Describe in detail the culture of the company and a recent experience supporting that.
The values that form our culture are RESPECT, INNOVATION, INTEGRITY, TEAMWORK, COMMITMENT, COMMUNITY, and QUALITY, All these are the root and reasons for what makes Tech Etch who we are. Tech Etch prides itself on open communication and treats all employee-owners with equal respect. We are encouraged to speak up when we have an idea, improvement, suggestion, or even complaint. In addition, we conduct periodic surveys for employee-owners to express their thoughts and opinions and have an open suggestion box that is shared with the appropriate leadership team member. Management is also incredibly honest and transparent with employee-owners regarding the business and company financials. "All Hands" meetings are conducted quarterly where our executive management team updates all employee-owners on the company's financial status and the key actions from the previous quarter, followed by a Q&A session where employee-owners have the opportunity to ask the CEO any questions.
Since Tech Etch became 100% employee-owned in 2018, we have created a team of employee-owners who work in the Operations Excellence department (OpsEx). This department is responsible for improving the efficiency of our operations and increasing the yields of the parts we make. However, they do it as a collaborative effort amongst all employee-owners who have a stakeholder interest in the improvement initiative. They brainstorm ideas as to how their jobs can be more efficient while maintaining the high-quality standards that we pride ourselves on. In 2021 the OpsEx team worked with employee-owners on 29 initiatives, resulting in over a half million dollars in savings.
While we realize that employee-owners are more beneficial than administrative owners, we do share in some of the company's decision-making as stakeholders. For example, we currently have a team of over 60 employee-owners that are working to redesign our quarterly bonus structure. This team is broken down into four committees to help design, review, test, and communicate any changes made to the plan. We are also in the middle of a Capacity Improvement Challenge (CIC) aimed to increase capacity at many of the processes and departments across Tech Etch. In order to decide which CIC initiatives to pursue, brainstorming sessions were held with cross-functional teams and employee-owners from multiple levels of the organization to generate ideas and determine the feasibility of the tasks.
Tech Etch strives to engage and have the employee-owners have FUN together. We have sponsored local events for them to be a part of, whether it’s golf outings, road races, or building and walking in the Plymouth Thanksgiving parade. We want people to genuinely like the people they work with and want to hang out together outsides our doors.
Has the company/organization offered rewards or incentives for great customer service or a positive employee attitude?
Yes, the company offers a bonus plan paid out quarterly. Each employee-owner set their own goals for the year, if met they are paid the incentive. We also celebrate achievements and milestones, for instance, we just hit our best sales month in March and are throwing a pizza party and cupcakes to celebrate. It's important to acknowledge the hard work that our employee-owners put in each an every day. We have an internal social network platform called TE Connect (Staffbase), much like Facebook, where we consistently share positive news, praise, and wins amongst all our employee-owners. It is important to recognize the hard work that our employees put in every day and communicate that we are extremely grateful.
Does the organization offer training for levels of advancement? Is there room for growth?
Yes. It is a great time to join Tech Etch as we are launching a new initiative in learning and development. We have entry-level positions all the way up to Executive Management. If you want to grow and learn, there is all the opportunity in the world for you to do so, all you have to do is communicate your wants and goals, and we will set up a personal plan and try to make it happen. It is about supporting employee empowerment! For examples, one of our employee-owners began as a Janitor and is now Vice President of Business Development. We have internal opportunities for training that will aid in career advancement as well as the launch this fall of tuition assistance, a program that will pay for college classes up front. Tuition assistance will range from fully funding people seeking GEDs to up front money for certificate and degree programs. The tuition assistance will also support the opportunity for employees to take classes in areas of interest not related to a degree or Tech Etch, simply for personal development and our belief as a company that a person who is learning and growing is a fulfilled, happy employee.
Does this organization promote from within, or hire outside when looking for employees?
Tech Etch has been around for almost 60 years and has a significant amount of employees who have been here for decades upon decades. It is important to make sure that our employee-owners are fulfilled and we promote those who want desire to move up in the company. Career advancement and job satisfaction are key to making a company successful and having happy employees. If for some reason, we do not have someone with a specific skill set, we of course would look externally. It is important to have the right person to do a job, and not solely rely on someone internal if they do not have the right qualifications. Tech Etch strives to make decisions that are best for our employee-owners and to provide quality services to the partners we work with, and that means, staffing with top notch experts in their field.
Provide an example of how this organization has recently gone above and beyond for an employee, team or client/customer.
Tech Etch worked full-time during the pandemic as an essential workforce producing medical and other mission-critical parts. Our employee-owners came together and thought of innovative ways to work safely through the pandemic. For example, a COVID relief fund was created so that if an employee was sick, they could take the day off without fear of losing their job and utilizing their earned paid time off. Fortunately, no employee-owners were displaced during the pandemic because we took numerous budget tightening actions such as delaying capital expenditure projects. This helped burden the stress on families and not make them use the time off that is meant for leisure and fun instead of using it all up for quarantine purposes. Tech Etch has the mentality of, your family is our family, and Tech Etch remains empathetic and supportive of your situation and will take care of you if something happens that is out of your control. In addition, the company provided and sourced, masks, ear savers, gloves, etc to the community and local hospitals. We also prioritized customers who needed parts for COVID-related medical machines like ventilators. We wanted to ensure we kept the health and needs of the community forefront and worked extra hours to make sure we were able to do so.
Communication is key, how effective is the organization at communication with their employees and/or client/customer? *
Communication is the utmost of importance. With over 700 employees, some who have email and some who do not, we have invested in an App (similar to Facebook) that provides updates and access to all employees. We also have an open-door policy since we are all owners and invested in the company. We have monthly leadership meetings and quarterly All Employee Meetings. Several of our corporate values, include Trust, Respect, Integrity, and Teamwork. These are all important aspects of communication.
In what ways does the organization give back to their community? Please provide an example.
Tech Etch is employee-owned and committed to our community. Tech Etch is committed to our local community through partnerships that help drive us towards a more equal and equitable future. We want to connect deeply with the communities we live and work. We have a responsibility to make the world a better place one part at a time.
As human beings, it is our responsibility to help one another. We support the people on the front lines at the heart of delivering care to our community. We are deeply dedicated and committed to helping our local hospitals (Beth Israel Deaconess Plymouth, Southcoast Health and Meeker Memorial) provide the necessary care to our community. Tech Etch was a featured contributor to Southcoast Health and featured a donor profile highlighting our history and employee ownership. Tech Etch also has donated over a million dollars to Beth Israel Deaconess in Plymouth in which their Imaging Center has been named after the company. During the Pandemic, Tech Etch designed and manufactured ear savers and donated them to the community and local hospitals as well as sourcing and donating masks to the local hospitals. It’s vitally important to give our healthcare heroes the tools they need to protect and save our local community, one human at a time. We believe we have the responsibility to change the world for the better.
We support educational initiatives that inspire the next generation engineers and business professionals. Each year, Tech Etch offers up to $10,000 in Engineering scholarships to local students in support of cultivating the knowledge and skills that lead to world-changing technologies and fulfilling careers that invest in and serve our communities.
We support organizations serving veterans, military families and an array of social welfare needs, we’re improving the communities where we live and work. We support volunteerism and our employee-owners are making a lasting impact on the lives of our neighbors.
We’ve recently partnered with Plymouth400 Inc in designing and manufacturing souvenirs in commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of Plymouth where proceeds go to support local veteran charities.
Our Transformation Team coordinates working with local non-profit organizations. For example, Habitat for Humanity cleaned up a local beach in Plymouth and helped to build and staff three floats at the Plymouth Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is one of the top three largest Thanksgiving Day parades in the country. Our employee-owners also select which charitable organizations Tech Etch donates to each year. These include but are not limited to the Nathan Hale Foundation, local public schools, local hospitals, the Boys and Girls Club, South Shore Community Action Council, Plymouth Area Coalition, the local YMCA, and many others. In addition, We also supported Plymouth's Fourth of July Fireworks celebration and the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce's "Plymouth Scallop Roll," an art installation project at the waterfront in downtown Plymouth.
Are you actively hiring/recruiting outside your organization?
Yes, we are always looking for reliable quality people to join our Tech Etch Family.