Even amid so much economic uncertainty, Cemen Tech is on track for a year of unprecedented growth. Leaders of the company, the world’s largest manufacturer of volumetric technology, attribute a good deal of its success to its loyal workforce.
Allegiance creator: Just what contributes to that worker loyalty? The answer may well be Cemen Tech’s unusual generosity.
- “We considered a number of new and different ways to continue to attract and retain good people,” Cemen Tech President and CEO Connor Deering said. “In September 2021, we made the decision to cover 100% of employee health insurance costs, the net effect of which is essentially our folks taking home more of the money they earn. That has really helped with retention.”
- The Indianola, Iowa–based company also raised wages across the board and began offering employees season tickets for local sports teams.
A new approach: Full health insurance coverage made a difference when it came to attracting and keeping workers, but the volumetric concrete mixer manufacturer was still hitting another roadblock when it came to employment: finding people with the right qualifications. So, it set out to solve the problem in house.
- As part of a planned facility expansion, the company is setting aside space for the new “Cemen Tech University,” an innovative answer to the question of how to develop employees with highly desired, specialized skills. Classes are tentatively set to start in January 2023.
- The company is also working with area high schools and technical schools to forge partnerships in which students work for Cemen Tech part time, while still pursuing their diplomas or degrees.
- “This way, we train applicants for immediate success on the job, helping to ensure a strong fit between the employee and the company from the start,” Deering said. “It also gives us an opportunity to teach new hires about our organizational culture. … I believe [our education efforts] will help support an educated team member who’s connected to our culture, resulting in a happier, better and more long-term employee.”
More incentives: Last March, Cemen Tech found a way to boost shift-worker attendance with a points-based rewards system.
- “We implemented an attendance bonus—if an employee stays within a certain number of points [for coming to work], they can earn an additional $90 a week,” said Cemen Tech Director of Human Resources Emily Lyons. “We have seen that help in terms of attracting and retaining employees and further incentivizing employees to achieve consistent attendance.”
- The company has also increased the referral bonus given to existing employees who bring in new hires, Lyons said.
Advice: Manufacturers looking to see similar growth to Cemen Tech, which is set to expand 65% this year, should consider implementing some of the firm’s ideas (if financially feasible). But companies should be prepared to incur some financial cost along the way.
- “Our growth has helped offset the profitability loss [from the increased benefits], but the reality is that our business is people,” Deering said. “If we don’t have people—good people—we’re not going anywhere. So, the fact that we’re little less profitable at the moment is OK, as long as we can continue to grow.”