"There is so much more to be done," said Clark Reed, CEO of the St. Louis-based rubber manufacturing company, adding that with the new year, what he'd like to do as a business leader is "elevate" these pillars "from a status of a tactic … and into a level of strategy."
In fact, Reed Rubber recently established a team to develop this strategy and explore the adoption of "Rockefeller Habits," he said, noting the company has set 90-day goals and regularly holds one-on-one report meetings among management, as well as daily huddles and wrap-up sessions for employees.
"We're not only communicating and collaborating, but around the same set of goals," he said.
Reed said the company also emphasizes creating "a fabulous customer experience" by establishing a "line of sight" from its employees to its customers. Not only does this break the barriers between seller and buyer, it also helps employees understand the value of the work they do.
By doing this, the walls between the company—including the workers on the factory floor who help make the products—and its customers become more "permeable," he told Rubber News.
In the face of the Great Resignation, employee retention is dwindling nationwide as long-time employees retire and other workers change their careers, either in search of higher pay or work that is more meaningful to them.
Employees of Reed Rubber receive benefits in the traditional sense, of course, with paid holidays and paid time off; medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurances; and retirement plans with company matches. And the average starting wage is $17.50 per hour.
But Reed Rubber does more than meet the basics.
"How do you retain employees when you may not be able to pay them as well as the factory down the street?" he asked.