Best & Brightest in Chicago Awards

Overlooked Elements of Building a Great Culture

Fusion 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, we were 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 there may be an opportunity for improvement. Here are three lessons that resonated with us:

People leave people, not jobs. The gala opened up with a panel on Emotional Intelligence by Dr. Ray Benedetto, Co-Author of It’s My Company Too. He spoke of investing in human capital as the driver for financial growth, when many other companies view it as the other way around. When considering why employees choose to leave an organization, issues with management always lead the pack. Managing the performance of another individual requires many skills, including how to understand human behavior, inspire, develop, listen, provide coaching, and deal with conflicts. To that end, Fusion is committed to maintaining an environment that respects employees and supports their growth. Department Managers are empowered observers able to assess a situation, provide encouragement and identify potential issues that might affect employee performance.

Train your trainers. In the Peer Discussion groups, we discussed challenges related to training and development. One of the most common refrains was not having the resources to adequately train employees in a timely manner. A refreshing solution took the form of spending more time training the trainers. By making sure they are supported and empowered with the necessary soft skills, they will be both more efficient and effective in training their peers or reports.

Hire good people to do good. The keynote was given by Mark Miller, President & CEO of Cascade Engineering. He shared various programs implemented in the Cascade family of companies that not only benefited their bottom line, but also had a powerful social impact. From diversity training to employing returning citizens, Miller was very transparent regarding successes and obstacles. However, one thing rang true: trust is the key indicator of future success. By intentionally hiring good people, businesses are positioned to do well. At Fusion we understand that people are the primary source of our competitive advantage. 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 fail.” As a privately held company, we have the luxury of not being pressured to grow any faster than we can find the right people, and that has made all the difference.

As a contract manufacturer, maintaining a competitive advantage is essential. When times get rough, it could be easy to forget the ‘people’ element and focus sights solely on hitting financial targets. Yet prioritizing a sound culture of employee engagement allows us to retain top talent and reap the benefits of a loyal workforce committed to the future success of our business.

For more information on Fusion’s Cobot Systems Integration Services and Products, please contact us at or at 866-952-9020.