APA Center for Organizational Excellence: National Winner

The Awards

Small Not-for-Profit Category

Certified Angus Beef

Kudos for a Job Well Done

OhioCertified Angus Beef (CAB) stands out in the community and the industry through its robust employee programs, incentives and development opportunities. This has resulted in employee referrals, a plethora of high-quality applicants, a reduction in sick time and very low turnover rates. Corporate programs that simultaneously serve both employee interests and the bottom line mean financial prosperity, good health and a sense of well-being for all concerned. Simply stated, CAB has built a win-win situation with its employees.

Employee Involvement

At CAB, every voice is heard and respected. The organization has an open-door policy from the top down, with supervisors holding weekly or biweekly meetings to keep the lines of communication open at all times. Division retreats, regular brainstorming sessions, biweekly breakfast meetings, team-building training, workshops and community outreach all build positive relationships among team members. Employees also play an active and enthusiastic role in planning CAB-sponsored special events and seminars.

Health and Safety

CAB’s progressive approach to health issues includes a comprehensive wellness program. CAB covers the tab for gym memberships and employs an onsite wellness coach who leads four midday workouts weekly, provides periodic group stretch sessions, facilitates a bimonthly weight-loss management group, optional weigh-ins and blood pressure checks and offers 15- to 30-minute one-on-one coaching sessions. A clinical psychologist is onsite monthly as well, providing stress management sessions and confidential one-on-one appointments on company time at no cost to employees.

Employee Growth and Development

CAB has a vibrant history of challenging and engaging employees through opportunities for learning and development. For example, in 2011 CAB began a yearlong, onsite Leadership Development Series that is open to all employees. The series consisted of ten half-day sessions spread over the course of the year that explored communication, trust, conflict resolution, responsibility and strategic thinking. CAB continued the program in 2012, revisiting the issues and going deeper with topics such as leadership versus management, empowering leaders and leadership roles.

Work-Life Balance

CAB’s family-centered culture allows staff to deal with unexpected life needs, issues or emergencies with the full support of management. To promote work-life balance, supervisors regularly review staff workloads and make adjustments when needed, particularly for those who are required to travel frequently. The company also sponsors the services of a wellness coach, a psychologist, a physician, a certified financial planner, an attorney, a chair masseuse, and dry-cleaning and alteration services. All services are available at a substantial discount or free of charge.

Employee Recognition

Public recognition and in-person acknowledgment for contributions to the organization and for professional and personal accomplishments frequently occur during CAB’s biweekly staff breakfast meetings. CAB also expresses appreciation through special events such as patio parties with live music and games, Certified Angus Beef brand steaks on the grill and homemade cake and ice cream. To cap off the year, CAB’s president and vice president present service awards at the organization’s annual formal holiday dinner.

The Bottom Line

In creating a healthy, positive, balanced and productive workplace, CAB has captured the heart of business at its best – where people are clearly viewed as the most important resource. At the same time, staff support makes good business sense. Since beginning its health and wellness initiatives, the company has enjoyed single-digit renewal increases in health insurance premiums, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. Optimism and integrity expressed from the top down and filtering throughout makes Certified Angus Beef a psychologically healthy place to work.

"A psychologically healthy workplace is the result of comprehensive employee programs which provide a supportive, collaborative environment for innovation and business success. "

Craig R. Paeprer
Director of Operations
IBM Research Division