For the fourth consecutive year, Goodwin College is among the organizations recognized on the Hartford Courant’s Top Workplaces list. The career-focused college in East Hartford is one of only two educational organizations in the top mid-size employers category (150 to 499 employees).
The list was chosen from an initial group of 863 self-nominated organizations whose employees believed they were appropriate for consideration. Ultimately, a smaller group agreed to the “rigorous process of having their employees complete confidential surveys administered by WorkplaceDynamics LLC on behalf of the Courant.” By the end of the process, 16,073 workers participated. This year, the themes of communication, collaboration, and creativity played significant roles in the overall feedback that determined the winning companies.
In addition, Goodwin College president Mark Scheinberg was named top leader among mid-size employers. In an interview in a Hartford Courant special supplement (“What We’re Doing Here Is Almost Sacred” with Dylan McGuiness), President Scheinberg spoke candidly of what makes the college such an attractive option for faculty and staff. Pointing out that Goodwin does not have tenured positions and that larger salaries are to be found at other colleges, he went on to say, “People forgo a lot to be here, to be in this environment. That’s very precious, and very fragile.” Read Dylan’s McGuiness’ full interview with President Scheinberg. (http://www.courant.com/business/top-workplaces/hc-top-workplaces-mark-scheinberg-story.html)
The announcement was made to the employees at Goodwin’s most recent Community Day, one of three occasions during the year when all employees are afforded time from their regular work schedules to come together for announcements, celebrations, and professional development. The enthusiastic reaction from faculty and staff was noted by Vice President for Human Resources Jean McGill.
“We are honored by earning this recognition again,” she said. “At the same time, it’s an opportunity to check ourselves about becoming complacent. This year’s award has inspired us to look even more deeply into employee engagement and to discuss how we can become even better. We’ve held several workshops to listen to what employees are thinking, where they see the College heading, and how they can play roles in shaping its future. The response has been overwhelming.”
“I can’t say that I was totally surprised by Goodwin making the list,” said Eric Emet, who has been with the College for 11 years and currently serves as both Director of Retention and Director of Athletics. “There’s a spirit here that’s challenging to define, but you experience it the minute you walk through our door. No matter where an individual might appear on an organizational chart, everyone here has an opportunity to contribute ideas and to be heard and respected. The employees feel it, and so do our students.”
For psychology professor Carlita Cotton, what makes Goodwin a Top Workplace is the opportunity to bring all of her life experiences into the classroom to help guide her students. “We’re preparing future employees to graduate and to work in their field, so any real-world experiences we can bring into play will help our students. A lot of them will be going into direct service, so ultimately we’re helping the Connecticut workforce as well.”
Employees cite the personal interaction with students as one of the primary rewards of working at Goodwin. “Many alumni come back to us to request letters of recommendation for graduate school, and they credit their Goodwin experiences for giving them such a good foundation,” Cotton continues. “I find that very encouraging, especially the students in their 40s to 50s, who say that Goodwin gave them the self-confidence and courage to step up try a new career.”
Goodwin employees relate to their workplace on a personal level. Professor Cotton, who experienced a recent loss in her family, summarizes: “We learn from each other. You feel this from the top leaders on down. All you have to do here is work here long enough, have some trouble come your way, and you will find out that Goodwin really is a family, and we stick by each other. It’s been there for me.”