Prairie Business asked questions of several business professionals in the region about their corporate communities, how they go about attracting new talent and what they do to retain employees, among other questions. Here's how Danielle Woodard, Human Resource director at Flint Group in Fargo, N.D., responded to the magazine's questions:

Q: What does Flint Group look for in new hires to make sure they fit with its workplace culture?

A: I think a big thing we look for is a genuine personality – we want people to be themselves through the interview process so we can get to know who they are, not who they think we want them to be. We also look for candidates that are motivated, hardworking, and flexible.

Q: How do new employees learn about Flint Group’s expectations and management style?

A: Each one of our roles and managers are different. Each new employee will sit down with their manager to talk through the role, their responsibilities and expectations of them. The manager will also discuss their own leadership and communication styles as well as talking through the new employee’s communication style and what motivates them to do their best work.

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Q: What types of ongoing training or career development opportunities does Flint Group provide for employees?

A: We provide training/career development specific to each person. We recognize that everyone grows different and has different aspirations in life. Employees can plan out a specific path with their manager and work towards that at a pace they’re comfortable with and that keeps them engaged and interested in their training(s).

Q: How does Flint Group keep employees engaged in the workplace and help make them feel their work is important and valued?

A: We have several formal programs to keep employees engaged as well as some informal aspects. We have a Young Professionals Committee that is tasked with listening to employees and finding new initiatives to keep all employees engaged and loving what they do. We also have an employee recognition program where employees are recognized by fellow employees for great work they’ve done based on one of our values (Aim High Award) – the nominations are posted to a public chat channel for all employees to celebrate the nominees.

We also have quarterly townhall meetings where we go over important information regarding goals and progress in the agency; the goal is to show employees their individual impact to their teams and the agency as a whole. Informally, we try to create a creative and effective workspace for employees to do their best work. Whether it’s heads down work at their desk, working in collaborative spaces with co-workers, or working from home if that’s where they’re most productive.

Q: What measures does the company take to ensure a strong work-life balance for employees?

A: One of our values is Go where you’re needed most. We celebrate employee’s home lives and recognize that sometimes the place they need to be is at their kid’s sports game, a vet appointment for their pet, or anywhere else that needs their attention. Our employees support each other and have each other’s back when someone needs to be out of the office.

Q: What are some steps the organization has taken to become more diverse with its workforce?

A: For years we’ve held an EEOC and Affirmative Action Certification through the states we work in and have taken a look at the diversity in our workforce each year and have set goals to improve where we need to. In the past year we’ve also started working towards the launch of an IDEA Council (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility) to design a formal program that creates a nurturing culture and environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and able to succeed.