At plastics recycler West Michigan Compounding, employees are evaluated annually through an internal process called PAED, which stands for Performance Attitude Experience Drive. Each employee is evaluated on those four variables.
Based on that evaluation, the employee is considered for advancement at the company.
"That has always been our first choice, to evaluate anybody internally for advancement opportunities. Our key performers and team members with the best attitudes are the ones given those chances," President Scott Barnard said.
Barnard said many of the company's employees have come to the business having no experience in plastics.
"Our ability to retain those employees and build up their confidence within the industry and within the company and our long-term nature towards our business and the owners of the company did not extract a dollar from the business for over 10 years, and all the profits from the organizations were put back into the company to be able to provide benefits to be able to provide the opportunities for our employees to grow with the company because the key to our success is being able to retain our employees for a long time," Barnard said.
WMC is ranked No. 9 on Plastics News' 2019 Best Places to Work list.
Nearly 15 years old, WMC provides service awards to its employees in the form of a bonus, gift and plaque. Of the 78 employees at WMC, five employees have worked for the company for at least 10 years.
"That's a key attribute of our organization: A lot of the people who have started with the company are key members of our leadership team," he said.
Additionally, based on company performance, employees are given a bonus at the end of the year that equates to 2 percent of their annual pay.
"Even though I say that it's based on company performance, we've never not paid it in our 15 years," Barnard said.
Fun activities at WMC include celebrating National Ice Cream Day or National Pie Day as well as playing trivia and touch football. Popcorn and a variety of beverages are available for free. The annual summer outing is a trip to a local amusement park.
A committee is set up to vote on community service initiatives. WMC recently donated $2,500 to the Humane Society and also had employees bring in pet food and toys for donation. Those who participated in the donation put their names in a raffle for gift certificates and paid time off.
The company has adopted a road, participated in a community back-to-school event, sponsored a veteran and more. WMC's typical budget for charitable work is around $25,000.
"I would say the positive attitude around our company is very contagious, just like a bad attitude can be. We recognize that, and we promote that within our company," Barnard said. "It's one of the key things we look at from a promotions standpoint. It's definitely a family atmosphere within our group and the friendship we have among each other."