To ensure workplace values, integrity and relationships are held to a high standard at Dymotek Corp., officials created their own word: Dymotegrity.
"Our company's ethical cornerstone is the foundation of every relationship. … Everyone — the folks on the floor — they have genuine pride in what they're doing," Dymotek CEO Norm Forest said. "They understand why they matter and how they support the whole. It goes beyond that to the level of our customers, suppliers, each other [and] associates.
"I don't think there's anything [else] like it. … I've said, 'Look, if there's a whiff of anything at the company at either facility that doesn't meet this standard, I want to know of it so I can make a corrective action,' " he added.
Dymotek is an Ellington, Conn.-based custom injection molder with about 91 employees. Forest said the company hired around 10 new employees in the past year.
Toward the end of 2017, the company kicked off a technical apprenticeship program, also known as TAP, for "folks who aspire to want to learn more and might have a technical aptitude," Forest said.
Also started last year was Forest's implementation of writing thank you cards and greeting cards for birthdays and anniversaries.
"There's a person who took on a new role and say, for example, the supervisor was sick, so the person just jumped into the role and took over for them for a while, so of course I wrote a letter as opposed to just a pat on the back," he said. "It just means a lot more."
Dymotek has paid 100 percent its employees' dental and vision coverage premiums for a while now, but in recent years it started matching employees' 401(k) contributions.
"We're all in the same boat here where we've vying for the same reduced number of workforce in the area, so we really need to have a [benefits] package that is stronger than our competitors a couple miles away," Forest said.
The company also hosts a summer family event, complete with cookout and a bounce house, as well as a fall festival on a farm and an off-site holiday luncheon. And charitable events are also important: When an employee died last year, the company raised money for the employee's surviving son.
Health is a priority at Dymotek, too.
There's free fresh produce from the owner's garden, free flu shots, a lunchtime walking program and even wellness bingo, where each bingo square is a different health-focused activity such as walking 10,000 steps or being active for five days in a row. Employees who score a "bingo" are entered for a drawing for a Ninja kitchen blender or Fitbit fitness tracker.
In an effort to keep communication with employees open and honest, Forest holds CEO roundtables where he discusses anything and everything in a one-on-one setting. The roundtables are typically held twice per year.
"What I always do is I will start off with what's going on in the business that day, and then I will turn it over to them to ask me any question they want to know about absolutely anything. … If they don't have a question, then I'll ask them a question," he said. "It's just to get them to be comfortable. Sometimes for newcomers, they might be a little timid about sharing. So, it's just to get them to interact and to feel comfortable."
Forest said he values most a sense of involved ownership and care in a Dymotek employee.
"I want to surround myself with owners," he said. "Someone who is going to own what they're doing and take pride in it."