A group of Wright State University management students got a chance to pick the brains of executives from companies voted among Dayton’s best places to work.
Executives from eight companies came to campus the final day of face-to-face classes for the spring semester at Wright State to be interviewed by students in Management 4200, Positive Organization Development. The class is taught by Sherri Herrick, director of the Department of Human Resources at Wright State Physicians. The companies were among those named 2020 Best Places to Work by the Dayton Business Journal.
The focus of the class is to break free from conventional culture, constraints and beliefs in organizations and build on what organizations do well.
“This event specifically is designed to teach the students about how organizations drove positive change and became Dayton’s best places to work,” said Herrick. “In my mind there is no better teacher than to put them with a leader at eight different successful companies.”
The executives included Bridget Fricke, operations manager for Acadia; Jamie Moon, human resources generalist for HORAN Associates; Cindy Hockwalt, director of operations for Alto Healthcare Staffing; John North, CEO of the Better Business Bureau, Dayton; Ryan Johnson, director of equity research for Buckingham Financial Group; Matt Hoying, president of Choice One Engineering; April Higgins, human resource director of DayAir Credit Union; and Dave Waibel, president of Waibel Energy Systems.
Students asked the executives what made their businesses good places to work, what most attracted them to work there, what made them proud of the organization, and to describe the workplace culture. The executives were also asked about their company’s mission, vision and values, how they empowered their employees, what they liked to hear from their customers, and their future goals.
Responses from the executives included that they were proud of their organization’s professionalism, the resources they had, and the fact that employees were trusted and treated well. They also liked the challenging nature of the work, the emphasis on teamwork, finding niches that fit employee skills, and forgiving and learning from employee mistakes.
“My hope is that they learn what it really takes to make positive change within an organization,” Herrick said of her students. “It doesn’t happen in a year. And I hope that they learn how much effort there is in involving everyone and what is involved in the journey.”