Angie Williams

Developing Talent to Create a Standout Culture

For the third year in a row, Willory has been awarded a spot on the NorthCoast 99, which recognizes workplaces in Northeast Ohio dedicated to developing top talent. This year Willory was awarded the “Challenging and Meaningful Work” category winner. We are honored and humbled to receive this award again and it is with that humility that we present a series of blogs examining how Willory has created an award-winning culture.

From day one Willory has focused on “doing right” by our team members. If you look at Willory’s values you’ll notice a very important one, “Inspire professional growth.” It’s not first or last, but it’s equally as important as the others. When we updated our values 18 months ago we knew values were obviously important to have documented. Additionally, because we live by our values, we wanted to ensure growth and development played an important role in our culture.

While my background has been more focused on general human resources, by working with the Willory team on their own professional development, I’ve been able to expand my expertise on the subject.

What sets our training and development process apart from many is collaboration. As a team, we work together to establish each team member’s individualized goals. The group working on these goals typically includes myself, John, the respective team member, and their supervisor. These goals are a mixture of job-specific metrics, company contributions, professional development, and personal goals.

Each month team members meet with their supervisor to review their goals and to discuss their career trajectory, areas of success, and any areas that may need improvement. This monthly meeting allows an open and consistent communication to be established. While this has always been a focus of our culture, this style of meetings truly came from listening to the ideas and feelings of our team members.

As a team, we meet monthly to review and plan the months ahead, brainstorm, share our insights on team-determined topics such as Sales 101, wellness, understanding the financial aspects of Willory, and team building. Because of our virtual environment, this is typically the best time for us to see each other face-to-face setting.

Over the last few months a large focus of our team trainings has been on working with Kevin Hudson, principal at Keylan Management Group. In working with Kevin our team at-large is better at conducting crucial conversations, understanding varying perspectives, and are better at understanding how our clients’ needs align with our services. In addition to our team trainings, Kevin has been instrumental in helping me develop our first-ever management training program. This program not only helps to build the skills instrumental for successful managers, but allows each department to share their vision and understanding of Willory.

By looking inward and developing the employees we have we have been able to avoid a talent shortage many other organizations are facing.

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