A metal fabrication company’s culture matters, not just for its employees, but for the customers who rely on their workmanship. When those customers are our nation’s military branches, the stakes are even higher.
Whether you’re a contractor issuing a request for proposal (RFP) or an individual submitting an application for employment, look for the following qualities in the metal fabrication company’s culture.
The most successful teams have a growth mindset and are willing and eager to learn and adapt when needed. They’re not afraid to ask questions. They’re also inquisitive, exploring ways to improve and identifying the why behind the what — going beyond treating symptoms to identifying root causes.
The company plays a big role in empowering its employees and fostering continuous improvement by ensuring an open door policy where all ideas are welcome. The company should also invest in its people, their facility, and equipment. As an example, Fox Valley Metal-Tech developed mentorship programs, offers tuition reimbursements, and invests significantly in training to provide sustainable career paths. Fox Valley Metal-Tech also invests in state-of-the-art equipment and added 75,000 sq. ft. of facility space to accommodate growth and the needs of its employees.
Transparency is the key to any successful relationship, and the same goes for a company and its employees. Being forthcoming about information, whether it’s about a mistake or facts that could impact a project, is imperative for a healthy culture. Just as critical is a sense of understanding when issues arise, and a willingness to listen and learn.
Honesty is closely associated with respect; you can’t have one without the other. A company with a vibrant culture treats everyone with dignity and values the unique role each plays, whether they’re at a workstation or in a corner office.
At Fox Valley Metal-Tech, shop floor employees have a voice and work closely with leaders to improve processes and ideate better ways of doing things. Many of the innovations in our custom metal fabrication processes and techniques are a direct result of the feedback and ingenuity of those doing the hands-on work every day. All employees can be proud of the work they accomplish together and do their part to demonstrate that everyone is important and that their role is valued and needed.
Doing what’s right for employees, suppliers, and customers and following through on commitments sounds straightforward enough, but not all companies practice this core value. Integrity includes more than just doing what you say you will, it requires doing so in a legal, ethical, and fair manner. At Fox Valley Metal-Tech, we’re relentlessly dedicated to operating with integrity every day.
Ensuring a company achieves production requirements and employee satisfaction is a delicate balance. The manufacturing of complex custom fabrications with extremely tight tolerances doesn’t take place on an assembly line and requires patience, an attentive eye, and a steady hand at each touchpoint. Because of the nature of custom work, there are more options for flexible schedules like four-day work weeks and summer hours. Likewise, an attentive company will offer accelerated vacation benefits to reward employees who make it their long-term career.
Customer satisfaction is at the core of any project, so flexibility is also required when those customers request changes. Employees need to have a customer-first attitude and understand that added work or going above and beyond might sometimes be necessary.
When teams demonstrate the core values outlined above, an engaged workforce becomes a natural outflow of that behavior. Camaraderie among employees can be strengthened by companies that invest in their employees beyond just their work duties. Examples at Fox Valley Metal-Tech include golf outings, holiday parties, fundraising events, toy drives, and onsite food trucks during the summer months. Providing a place of respite to get away from the shop floor is important, too, including clean, quiet, well-stocked break rooms or lounge areas.
There are some misconceptions about the metal fabrication industry. One is that it’s a dirty, grimy, dangerous profession. Those are woefully outdated stereotypes that are difficult to overcome. The truth is, companies like Fox Valley Metal-Tech are innovators in the industry, providing climate-controlled workstations, advanced HVAC systems to maintain air quality, and diligent protocols to ensure OSHA compliance. Fox Valley Metal-Tech even invested in LED lighting to improve visibility while also reducing its carbon footprint. Employees know their safety is a priority.
No one is an island unto oneself. Employees need to be tuned in and engaged in the work they do, participate in meaningful conversations, and have the company’s goals in mind, not just their individual tasks. They also need to be willing to step across the aisle to help another teammate or provide insights to estimators, schedulers, and other team members. Collaboration can also happen away from a workstation by getting involved in wellness or safety committees, event planning, or other company initiatives.
Fox Valley Metal-Tech is a growing metal fabrication company located in Green Bay, Wisconsin and is adding to its team. If you want to be a part of a strong culture and value the characteristics described here, explore our career opportunities and contact us. We’re ready to listen.