In this time of “the great resignation,” employees have a sense of mobility that we, as employers, need to acknowledge. At Cirtronics, we maintain an extremely low turnover rate! We know we’re lucky, but it takes much more than luck alone.
First, we need to acknowledge the kind of changes and challenges our employees are experiencing and take steps to meet them where they are on their journey. Second, we need to understand our employee-owners both from a demographic perspective and as individuals.
Our company is going through a period of accelerated change. In the past year, we hired over 30 people (our headcount is around 220). We have great diversity in the demographics of our employee-owners. The ages of our employees range from the early 20’s to mid-70’s. Our long-term employees have been with us for 15, 20 or 30 years and more. Unique generational expectations and emotional responses to significant organizational change requires that we be creative with how we sustain our culture and retain our employee-owners.
How do we do this?
Communication: We are as transparent as possible with where we are against our shipment goals daily. We share our financials. Our quality reports. Our returns. We minimize the kinds of surprises that could be unnerving. As an employee-owned company, everyone has a stake in our success. So, we make what some may feel is an extra effort to ensure everyone has access to company information. To be honest, it isn’t an extra effort for us. It’s just something we do.
Individual Growth: We focus on each individual. In HR, we encourage open conversations about interests and internal mobility. And then we provide support. Job shadowing, cross training, introductions to new equipment and processes, and professional development like leadership and change management training… these are some of the direct ways we help support individuals’ professional goals.
Work/Life Balance: We recognize our employees’ expectations of a work/life balance. Cirtronics provides every employee with the flexibility to adapt their work schedules. And, a new remote work policy has been well received to assist employees in meeting real-life needs. At Cirtronics, work/life balance isn’t just a catchphrase.
Culture of Service: One of our foundational values is a culture of service. Motivated by our Quality Policy of the 6 We Serve – our 6 constituents (Customer, Corporation, Community, Environment, Supplier and Employee-Owner), we offer 30 paid volunteer hours to any full-time employee owner for use, from school field trip chaperoning to highway clean-up or food pantry meal preparation. We build bridges, literally and figuratively. Working together to support our community and environment builds teams, humility, and a shared sense of purpose beyond our walls; it builds pride in our company.
Ice Cream: We truly value our employee-owners. Food brings us together, and, as the saying goes, food is love. We create special events to mark changes in season, big meetings, milestones, etc. But it’s the daily things we do that truly matter. We’ve created special food days that have become part of our work-week rhythm. One day we offer popcorn, another, fresh fruit, and a favorite is ice cream day. We have found that something as simple as providing something yummy, consistently, on the same day, week after week, can make the workplace feel more like home.
If you or someone you know is looking for a great place to work, visit our careers page
For more great ESOP content and a copy of this article, you can download The New England Chapter of the ESOP Association newsletter, The Beacon.