Gratitude in Our Attitude
Newberry Tanks’ Thriving Company Culture Illustrates Value of Empowering Employees
A company is only as good as its employees. In a report compiled by Bamboo HR, 87% of executives and HR professionals said company culture significantly supported their business goals and 94% noted its importance to their organization’s success.
For Newberry Tanks, the best investment into our company and its production and customer service—the very elements that have won us multiple awards—is to invest in our workforce, enabling them to not only successfully do their jobs but also enrich their lives.
But how do you measure culture or employee happiness in the workplace? Do you count the number of smiles in a shift? How do you quantify an abstract feeling?
The truth is you can’t. It’s something that evolves inside the workplace—the culmination of all those things in the office that can’t be tallied or tabulated on an Excel spreadsheet. Employee satisfaction and positive company culture, however, is apparent in the bottom lines of a few key metrics: safety, productivity, efficiency, customer service, innovation, and talent attraction and retention to name a few.
Mainly, it’s not what is done in the workspace but how and why it’s done. Intentionality matters. Attitude matters. Conscious effort matters.
So, how do you get truly happy and fulfilled employees?
It starts by realizing that employees are more than their positions and titles, and when you begin looking at employees’ needs holistically, it pays dividends. And THAT becomes the company’s true culture.
At Newberry, we understand that our greatest asset doesn’t take root in the boardroom but on the production floor and in our office spaces. We owe a debt of gratitude to our employees who work diligently on their jobs, understanding how their contribution matters to the success of the company, and helping to create this unique atmosphere that makes everyone inside our company feel like somebody. It’s a culture we’re proud to call our own, and it’s a culture we want to continue to nurture in every way possible.
But the truth is that none of these initiatives will work if we don’t pursue them together.
It’s why we listen to feedback from our employees. It’s why we are constantly looking for ways to cross-train our welders. It’s why we invest in our local community. These are just a few of the initiatives underway at Newberry that are a tribute to our dedicated workforce and our grateful leadership.
Training opportunities add value to our employees’ lives.
When companies pour into their employees’ training and development, those same employees not only gain skills, but they also enjoy a greater sense of belonging and empowerment in their position. According to Built In, an online community of startups, 94% of employees who felt their company truly was invested in their learning and development cite their commitment to staying with the organization longer.
Newberry, faced with labor shortages and Covid-related absences rearing their heads a few years ago, established a program for cross-training back-up welders as a means of eliminating production disruptions and building a pipeline of next generation skilled labor. The result? Productivity increases of more than 30%!
These cross-trained employees flourish under the vote of confidence and trust instilled in them by Newberry to be a go-to resource during times of crisis. They feel needed and valued in the overall business and their jobs are given a more defined purpose.
Empowering employees can go a long way.
Employee recognition is crucial to building loyalty to the company and boosting morale. The Built In survey notes 85% of executives say programs geared toward employee recognition have positively impacted their company culture while 79% of employees say that more efforts geared toward recognition would increase their dedication to the company. Conversely, more than one of every four employees surveyed said a lack of recognition and praise from management would play a pivotal role in their decision to leave a job.
Additionally, cohesion between coworkers also plays a significant role with mutual respect and communication between colleagues touted as paramount. The Built In survey showed that 26% of employees were more likely to leave their positions if colleague relationships were strained.
So, what has Newberry done to meld our workforce?
Our mantra is that pride in workmanship is the basis for building relationships with teammates. And the best way to take pride in your work is to take ownership in the process.
Newberry has generations of welders who’ve worked for us. Our turnover rates are some of the lowest in the industry, with an average tenure of more than seven years. In our unique model, cross-trained welders, also operating as fabricators and fitters, don’t simply do one job and then hand it off to the next in line. Instead, they oversee the tank from start to completion, maintaining a sense of ownership and pride in each one, and are rewarded on quality of work rather than quantity.
This model has also encouraged a sense of knowledge sharing between longtime employees and newer hires. When knowledge is flowing and communication is transparent, that’s when the strongest team bonds are built.
These bonds are not just felt on the production floor but also in the Engineering and Sales departments.
Bert Danner, Newberry’s Regional Account Executive, says his favorite part of working at Newberry is the “fast-paced environment, talented people on the team, and great customers.”
Charlie Redford, a 12-year veteran of Newberry and Regional Account Manager, says he enjoys the “gratification of working with a team with the same mission and core values.”
Regional Sales Representative Tom Ashton says his co-workers and associates make his job even more rewarding. “Best teammates in the tank business!”
All of these things add up to one significant truth: People thrive in cohesive and engaged environments.
West Memphis, AR, June 8, 2021
We’re the feature story in The Fabricator this month:
READ ON to learn how a culture of ownership, a preferred customer program, and an entrepreneurial operating system, results in the most cost-effective, reliably delivered, highest quality steel tanks in the business today.
That’s New Thinking. And of course it’s Newberry Tanks.
Newberry Tanks & Equipment LLC – Investing in Innovation
Every company dreams of innovating: shiny new products, new and leaner internal processes, as well as shedding maddening, outmoded business customs within their industry. And yet obtaining that level of innovation, let alone successfully marketing those innovations to busy customers, can seem an insurmountable task. How does one get there? Read the new article featuring Newberry Tanks in Business View Magazine: https://businessviewmagazine.com/digital-magazines/dec-2020/87/
We Got Rhythm!
Newberry Tanks is a proud Gold Level Sponsor for Stax Music Academy, a program of the Soulsville Foundation, which also operates the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Founded in 2000, the Academy is celebrating 20 years of equipping young musicians with the skills they need to excel in music, as well as leadership training. In addition to our sponsorship, Newberry Tanks is proud to support Stax Music Academy’s #MusicMustContinue campaign by matching every donation made during the week of August 3 up to $5,000!
COVID-19 has forced many organizations — including Stax Music Academy — to go virtual. Simultaneously, many schools are slashing their budgets for the arts, so Stax Music Academy is now providing free virtual workshops and classes for all students in Shelby County to those without. The music must continue for these young students. Together, we can be a lifeline for kids across Memphis and Shelby County, making music education accessible regardless of their ability to pay.
Why is Newberry investing in a Memphis music academy? Read on.
Newberry Employee of the Year 1946: B.B. King
In 1946, Newberry Tanks was a thriving supplier of oil tanks and equipment thanks to hard work, quality products, reliable delivery times, and intentional innovation. But that year, Newberry was also the employer of legendary blues guitarist Booker (Bukka) White, and his young second cousin…none other than the ‘King of the Blues’ himself, B.B. King.
The story goes like this: Bukka worked for founder Jimmy Newberry at Newberry Tanks long before he became a celebrity, his skills as welder as deft as his skills on a guitar. After a stint in prison, Bukka needed a job and went back to see Jimmy. Bukka was expecting a no, but Jimmy hired him back, believing everyone deserves a second chance.
One day Bukka arrived home to find his young cousin, Riley King, asleep on his stoop. Going by “Blues Boy” (soon to become B.B.), the King of the Blues was barely more than a teenager. He’d hitched all the way from Mississippi, in the hope his famous cousin would introduce him to the Memphis music scene. Bukka not only did that, but introduced him to Jimmy so he could support himself. Together, Bukka and B.B. welded by day at Newberry, and set fire to Memphis blues scene at night.
Bukka never forgot the kindness Jimmy Newberry had shown him and his young cousin: he stayed with the company the rest of his career. B.B. left Newberry to become a musical legend.
The Music Must Continue
Today Newberry Tanks is committed to continuing Jimmy’s legacy of supporting musicians in recognition of and respect for the talents and craftmanship of our current and former employees.
Making music just got a little harder, while playing a key role in keeping us all going through these hard times. The music must indeed continue. Here at Newberry, we are #StrongAsSteel” and we intend to help make sure these kids, the community, and the world at large can foster and enjoy the music. Join us in supporting and celebrating the work this wonderful academy is doing. And be sure to tune in for their music online! They can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Help us in supporting this worthy cause! You can donate here.