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Global Plastics Company Reinforces Culture,
Improves Employee Engagement
INCOE Corporation, a 100% family-owned, global business, maintains a close-knit culture imperative to continued success. Concerned that growth might affect employee engagement, the company chose the Energage Workplace Survey survey to gather employee feedback, highlight emerging challenges, and create an action plan for improvement. Since 2016, INCOE has earned the Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces award five years in a row. They were also named a 2021 National Top Workplaces USA winner.
Communication Challenges as Company Expands
Recently, INCOE experienced a period of growth and embarked on a Lean Manufacturing program. While necessary, it came with inherent communication risks.
Tim Chisholm, Global Director of Human Resources, explains, “We don’t want to lose ourselves just because we get bigger. It’s like the telephone game. With four kids, you might have a similar message by the end. Increase to 10, and that message has more opportunity to change.”
Employee Engagement Critical to Success
For INCOE, the family culture builds engaged employees and represents an essential component. “We are in a competitive business, and we understand that our culture can give us an advantage,” states Chisholm.
“One of the things that sets us apart is our customer service, and that stems from our employees. So if their morale starts to slip, the impact would be quite large.”
Survey Gives Snapshot of Workplace Culture
Looking for a more accurate picture of employee engagement, INCOE turned to the Workplace Survey, the same survey that powers the Top Workplaces program. The survey, first administered in 2015, highlighted key areas for improvement.
Chisholm reports, “The survey results showed that we had a morale issue in our design department and that we needed to do a better job making sure that communication is getting out there.”
“The biggest secret to success is that everything comes from your people. The Top Workplaces award is a wonderful thing, but that was gravy. What was most important to us was getting good feedback from our employees.”
Tim Chisholm, Director of Human Resources
After immediately addressing the morale issue, Chisholm and his team initiated a multifaceted approach to communication, including:
- An open-door policy from the top down.
- Rewards for employee suggestions.
- Anonymous call-in line.
- Free, confidential counseling services.
- Education sessions to explain benefits programs.
“We don’t look at these programs as a cost,” says Chisholm. “We see them as more of an opportunity. It’s worth every dollar.”
INCOE scored 14 percent above the Manufacturing Metal Products benchmark, a 5 percent increase over the prior year.
Source: Workplace Survey
Michigan Top Workplaces Winner
When INCOE issued the next survey in 2016, INCOE earned a spot on the Detroit Free Press 2016 Top Workplaces list. “It was great. We made that list, but we still saw some things in the survey that we addressed immediately,” remarked Chisholm.
For Chisholm, the Top Workplaces award took a back seat to increased employee engagement. “As employees saw us integrating their co employees’ ideas, it opened it up for even more employees to come forward and share their thoughts,” he concluded. “People have a lot of ideas. You’ve just got to stop and listen.”
INCOE scored 26 percent above the Manufacturing-Metal Products benchmark for the “Clued-In Leaders” statement, an increase of 7 percent over the prior year.
Source: Workplace Survey