When Derrill Rice was named CEO of Plastic Components Inc. in September, he said what jumped out to him was the "very strong and aligned leadership" in terms of communication and other functional areas.
"That was a really big plus that translates all the way across the board to employee satisfaction with the work to how the customers see us in terms of the companies we work with. … I would say that I stepped into a foundation of a very positive cultural environment," Rice said.
The three categories of growth Rice described are communication, engagement and recognition. To those points, the company has started a regular town hall-style meeting with all associates to discuss key issues, a quarterly newsletter to "further enhance those communication activities," visual performance feedback boards for "transparency of our performance in terms of safety or efficiency or customer quality," individual development training and education, and a service award program to recognize employees for tenure, he said.
Rice added that, in the months he has been on board, the company has experienced "some really good traction to continue building our positive cultural momentum."
There are about 70 employees at the Germantown, Wis., injection molder.
The new service award program acknowledges employees for five, 10, 15 and 20-plus years at PCI with a certificate, public recognition in front of company employees and a gift.
If there's a record number of days without a lost-time incident or if there's a major breakthrough with a new program for a customer, for example, then employees are treated to a catered lunch, cookout or even a free paid day off.
PCI prides itself on retaining an aging workforce: Seven people over the age of 60 are employed at the company. Workers are also acknowledged on Veteran's Day with recognition, cake and lunch gift certificates.
After a 10-year PCI employee died in October, a GoFundMe campaign raised more than $20,000 for his family. The company rented shuttle buses and allowed employees to attend the funeral services during work hours. The conference room was renamed the Behling Room in honor of the employee.
"Historically, the owner and founder of the company, Tom Duffey, was charismatic, engaging and drove a growth organization that started some 29 years ago with two presses and a handful of sample orders," Rice said. "The result has been an opportunity for people to build lives and grow and communicate. There's a very family feeling. That laid a great foundation. My challenge, coming into that family foundation, was to build on that."