7 Ways to Reduce Rising Healthcare Costs

Posted by Jeff LaCrosse

Nov 10, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

With medical insurance premiums at all-time highs, and rising each year, it is important to identify and understand a few practices that would help keep premium costs down.  Here at Fusion, we have personally seen a rise in HMO employee-only premiums of 2.5x over the past 8 years with a current rate of inflation under 2%.  Medical costs, including insurance, have grown to be one of the most significant expenses for families.

The best way to keep your medical costs to a minimum is staying healthy.  Practicing a wellness lifestyle by both eating right and exercising remains the best way to live well, but there are many actions you can take to lower your health care costs beyond choosing affordable health insurance. Below find 7 tips on reducing these expenses:

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Topics: culture, accounting

3 Overlooked Elements of Building a Great Culture

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Jul 21, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

This week, Fusion OEM celebrated being among the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in Chicago for the fifth year in a row. Additionally, we also won an Elite Award for our work in Employee Achievement and Recognition. Earning these awards reflects our sound culture of employee engagement, which allows us to retain top talent and reap the benefits of a loyal workforce committed to the future success of our business.

To win these awards, we were assessed by an independent research firm which reviewed a number of key measurements related to: compensation, benefits and employee solutions; employee enrichment, engagement and retention; employee education and development; recruitment, selection and orientation; employee achievement and recognition; communication and shared vision; diversity and inclusion; work-life balance; community initiatives; and strategic company performance.

At the awards ceremony, I was surrounded by like-minded colleagues who all care deeply about their teams. It was rewarding to learn from companies in a variety of industries on what works for them and where they may be an opportunity for improvement. Here are three lessons that resonated with me:

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Topics: employee engagement, culture

6 Essential Factors of a Great Small Business

Posted by Craig Zoberis

May 26, 2017 6:01:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes 

I and the Fusion team are thrilled to announce that we made the 2017 list of Forbes Small Giants, a recognition awarded to 25 small businesses that “value greatness over growth, have been acknowledged as outstanding by others in their field and are engaged in initiatives from which any business can gain insights”. This one-time award places Fusion in the company of local esteemed companies such as Integrated Project Management, Basecamp, Tasty Catering, ABT Electronics, and Radio Flyer. Based on the best-selling book by Bo Burlingham, companies receiving this award have mastered six factors:

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Topics: Awesome Place To Work, employee engagement, small business, culture

Manager, Not a Leader, Creating a Positive Culture

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Jan 27, 2017 6:11:38 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds 

Forward thinking companies like Fusion OEM are implementing innovative solutions that enhance our recruitment and retention initiatives. A healthy work environment has kept us competitive and prepared for scaling the business according to customer demand. This environment is cultivated by our dedicated Management Team – they are the decisive factor in winning the hearts and minds of our employees. As the global demand for talented manufacturing employees becomes stronger than ever, this commitment and more necessary than ever.

We talked to our Machine Shop Manager, Davin, to learn more about the best practices for manufacturing managers. Below please find four tips for Department Managers to create an engaged team:

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Topics: culture

3 Tips in Offering Manufacturing Bonuses

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Jan 20, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds

A plaque, catered lunch, gift certificates – when it comes to employee recognition, many traditional programs have high cost but little cultural impact. One distinctive solution Fusion employs with regard to compensation is the practice of merit pay. Like some companies, Fusion bases employee annual increases on performance or merit. However, Fusion’s approach to merit pay does not stop with annual increases. In addition to annual merit based increases, Fusion supports on-the-spot bonus rewards when employees perform above and beyond expectations. Employees are not limited to a once-a-year increase in pay based on merit. On-the-spot compensation may occur repeatedly throughout the year. This contributes to a culture of confidence that breaths accountability in a natural, unforced way.

Below please find three tips on implementing a successful spot bonus program for your manufacturing team:

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Topics: employee engagement, culture

Top 3 Characteristics of a Successful Manufacturing Team

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Dec 2, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes, 30 Seconds

In my last post, I listed the things for which I am most grateful. Included in that list was my Rockstar management team, namely because their effectiveness frees up my time to work ON the business instead of being mired IN the business. They are passionate, engaged, and work hard to live out our Core Values every day. The question I get most often is, how did I cultivate such an amazing team? Below find the top three characteristics needed when building a successful manufacturing team:

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Topics: culture

Gratitude is a Gift

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Nov 18, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes

Out of our six Core Values at Fusion OEM, I believe that Show Gratitude is the most important.  Our management team firmly believes that possessing a strong sense of gratitude is the key element to an individual’s pursuit of happiness. Gratitude is a gift, both to possess and to share with others. In today’s blog, I would like to share the things I am grateful for with you.

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Topics: culture, leadership

Great Interview Questions for Manufacturing Talent – Part Three

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Nov 11, 2016 6:37:22 PM

Read Time: 4 Minutes 

What separates the good candidates from the great? In the first and second part of this series, we established that often the dealbreaker is soft skills, traits that enable someone to interact successfully with other people. Now, we’ll discuss the deeper dive into assessing each manufacturing applicant’s character, achieved via our final interview.

The final interview is unique to Fusion and offers an array of insight for several reasons. By bringing in an applicant for a second time, we can ensure that their demeanor is consistent. Were they enthusiastic the first time and reserved the second? Did they emphasize teamwork during the first interview and later reveal a preference to work alone later on? Furthermore, it gives the applicant an opportunity to meet with potential future coworkers, who might pick up on things that you’ve missed in previous interactions.

During this meeting, candidates meet with their prospective Department Manager, team members, and other company leaders. The collective goal ensure that hiring the applicant is a good decision for the company as a whole. Below find a sample of the questions used during this last step of the process:

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Topics: core values, hiring, culture

Great Interview Questions for Manufacturing Talent – Part Two

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Nov 4, 2016 7:19:40 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes

In the first part of this series, we discussed how we revamped our phone interview questions to identify soft skills, characteristics that enable someone to interact effectively with other people. A majority of the time people are fired from their jobs because of soft skills in manufacturing, rather than hard skills. Manufacturers need to focus more on soft skills since you can always train hard skills, but you cannot train people to have the right outlook. In short, we hire for attitude and train for aptitude.

As a result, we took the redesign of our hiring process even further, and applied this new perspective to the next step: face to face interviews. During this meeting, candidates meet with their prospective Department Manager, whose goal is to get to know the applicant as thoroughly as possible in order to properly assess their soft skills. Below find a sample of the questions used during this portion of the process:  

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Topics: hiring, culture

Great Interview Questions for Manufacturing Talent – Part One

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Oct 28, 2016 6:31:51 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds

In today’s economy, the search for manufacturing talent is more intense than ever. Reports of the widening skills gap – and the resulting competition for qualified applicants - appear in the news practically every day. As a rapidly expanding contract manufacturer, Fusion OEM has successfully addressed this issue by redesigning our hiring process to attract and retain the best and brightest applicants.

Prior to this change, our phone screening processes weren’t as conducive to discovering soft skills, characteristics that enable someone to interact effectively with other people. Instead, we used a series of written tests to measure technical aptitude. This traditional method did not lead to building much-needed conversations to find out who our applicants were. We wanted to know their strengths, their weaknesses, their goals, passions – who they were as people, not a set of scores. We place as much, if not more, emphasis on hiring an applicant that will fit culturally within our organization than hiring an applicant with superior technical skills. Therefore, we revamped our phone screening interview by adding the following questions:

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Topics: hiring, culture

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