Local companies receive Human Resources Management Excellence Awards

June 25, 2013 | News, UToday, Business and Innovation
By Bob Mackowiak

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation recently presented its 16th annual Human Resource Management Award for Excellence, recognizing Spangler Candy Co. and Sun Federal Credit Union for outstanding HR practices.

“As local residents think about jobs, it is important to recognize area success stories, the area’s best employers who are taking steps to attract and retain the best people,” said Dr. Clint Longenecker, Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Business Excellence, and chair of the awards selection committee. “These organizations are utilizing their human capital to compete at the very highest levels while creating great places to work.”

The Spangler Candy Co. Human Resources and its Teamster Union partners have created a productive working relationship that includes a recent win-win five-year contract. Furthermore, HR created multiple initiatives to support health, wellness and safety for employees, returning savings to the bottom line.

Keeping employees happy and healthy enables the company to make 10 million Dum-Dum suckers — or “10 million smiles,” as the company prefers to think of them — every day.

Joni Lashaway, HR coordinator at Spangler, said, “HR’s function is to balance the needs of the company and the needs of the people. Spangler is a family-oriented company, and HR helps the employees with life, work and family so they can be productive employees. Valued people become valuable, and Spangler truly believes this. I am pleased to be a part of a team that helps employees do what they need to do in order to maintain a good work-life balance.”

Niki Mosier, director of human capital at Spangler, added, “This award is for everyone at Spangler Candy and it recognizes the achievements of our people. It highlights all the things we do right and also identifies areas where we can continue to improve.”

Sun Federal Credit Union considers itself a bank owned by the customer and strives to be like Bailey Building and Loan Association run by George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) in the movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Employees are concerned about the human experience, assisting people in all of life’s stages and challenges.

Among the reasons the company was honored with the Human Resource Management Award for Excellence are because HR is a key business partner in Sun Federal’s success; HR impacts communications, business acumen, strategic agility and instills a shared vision; and HR plays a key role in continuous improvement.

“Thank you to The University of Toledo for recognizing the Human Resource profession with this award,” said April Hammer, HR/employee relations manager at Sun Federal. “HR professionals spend their time recognizing others and often hear more complaints than praise, so to receive this prestigious award is an honor. Being recognized by leaders in the HR community for the difference we make in the lives of our employees and the contributions we make to Sun Federal’s success is truly amazing.”

In addition to the winning companies, Directions Credit Union and Sylvania Franciscan Sisters were recognized as finalists.

Directions Credit Union employees serve members and the community, and contribute to financial education of area residents. Employee development is encouraged through programs where workers can earn college degrees, and there is a mentor program between retired and new employees. In addition, an extended illness bank covers long-term absences.

Sylvania Franciscan Sisters are value-based, and people who work there embrace its mission. The focus is on hiring good people who are challenged not just to know what their mission is, but to embrace it. They strive to be committed to each employee as a whole person.

Among the reasons Sylvania Franciscan Sisters was a finalist for the award is because of its partnership between HR practitioners and the sisters that solidifies the mission and values into the organization.

The HR Management Excellence Awards were established in 1998 by the UT Department of Management to encourage and recognize excellent progress and achievement in the field of human resource management.

“These awards are given annually to celebrate the success of local organizations and leaders for creating great places to work and for making a real difference in our economy. They demonstrate to the region that area employers can compete in a world marketplace,” Longenecker said.

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