LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2012) — Executives and human resource decision makers from innovative Kentucky organizations, several with global operations, convened at the University of Kentucky campus to address key workforce challenges during the UK Institute for Workplace Innovation (iwin) Roundtable meeting, held at the Hilary J. Boone Center on May 9-10. This marked the ninth meeting of the Innovative Employer Roundtable — a network of executives and human resources professionals from leading Kentucky organizations formed to address workforce management challenges of the 21st century to create high-performing work environments that boost the bottom line, employee health and work-life fit. With an aging workforce, talent shortages, and a downed economy, Kentucky organizations are seeking innovative practices shared by iwin and fellow employers about how to address these and additional emerging issues. This roundtable meeting focused on “Relationships: The Key to an Innovative Workplace” as iwin’s research demonstrates that social supports and positive relationships at work can enhance employee job satisfaction, retention and health outcomes. Roundtable meeting participants were inspired by nationally recognized researchers and practitioners who shared solutions to workforce challenges so many organizations are facing today. In addition, Dean David Blackwell from the Gatton College of Business and Economics joined the meeting to greet participants. “The relationships that iwin has created with organizations are critical to the success of the university, its students and the state,” Blackwell said. “It is fantastic to convene thought leaders to seek solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s issues.” At the meeting, representatives from 34 Kentucky organizations representing various industries and regions, came together to: Address personal biases that are pervasive in the workplace, and how these biases can serve as barriers to equitable hiring and advancement, cause stigma associated with workplace flexibility, or disrupt multi-generational teams within the workplace.Learn how organizational leaders are adopting and integrating social media strategies into business strategy to further employee engagement, recruit talent and improve customer service.Learn how SAS, the data analytics company that has topped Fortune’s list of best companies to work in 2010 and 2011 and ranked third in 2012, values people and relationships leading to the organizations’ success.Participate in a mini-workshop that provided participants with tools to learn more about employee and customer needs that can lead to producing better products and employee services. “The semiannual meeting is just one way in which our partners interact and take advantage of the benefits and services that iwin offers,” said Lynn Bertsch, director of employer engagement at iwin. Research, open forum discussion, and Web conferences on such topics as workplace flexibility, employee engagement, and creating sustainable and healthy organizations are just a handful ways iwin engages roundtable partners. Partners of iwin’s Innovative Employer Roundtable are: 3M Company; Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield; Brown-Forman; Ceridian Stored Value Solutions; Central Bank; Central Baptist Hospital; Commonwealth of Kentucky; Community Action Council; Community Trust Bank; Computer Services, Inc.; CVS Caremark; Darley America; Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC; Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP; Eastern KY Concentrated Employment Program, Inc.; EQT Corporation; Gallatin Steel Company; General Cable; GE Appliances & Lighting; Gray Construction; Harper Industries, Inc.; Hilliard Lyons; Innovative Mattress Solutions; KCTCS: Kentucky Community & Technical College System; KEMI: Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance; LG&E and KU Energy; Logan Aluminum; Norton Healthcare, Inc.; Owensboro Medical Health System; Paducah & Louisville Railway, Inc.; Papa John’s International, Inc.; Perfetti Van Melle USA, Inc.; Pikeville Medical Center; R.J. Corman Railroad Group; Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, PLLC; Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America; University of Kentucky; UK Federal Credit Union; UK HealthCare; University of Louisville; and W. Rogers Company. To see the complete agenda from the Innovative Employer Roundtable meeting, visit iwin.uky.edu/RTMay12. Participation in the Innovative Employer Roundtable is limited and by invitation only. For more information on partnership and events scheduled for 2012, please contact: Lee Ann Walton, assistant director, partner services and communications, iwin, (859) 323-0582 or visit http://iwin.uky.edu.