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

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

Emotional Intelligence in Today's Manufacturing World

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Aug 5, 2016 6:41:59 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

Every manufacturer is looking to attract and retain great talent. As we all have heard before, products can easily be copied, technological innovation can prove fleeting, and more facilities can be built, but the quality of manufacturing talent, its passion and commitment, is nearly impossible to duplicate. As the great Jim Collins states, Packard’s Law (David Packard of HP) in the book How the Mighty Fall, “No company can consistently grow revenues faster than its ability to get enough of the right people to implement that growth and still become a great company. [And] if a company consistently grows revenue faster than its ability to get enough of the right people to implement that growth, it will not simply stagnate; it will fall.” Teams are at the very foundation of an organization, and they won’t work effectively without mutual trust and a common commitment to goals.

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Topics: contract manufacturer, oem, employee engagement

Increasing Productivity through Daily Inspiration

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Jun 24, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 1 Minute, 30 Seconds 

While many manufacturing leaders want to increase their company’s bottom line, only a few are
tapping into the greatest tool in their arsenal: inspiring their employees. At Fusion OEM, we know that instilling motivation can be a challenge, but it's the essential driving factor that leads to both increased productivity and higher retention rates. We have implemented a variety of methods to keep our team inspired, from sharing quotes in our Daily Huddle, on postcards, and even on the mirrors in our bathrooms. Our latest inspiration technique is written on the wall – literally.

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Topics: employee engagement, culture

A Low-Cost Way of Benchmarking Employee Engagement

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Jun 3, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds

Last week, Fusion OEM celebrated being among the companies that were named to the 16th annual Daily Herald Business Ledger's Annual Best Places to Work in Illinois program. Winners were ranked based on a written survey of the company and interviews with a sampling of its employees. We originally applied for the award to get a low-cost outside source to benchmark where we were and to identify opportunities for improvement. Rather than hire a HR Consultant, we wanted a simple and relatively inexpensive method to sample genuine feedback from our team. Results from this thorough employee sample confirmed what we already knew: employee engagement is the fuel that drives the value of our company. The 74 companies winning the award enjoyed a 91 percent employee engagement rate, according to Best Companies Group President Peter Burke.

Keynote speaker Tony Lepore, Director of Brand Strategy at Shaker Recruitment Advertising & Communications, identified four areas of employer branding that can help companies capitalize on winning this award:

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Topics: employee engagement

3 Reasons Why Your Manufacturing Company Needs a Great Culture

Posted by Craig Zoberis

May 27, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes

As a manufacturing executive, you have probably devoted a great deal of time to developing your company’s strategy. However, if you haven’t given an equal amount of thought to your company’s culture, you could be missing the mark. Company culture guides employee decisions about both technical business issues as well as their behaviors towards their team members. Good culture creates unity in actions taken by a very diverse group of employees.

While you may be inclined to believe that company culture cannot be “engineered,” and that it just happens, the truth is that being intentional in creating culture is what will give your manufacturing company a competitive advantage. It is true that culture happens whether you want it to or not. Therefore, the very decision to not try to create a company culture, or worse, to not have company values, is in fact your choice of what culture will prevail – and not for the better. Here are three reasons that culture is just as critical as your company’s strategy:

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Topics: employee engagement, culture

Caustic Management Behaviors in Manufacturing

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Feb 26, 2016 3:24:31 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds

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In the manufacturing industry, management performance is an increasingly hot topic. Entrepreneurs in the manufacturing world now require their Department Managers to effectively lead so that they can work on their business, not in their business. To remain competitive, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need to continually improve efficiency and effectiveness, and that can’t be done without the right management team in place. An article from Beth Miller of Entrepreneur.com, 7 Caustic Management Behaviors to Avoid, outlines the red flags to look for when evaluating manager performance. At Fusion OEM, we have developed a company culture of communication and respect that eliminates these problems before they begin. Essential elements of our culture that foster successful working relationships are:

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Topics: employee engagement, management

Fusion's Rookie Engineer

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Feb 12, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 15 Seconds

At Fusion OEM, our relationships are centered on transparency, and this belief extends to our recruitment and retention strategies. We are a 50 employee contract manufacturing company comprised of machinists, assemblers, and engineers who need to get things done accurately and efficiently for our clients, but we’re also people who are fun to work with. We interviewed Jim, our newest Mechanical Engineer, to share his perspective on what it’s like to work here.

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Topics: employee engagement

Wellness Winner, Again!

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Jan 22, 2016 6:37:06 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds

Winning the 101 Best and Brightest Companies in Wellness Award for the second year in a row provided an excellent opportunity to reflect on our Wellness Program here at Fusion OEM. Initially prompted by a desire to manage our health care expenses, our program has surpassed expectations and benefited our company, employees and customers.

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Topics: Wellness, employee engagement