There is a common misconception that plastics companies have to prioritize financial performance over values. Belmont Engineered Plastics recently made headlines for its ability to do both and is an example of how a plastics company shows values through their leadership.
How the Plastics Company Shows Values
Belmont Engineered Plastics has always prioritized meeting with its employees regularly. The ownership team interacts with employees daily.
But as of late 2019, the company prioritized its values even more. During a meeting, the company’s owners discussed why they were in the industry. They shared stories about star employees and their relationships with them. This led to a decision to enrich employees’ lives.
Interactions Extend Beyond Work
As part of its values-first philosophy, Belmont Engineered Plastics has team interactions outside of work. Importantly, these are based on things the team wants to do. For example, during a meeting, two employees mentioned they wanted to learn how to paint. So, one of the owners hosted a “paint your pet” event at her house.
Enriching the Lives of Employees
The company also enriches the lives of employees in other ways. The ownership team decided to create a corporate assistance program. It began with a $50,000 investment by the company. From there, every dollar donated by an employee gets matched by $4 contributed by the company. For privacy and fairness, the program is run entirely by a third party.
Another example is that the company has always had a corporate chaplain. But there were culture and language barriers. So, they invested in a mobile app that lets employees attend 15-minute meetings with a chaplain that speaks their language.
Unsurprisingly, Belmont Engineered Plastics also has some leadership training. But instead of hiring someone to teach it, they asked an employee with a teaching degree to do so. She received extra training and was thrilled to use her degree.
Why This Approach Works
The idea that a plastics company shows values shouldn’t be rare, but it is. The idea behind it applies to other industries too. Leadership experts consistently argue that when your employees trust you, your company’s financial performance improves.
To see the extent of this belief, look at Fortune. When they list the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” trust makes up the majority of the criteria.
Data Shows the Approach Works
Data from Fortune supports this weighting. The best workplaces are those with trust between employees and managers. They tend to have higher average annualized returns as well.
And a survey from Heidrick & Struggles of 500 global CEOs shows similar results. One group stood out by connecting strategy and culture, putting people first. They had twice as much revenue growth.
Looking at Belmont Engineered Plastics, the plastics company shows values and gets higher returns as a result. Employee happiness and trust lead to good financial results. Anyone in the plastics industry can use this to their advantage. Support your employees and watch your business grow.
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