It's a fun, celebratory atmosphere at Albion, Mich.-based Team 1 Plastics Inc.
The injection molder, with nearly 70 employees, holds several company parties during the year. Its biggest one is what Team 1 President Craig Carrel calls a "winter party" since it's held during the first quarter of the year and not during the busy holidays.
The company has previously had bowling nights and casino nights, for example, but this year, Carrel said, the party involves karaoke, a disc jockey and a good meal.
The summer party is open to team members and families. Team 1 has gone to baseball games and Cedar Point, an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, and they have had inflatable bounce houses for children.
"We like to celebrate and have been focused on our safety," Carrel said. "Whenever we hit a safety milestone, usually traditionally around 500 days without a lost-time accident, we've done celebrations where we'll shut down the plant, bring in food, give gifts commemorating the event [and] take pictures. We try to celebrate around those types of occasions."
Each month, there's a different theme for team members to participate in, rather than having them wear typical work uniforms. Such themes have included days to wear pajamas, sports team apparel or ugly sweaters in December.
And then there's the "cash wheel." Two team members are selected at random to correctly answer a trivia question and spin the wheel during each monthly meeting. Employees with a birthday in the given month are also able to spin.
The prizes used to be just gift cards to local restaurants or retailers, but now employees usually win $5-$25 in cash, with the biggest prize being $100 cash or eight hours paid time off.
There's an altruistic, community atmosphere at Team 1, too. Around the holidays, the company makes a donation to a Team 1 employee's family in need, such as one that has experienced a house fire or illness. Employees are able to make donations, and the company will match the proceeds, dollar for dollar. Carrel said the amount is typically in the ballpark of $500-$1,000.
"We try to keep it anonymous because sometimes these are personal issues for people, but if it's well-known, then we'll announce [the donation]," Carrel said.
"It's a good working environment," he said. "I think people pull together and really work well as a team. … We're really focused. The thing we've learned in 30 years is it's all about the people. One of the things — as Gary [Grigowski, vice president] and I continue to develop the business and eventually move away from the day to day — is that we want to maintain the culture and the focus on the people and the value that we place on everyone."