I had the pleasure of touring the Cambria manufacturing facility in Kent, OH the other week. For those unfamiliar with Cambria, they are based in Minnesota and produce top-quality quartz countertops. We had their countertops in our last house and loved our experience with them. Now, after seeing their facility and meeting some of their team, I am even more impressed.
The thing that stood out the most for me was the obvious pride that every member of their team had for their product, their work and their company. The manufacturing floor was extremely clean, the team was conscious of cleaning up their workspace after finishing a project and every employee was eager to show us what they were working on and excited to answer questions.
Pride for this team was part of their culture and, as they shared with me, is pervasive across all of their North America locations. They informed me that any one of their employees could walk into another manufacturing location and jump right in without missing a beat.
As I left the Cambria office, I started thinking about how that kind of pride is created and sustained in a business. Here are a few things I noted:
Leadership – this attitude of pride, of respecting where you work, of treating the employees (at all levels) with dignity and respect starts at the top and it permeates through the organization.
Responsibility – it was very apparent that every employee on the floor felt a sense of personal responsibility to maintain the highest standards of quality. They all felt ownership over the final product and understood the importance of their individual contributions to the whole.
Transparency – every employee we spoke with understood and could articulate the vision of the company, the steps in the entire manufacturing process and the “why” behind their work. Allowing all of the employees (down to the frontline) access to information on why they were doing things and why it was important, allows the entire team to understand and feel a part of the greater mission. When employees understand why they are doing things, and can connect with that reasoning, they develop a personal sense of ownership and are more motivated to do whatever is necessary to achieve the vision.
Respect – you could see the respect that the team had for one another. The managers for their teams and the frontline teams for their leadership. Each department or function also showed a tremendous sense of respect for what each of the other departments were responsible for.
Treat your employees well, give them the information, tools, rition and respect they deserve for the work they do and your employees will reward you with superior workmanship, pride, loyalty and commitment.