Employer Spotlight: EDEN, Inc.
Engage! Cleveland is proud to have over 70 employer members who support our cause of making Cleveland a lasting home for the next generation. Please join us in welcoming our newest member by reading about them below.
What does your ideal workplace look like? If you’re someone who loves a nimble, creative, and action-oriented environment where the organization is dedicated to helping you not only grow in your career but find a sense of purpose in your work, then look no further than EDEN, Inc., a nonprofit based in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood dedicated to strengthening the community and serving individuals and families facing homelessness or housing insecurity.
It started with just 1 building and three staff members. Fast forward twenty-eight years later, and EDEN develops, owns, and manages 11 permanent supportive housing facilities (PSHs); manages another two PSHs; owns and manages over 70 scattered site properties, including independent living properties, residential care facilities, safe havens, a recovery house, and a women’s shelter; and administers 11 affordable housing programs, which provide housing and related services to nearly 3,000 households each month. Moreover, the nonprofit also partners with dozens of community-based agencies in order to link clients with various services and support them in obtaining and maintaining their housing. EDEN’s original staff of three has grown to almost 150 employees with about 40 of whom are young professionals.
When searching for new employees and future organizational leaders, EDEN recognizes that Millennial and Gen Z job seekers well represent the qualities EDEN values as most critical to success. For one, the work at EDEN is centered on supporting the most vulnerable members of the community, so EDEN needs employees who care deeply about the people and the neighborhoods the organization serves. In other words, those who don’t just talk-the-talk, but also walk-the-walk.
According to Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2019, 49 percent of Millennial and Gen Z workers report making a positive impact in their communities as a priority in their lives, which makes them a perfect fit for the organization. Moreover, as a nonprofit deeply devoted to its mission, EDEN needs to be nimble, creative, and action-oriented in order to quickly and effectively adapt to meet the changing needs of the populations it serves. EDEN knows that no one fits that bill more than young professionals.
As many think pieces and listicles will tell you, Millennials often look for a distinct feature in ideal workplaces, such as a sense of purpose, opportunities to learn and advance, flexibility, and true responsibility and challenge. At EDEN, some of those features are naturally built into the organization’s work. Although it has grown significantly over the last twenty-eight years, EDEN is still a lean crew, which means it doesn’t have a lot of time or manpower for tasks that aren’t critical, and it relies on go-getters who think outside the box and take charge on projects. Both because EDEN’s mission is inherently based on strengthening the community and because the work the nonprofit does day-to-day is mission-critical, jobs at the organization are all about purpose. Finally, with an eye toward employee satisfaction and both thoughtfulness and creativity about how EDEN gets the job done, the nonprofit is rolling out flexible schedule and remote-work programs in various departments.
People generally spend at least eight hours a day at their jobs – that’s a huge portion of their lives. EDEN believes a job should be more than a place people clock in, grind, and clock out, and that the best way for an organization to give back to young professionals is to be mindful about what their experience at work is like. That’s why the nonprofit actively develops a culture wherein any employee can bring thoughts and ideas to management and be genuinely heard. It’s why EDEN’s list of organizational values (which hangs everywhere in the office) includes respect, skill development, and empowerment – and also humor. It’s also why the nonprofit is incorporating flexible schedule and remote-work programs. EDEN is the kind of place where top leadership invites and takes seriously ideas about how to improve as an attractive and competitive workplace, so it’s always evolving based on the thoughts and feedback of young professionals.