When you’ve been in business for more than four decades, change is inevitable and necessary for creating and maintaining a unified company culture. But for T-H Marine, a family-run boat accessories manufacturer in Huntsville, Alabama, very little had changed in the company’s culture over the past 40 years.
The departure of several long-term employees created widespread tension throughout the company, resulting in a sense of isolation between departments. This perceived separation only caused new problems, leading to feelings of confusion and animosity that made teamwork nearly impossible. On top of that, the existing hiring process (through a temp agency) made it difficult for employees to form relationships with a constantly revolving door of new people.
“I was trying to promote our company as this fun and happy-go-lucky place on our website,” said Jeffery Huntley Jr., the General Manager of T-H Marine. “When I began to look internally, I realized that wasn’t how it truly was in our organization.”
Realizing something had to change, T-H Marine partnered with Empify to investigate the reasons behind their employees’ disengagement, and what they could do to fix it.
After heavily promoting the opportunity for employees to share honest feedback, T-H Marine sent out their first employee engagement survey with Emplify’s guidance. Employees were eager share their opinions confidentially and have their voices heard, which resulted in an 87 percent response rate across the company.
Based on the survey results, the company uncovered a number of issues, including a lack of trust between coworkers, and the feeling that employees lacked the resources needed to accomplish certain tasks. After receiving feedback that production employees were struggling to lift heavy boating materials, the company bought carts with hydraulic lifts, allowing them to ultimately save $20,000 in labor costs and increasing production capacity by $3.8 million. Since then, Huntley has continued to encourage honest employee feedback as the company works toward increasing overall engagement and addressing the problem areas.
“People are so worried to ask for funding for things like an employee engagement survey,” said Huntley. “But the results speak for themselves. When you get that kind of growth, it’s pocket change. It was worth every single dime, just for the survey results alone.”
To learn more about T-H Marine’s success story, download the full case study.