With the announcement this week of the Best Small + Medium Places to Work for in America (Society for Human Resource Management and the Great Place to Work Institute sponsor this process), I have always been struck with the consistency of the values-driven themes of the companies recognized across the country. Northeast Delta Dental has been on this list for five years in a row (we did not apply this year), and this enables me to be on panels with other “Best Employers” across the nationa and locally. And what strikes me is the consistency of the values/themes by these award winning companies, regardless of the industry or the size of the company. The characteristics of Northeast Delta Dental and other employers of choice consistently seem to be: 1) Trust and respect for employees; 2) Attention and commitment to two-way communication, with employees always knowing what’s going on before the external community; 3) Incentive programs and rewards which reinforce desired team behaviors; 4) work/family balance and walking the talk on this; 5) teamwork; and 6) being a learning organization.
Adhering to these values results in a corporate culture that translates to world class external customer service. (Our employees recognized this several years ago when, with no prescriptions from top management, employees of Northeast Delta Dental defined our values as simply but deeply: Teamwork ~ Quality ~ Integrity ~ Communication. ) A beautiful circle and business model.
Tom Raffio, President & CEO of Northeast Delta Dental