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Ocean State Job Lot wins first place at the Inspiring Workplaces Awards

By Staff | Jun 29, 2022

Paul Cox, Director of Store Operations, Ocean State Job Lot; Ruth Dance, Chief Inspiration Officer, Inspiring Workplaces; Margaux Bessette, Associate Experience & Engagement Specialist, Ocean State Job Lot; Bob Selle, Chief People Officer, Ocean State Job Lot; Lauren Minutoli, Director of Associate Experience & Engagement, Ocean State Job Lot.

North Kingstown, R.I. – Ocean State Job Lot, the region’s premier discount retail chain with 148 stores across the Northeast, is proud to announce it won first place in the Enterprise Business category (5,000+ employees) at the inaugural Top 50 Inspiring Workplaces in North America Awards in New York on June 22.

The Inspiring Workplaces Awards recognizes forward-thinking and people-first organizations. The companies that earned distinction as Inspiring Workplaces were evaluated in six main categories: Culture and Purpose; Leadership; Well-being; Inclusion; Communication; and Experience.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as an Inspiring Workplace,” said Bob Selle, Chief People Officer, Ocean State Job Lot. “Ocean State Job Lot prides itself as a company that cares; our leaders always put people before profits, which translates into attracting and retaining associates who care deeply for their fellow associates and their communities. This award is indicative of the impact of our commitment to creating a positive company culture, and we are honored and proud to be recognized.”

Not only did OSJL place first overall, but it was also the winner in three of the six categories: Culture and Purpose, Leadership, and Employee Experience.

According to the Inspiring Workplace Awards judges, OSJL’s strongest award element was the company’s inclusivity. OSJL set a powerful precedent with strategic hiring practices and race & ethnicity demographics – underpinned by their core value: Embrace Diversity; Everyone is Welcome.

“We pursue and embrace creating a diverse team of associates, and an equitable and inclusive environment,” said Paul Cox, Director of Store Operations, Ocean State Job Lot. “Our policies set expectations and processes for attracting, including, developing and retaining a diverse workforce, which reflect the demographics of the communities we serve.”

In less than 18 months, the percentage of store associates who identified as persons of color increased from 24.8% to 28.8%. Corporate and distribution center associates represent more than 40 different countries of origin with seven language dialects. Gender diversity among leadership has also increased over the past three years; 66% of Regional Director roles, the top leadership position on the store level, are held by women.

Said one judge, “Navigating through a global pandemic in the retail sector is tough but this organization has taken away so many learnings, listened to their people and gone to great lengths to put the overall wellbeing and needs of their people first. Some remarkable statistics and success stories alongside some incredible work.”


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