Workplace Culture. It’s probably two words you hear often. What is it really, and why is it so important today. According to the experts, Frances Frei and Anne Morriss at Harvard Business Review: “Culture guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off”. “The RHA Culture tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us how to communicate our ideas and why it is important to address challenges that arise, states” Bridget Cheek, Human Resources Manager. “RHA Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and our Workplace culture is our guide, stated Ron Clewer, CEO of Rockford Housing Authority. “The RHA Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time.”

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While the work may be difficult, the culture shouldn’t add to the stress of the work. On the contrary, the culture is designed to alleviate the work related stress. If you watch any sports, you see how teams function. They work together encourage each other, and communicate regularly, like a winning sports team RHA, continuously works at its game. Workplace Culture is incredibly important because it sets the tone for everything from how the RHA team interacts, to how RHA residents are treated. “We talk with each other. This might sound trite, but it’s easier said than done. People need to be able to share their ideas and speak openly without fear of repercussion. People want their opinions heard, and they want to feel good,” states Ron Clewer, however when the recognition comes he is humbled, “A total surprise to be an employer that rocks! We aim to serve – staff, clients, community!” That is what Culture is all about, help, trust, caring and respect. It takes work. You need to nurture it. You also need to give it the freedom to evolve. We are proud and honored to receive these four Employers that Rock Awards for 2016.