CINCINNATI—For the second year in a row, Sur-Seal has been named among the Best Places to Work in the rubber industry for creating a positive employee atmosphere, even amidst a global pandemic.
"Sur-Seal employees embody our values of caring, curious and courageous," said Meredith Rudemiller, human resources manager at Cincinnati-based Sur-Seal. "We find that when employees care about their co-workers, their work and the customers we serve, they, in-turn, are happier employees.
"We strive to provide a productive, safe and fun working environment for our employees to thrive in. By combining hard work with great benefits, a relaxed atmosphere and fun events, we create a place where employees like to come to each day."
Creating that kind of work environment turned out to be a challenge this year.
The pandemic has affected everyone in some way, Rudemiller said. Since Sur-Seal—a producer of silicone optics, sealing technology and thermal management materials—is considered an essential business, the company needed to stay open. It remained busy throughout the year and quickly adapted to a new work environment and safety regulations for its 236 employees.
"We knew the fears, and we wanted our employees to feel as safe as possible at work," Rudemiller said. "We invested in new cleaning practices and services, altered necessary policies to help support flexibility, added in new safety guidelines and ramped up our communication. We came together, and we got even stronger."
New processes didn't just exist in safety protocols this year, they extended to the hiring process as well.
"We had planned for some professional hires in early 2020, but we had to set that aside for a few months until we had a better handle on how the pandemic would affect our business for the rest of the year and foreseeable future," said Traci Combs, talent acquisition and compensation manager at Sur-Seal.
However, one segment of the business was performing far above expectations, so the company quickly had to hire dozens of additional hourly factory employees over two months' time to meet customer demand, she said.
All interviews in April and May were conducted via teleconference because there were no visitors allowed at the facility.