Thanks to Sue Bingham of HPWP Consulting for this short video - a wonderful example of a company, Southeastern Mills, where culture and the engagement of the workforce have created an amazingly successful food products business.
I just received a note from Sue with this incredible story about Southeastern Mills:
...their annual turnover is less than 4% (310 employees), they pay for all reasonable and necessary absence with attendance metrics varying between 98.5% - 99.5%, and, as long as 5+ years without a recordable incident.
When they lost a major customer, they involved everyone in identifying how to take $1.2 million out of the business in 60 days with the only restriction that no one could lose their job. They successfully identified more than that amount.
As their president at the time stated: "The good news is we did it. The bad news is it was there." They attributed a 60% decrease in waste (significant dollars in the food business) almost entirely to employee engagement.
In my humble opinion, this is a perfect example of the kind of company culture and leadership mindset that is essential for any organization to thrive in the future. We are transitioning from an industrial economy to an era in which information, ideas, and networked intelligence determine strategic success. The industrial-age management approaches that got us where are we are today just won't work in a world of information abundance, an educated workforce, and a global economy that changes the rules for success almost daily.
I am convinced it is time for most organizations to put "Command and Control" management out to pasture and replace it with "Empower and Respect."
Who knows where the next Big Idea will come from? Create a work environment in which your people are actively engaged, respected, and able to converse with each other at all levels and in all parts of the company, and you will almost be guaranteed long-term success.
What companies do you know of (or belong to) that are as people-centric as Southeastern Mills?