Specialty Fabrics Review June 2019 - 39

and he surveys associates verbally
and electronically (for anonymity).
"You have to try many things and
keep it fresh," he says. "Employees have
different hot buttons. Some like teambuilding activities; others like recognition
or an occasional gift. It's not a one-sizefits-all approach."
Cross-training is also important for
keeping employees engaged; offering
shift flexibility can be effective as well.
For example, over the past decade MKM
implemented four-day workweeks with
10-hour shifts, giving employees three-day
weekends. Goodwin-Cole offers flex-time
for certain sections.
"Now, some in the factory work 6:00
a.m. to 2:30; the welder works 5:00 to 1:30;
sales works 8:00 to 4:30 and some sales

works 7:00 to 3:30," Kirkwood explains.
"This allows for easier commuting, all
are overlapped and morale is better."
Kirkwood says Goodwin-Cole also
has weekly operations meetings where
employees can voice concerns, discuss
projects and discuss other items of interest.
The meetings have increased productivity
and fostered a stronger sense of belonging.
The benefits Poe offers have changed
over the years in response to employee
needs. "There was a time when health
insurance was more important to our
then-employees than vacation time or
the base wage," she explains. "So, we
made sure to offer health insurance to
those employees. That has changed.
Now, we offer higher base wages and
more time off."

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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review June 2019

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