For a continued focus on improving corporate culture and vision, Mechdyne Corp. was named a 2022 Excellence in Business award winner in the Employee Engagement category.
From the day Mechdyne’s doors opened in Marshalltown, IA, in 1996, the company has prioritized teammate involvement and a strong company culture. If they could get these two things right, then team members knew success would follow.
Many of these foundational elements remain in place today—continued or modified based on progress. You can see these elements reflected in several of the company’s ongoing employee engagement initiatives.
The 4-Ps: Positive Attitude, Process, Proactiveness, and Performance
Mechdyne believes its 4-Ps—rooted as the company’s values—positively impact recruitment and annual assessments.
“Having a positive attitude is incredibly important at Mechdyne,” says Jeff Brum, director of marketing and sales operations at Mechdyne Corporation. “A positive attitude brings with it the willingness to engage, interact, and help others on the team. Proactiveness is another that promotes not sitting idle but helping others when time is available or the need is urgent.”
Annual Employee Awards
To support its mission, values, and 4-Ps, teammates get to nominate one another for annual awards that align with the attributes of positivity, performance, and other traits. A committee of volunteers reviews the supporting documents submitted by each nominee’s manager and then casts their votes so those employees can be recognized by the company.
Employee-Issued Gold Cards
At any time, teammates can recognize one another for going above and beyond to support a project, issue, or initiative. This written recognition always begins with: “I found gold in Mechdyne when …”
Each quarter, the teammate who receives the most—or the most outstanding—gold cards receives recognition in several forms. Managers can even recognize outstanding work with on-the-spot bonuses.
Mechdyne’s Community Contribution Committee (CCC) promotes employee engagement at all levels—even throughout communities. Members of the CCC manage the multiple donation requests that come in from global charities or are suggested by teammates.
The CCC also finds and encourages volunteer participation in community support activities that range from cleaning parks and rivers and sponsoring disadvantaged families during the holidays to supporting homes for seniors and veterans.
A database of courses and team trainings is always available for team members to review for ongoing professional development. Participation helps team members earn credits toward career advancement. Employees are also encouraged to find external courses and develop internal training on topics they deem valuable (and they receive additional credit for doing so).
Putting Employees First
Mechdyne takes extra steps to involve employees in the business so everyone understands their impact and can be proud of the role they play in achieving success.
- The company offers annual profit sharing that also encourages teammates to use resources wisely.
- Annual strategic planning is done from the bottom up. Individual departments meet to discuss what works well and what needs improvement within their own team and across the company as a whole. Department goals are set and presentations are made to the manager, as well as to the executive team. These goals help drive the annual strategic plan.
- A corporate wellness program encourages employee engagement with healthy activities, exercise, and self-care. Employees can participate in programs to points and earn gift cards based upon participation.
Two New Employee Engagement Initiatives
In addition to these tried-and-true staples, new programs are also added to the mix based on what employees and customers need.
This year, for example, two new initiatives were rolled out to support teammate development.
Because the company believes that fulfilling its mission starts at home, it focuses on answering this question: “How can we enable teammates to discover new ways of thinking and remove obstacles to understanding themselves, each other, and the larger world?”
A voluntary Beyond the Book program brings employees together in small groups to discuss takeaways after reading a book or listening to a podcast—all in an effort to support new ways of thinking. This allows them to get to know each other across business units and on a more personal, meaningful level.
At the manager level, the company is exploring the question: “What motivates our behavior and the behavior of teammates?” Each manager took an Enneagram Assessment to identify the personality types they resonate with. From there, ongoing training grows self-awareness and acceptance of teammates who respond differently to situations.
“They find that they are beginning to more readily recognize behavior patterns in themselves and shift out of drama more quickly,” explains Brum.