(L to R) Joe Plante, Nerissa Morris and Alecia Kintner on ArtsWrap with Alecia

Hear the full discussion with Nerissa Morris and Joe Plante on episode seven of ArtsWrap with Alecia, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Unhappy employees create an economic toll of over $7.8 trillion worldwide, according to Gallup. In its State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report, the pollster reveals discontent among employees is at a record high, while showing a link between employee engagement and performance outcomes, such as retention and productivity. For companies to compete, their employees need to feel connected to their workplace, colleagues and community. In Cincinnati, many companies are turning to the arts to provide these essential connections.

"[Arts] are important...in how they bring our employees together...and that's important to us as employers... Art is a part of who we are," says Nerissa Morris, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). With hundreds of works of art adorning the hospital walls and an active employee choir, Morris believes the arts play a key role in employee engagement. Many internal meetings start with a "name that tune" game. The hospital was the first of dozens of companies regionally to partner with ArtsWave to bring performing artists into Zoom meetings held with employees during the peak of the COVID crisis.

In May of 2023, CCHMC plans to participate in ArtsWave's second annual corporate battle-of-the-bands competition, CincyJams, to engage employees outside of the office. Likewise, at GE Aerospace, Joe Plante, Senior Human Resources Business Partner, uses the two bands they will have in CincyJams as a way for employees to connect with each other out in the community. "In the last few years, the importance of those offsite, in-person connections has really increased… the arts can be such a uniter of people,'' says Plante.

Arts participation also sparks new ways of thinking and inventing, driving innovation in the workplace, according to research in PLOS ONE. This is important to GE Aerospace: "In our purpose statement, we talk about inventing the future of flight," says Plante, adding. "That can't be done without new, creative solutions to business and engineering problems."

GE Aerospace and CCHMC are just two of hundreds of local companies in the region that use the power of the arts to create connection to their organization, the community and ultimately, to retain top talent that grows their business.