College of Business presents HR Management Excellence Awards to three Toledo companies

July 14, 2014 | News, UToday, Business and Innovation
By Bob Mackowiak

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation recently presented its 17th annual Human Resource Management Awards for Excellence, recognizing three well-known Toledo companies for their outstanding human resource practices.

HR awardEach of the three finalists was named a recipient of the Human Resource Management Award for Excellence: Hollywood Casino (innovation), The Toledo Blade (impact) and The Toledo Zoo (leadership).

Hollywood Casino began operation in 2012 as one of the newest properties of Penn National Gaming and the first casino in Toledo. HR activities at the Hollywood Casino that contributed to its award include quickly and efficiently bringing in 948 team members to establish the fully operational, new casino; creating a HR process that is responsive and providing support 24/7 to every team member; and developing a culture of community engagement through which events for team members are planned and a community outreach program called Hollywood Cares was implemented.

The Toledo Blade is a 179-year-old privately held newspaper and the oldest continuing business in the Glass City. Human resource activities at The Toledo Blade that contributed to its award include developing health and safety programs, which resulted in a drastic reduction in accidents, worker’s compensation and health-care costs; engaging the HR function as a strategy where its input is recognized as absolutely critical for organizational success; and building a labor/management relations culture on mutual trust as well as open and honest conversations with a real partnership between workers and management.

The Toledo Zoo, recently recognized as “Best U.S. Zoo” in a USA Today poll, was established in 1900 and welcomes more than 875,000 visitors each year. HR activities at the Toledo Zoo that contributed to its Management Award for Excellence include developing healthy relationships between union and management by moving from traditional bargaining to interactive, interest-based bargaining; implementing an HR information system to assist in selection, scheduling and reduction of paperwork; and creating and maintaining work-force flexibility to accommodate the zoo’s seasonal staffing.

“As local residents continue to 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. Clinton Longenecker, UT professor of management and chair of the Awards Selection Committee. “These amazing organizations are utilizing their human capital to compete at the very highest levels.”

He added, “The Human Resources Management Excellence Awards are given annually by the college since 1998 to celebrate the success of local organizations and leaders for creating great places to work. Their efforts make a real difference in our economy while they also inspire others to advance their organizations, demonstrating to the region that area employers can compete in a world marketplace.”

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