College of Business presents HR Management Excellence Awards to four area companies

July 30, 2012 | News, UToday
By Bob Mackowiak

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation recently presented its 15th annual Human Resource Management Awards to four area companies: Diamond Crystal, Fresenius Medical Care, StyleCrest Enterprises and Winzeler Stamping Co.

“Even in challenging economic times, progressive companies that truly care about their employers rise to the top and find a way to succeed and grow,” said Dr. Clinton Longenecker, UT professor of management and chair of the awards selection committee. “As local residents think about jobs, it is important to recognize these area success stories, the area’s best employers who are taking steps to attract and retain the best people. They are leveraging their employees to make a difference and, as a result, they make a significant economic impact.

“That’s why the UT College of Business and Innovation believes it is so important to publicly honor these companies once a year through these excellence awards,” Longenecker added. “These awards are given annually to an individual or HR department having a profound impact on their organization’s performance through demonstrated commitment, innovation and leadership in the human resource function.”

The 2012 companies honored were:

• Diamond Crystal, Perrysburg, Ohio, a food service company.

“We have a very diverse group of employees, so our HR group has to be very people-oriented,” one administrator said. “Diamond Crystal people want to come here and do a good job; they are very devoted to their tasks. They know the more successful we are, the more successful they are. They understand how what they do every day affects the bottom line.”

“The best part about being in HR here is helping my employees,” said an HR administrator. “I love to see the gratitude on their faces when we help them go through any situation.

“It is all about respecting the employees. When you come to HR, you are not in trouble.”

Longenecker said among the reasons Diamond Crystal was recognized with a Human Resource Management Award for Excellence was for providing organizational leadership in establishing human resources as a key team member of the management team; improving labor/management relationship by creating a team-based approach to workplace improvement and performance enhancement; and reducing the total number of workplace grievances and arbitrations to zero.

• Fresenius Medical Care, Toledo.

“Fresenius people are great team players,” one administrator said. “The products that they make sustain people’s lives.”

“The HR department does a great job making sure we are competitive in the market,” an HR representative said. “Every day the human resources department makes a difference in a variety of ways. We do it all. We in HR take care of the people who take care of our patients.”

Longenecker explained that among the reasons Fresenius was recognized with this award was for developing and implementing a quantifiable HR contribution system; bringing the HR function to the strategy table; and displaying innovation through creating and equipping a benefit self-service function.

• StyleCrest Enterprises, Fremont, Ohio, a distributor of building products for housing and manufacturing.

“Our people are behind us, I think, because of our commitment to them,” one administrator said. “They are associates, not employees. We try to engage them, hold them accountable and responsible, but we’re also kind of a family.

“We get to know our associates, they contribute to our bottom line, and they’re great people to work with. Everybody wants Stylecrest to succeed. It’s really about the heart and soul of the company. Stylecrest honestly believes in the people.”

“The HR team plays a key role in being the liaison to the management and associates,” another administrator said. “They’re engaged in the different operations with the management team, understand their needs, but more importantly they have the balance with the associates. They are not just HR people; they’re a group that understands the business.”

Longenecker said Stylecrest was recognized for developing a value-added recruitment strategy and state-of-the-art selection process; creating health-care and risk management strategies that ensure the health and safety of their work force; and engaging in a collaborative culture change and new manager and supervisor development programs.

• Winzeler Stamping Co., Montpelier, Ohio, a manufacturer of parts for the hardware and automotive industries.

“Sometimes it’s second or third generation working here. The Winzelers are leading us as employees; they care about people and, in turn, we care about each other. Winzeler people understand that they are important to the organization,” said an administrator.

“This is a family-owned organization, and we get the sense that we are part of the family, and we extend that sentiment from person to person. We try to take care of each other, whether it is in terms of benefits or compensation, we want to be fair and consistent, and just make it a fun place.”

“When you think about the quality of the work our people do here, a lot has to do not just with what they have learned, but we hope to instill in them the values, know-how and develop them however possible to get the product out so that our customers will want to buy it, and that means success for everyone,” another administrator added.

Longenecker said Winzeler was recognized with this award for having exceptionally strong organizational commitment to employee safety and health; creating HR leadership in strategic decision making; implementing a comprehensive wellness program called HealthPerks 2012; and providing ongoing education and support to employees.

Longenecker said the HR Management Excellence Awards were established in 1998 by the UT College of Business and Innovation Department of Management to encourage and recognize excellent progress and achievement in the field of human resource management among area organizations.

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