Invest in Your Company Culture
Originally published: 10.01.21 by David Indursky
The right company culture is often the difference between someone simply having a job and being invested in their career.
Creating a great company culture — with an emphasis on safety — has been at the forefront of our core values since my father, Marty Indursky, started the business in 1968. When I reflect on what he did during the first 30 years before I took over as president, it’s clear he always valued the importance of strong company culture.
When we look through the company’s photo albums from the past five decades, they’re full of pictures from the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s of ENCON’s softball teams, employee rafting trips and basketball games, etc. Back then, it was an intimate group of close-knit employees who celebrated everything together, from birthdays and holidays to weddings.
Our team was engaged with each other outside of the office, and my father laid that foundation. ENCON has always had a family feel.
When I took over in 2000, I expanded on his legacy by emphasizing company outings and allotting more budget toward events. When I think about building a company culture, we break it into two silos: team members only and family-inclusive events for significant others and children.
I started with all external events … we had paintball and golf outings and annual holiday parties and family picnics each summer. Some of my favorite family events were our trips to Monmouth Park Racetrack to watch the horse races each summer.
In 2017, we did a bowling event in Sea Girt, N.J., and we intentionally divided the teams into people who didn’t know each other well and paired them together to socialize. Then, we tasked them with coming up with a creative team name to brainstorm together and, ultimately, root for one another on the same team.
Some of my favorite events are when there’s some friendly competition — pickup basketball games and volleyball — because, inevitably, when Monday rolls around at the office, we’re still riffing on one another about the game a few days ago.
A few years ago, we celebrated 50 years of ENCON at Black Bear Lake Day Camp with tons of outdoor activities for the whole family, such as swimming in the lake, a ropes course, crafts, ping pong and volleyball.
We understand our team spends a large portion of their waking hours at work, and we want to create a culture where they want to come to work and feel happy and safe. However, because our jobs can be stressful, it’s essential to reward and recognize everyone’s achievements and accomplishments.
During the COVID-19 pandemic this past year, several of our company events were postponed. In September 2020, we coordinated a “Socially Distant Family Fun Day,” upholding our annual tradition and amazing company culture safely during the pandemic.
The entire value of these outings is for everyone to gather without work pressures and have fun in a relaxed environment. It’s meaningful when families get to meet each other, build memories and form friendships.
It’s nice that a significant other get to know their partner’s co-workers, whom they often hear about at night after work — it helps to put a face to the name.
There’s a tremendous value to fostering a company culture; it makes it about more than a paycheck — it is often the difference between someone having a job or investing in their career.
Even when someone’s having a rough time personally — when someone’s ill or their family member is — we rally around to help. We had someone out for a year battling cancer, and people within the company and co-workers made sure they had what they needed during that trying time.
Hire for Culture
Having the right cultural fit is a key aspect of our hiring process. We look for team players who are willing to go above and beyond to help when needed.
It’s difficult to get a job at ENCON because we have an extensive hiring process with several stages of interviews with multiple people. If you’re interviewing to work in the field, you’ll spend time with our field crew to ensure you fully understand our work expectations and meet some of your potential co-workers.
It needs to be a fit as much for you as it does for us. There’s nothing worse than taking someone out of another job and then realizing that it’s not the right fit within a few weeks. They have the right to refuse our company culture, and we’d much rather explore and learn about that before we invest in hiring someone.
We try to treat everyone like they’re part of the family. Sometimes it’s difficult to quantify what that means; however, when new people join our team, it’s not uncommon for them to notice the way people are treated here and remark on it.
Should someone decide to leave for another opportunity, it’s not unusual for them to return because of our management team’s high value on having a work-life balance.
As part of our culture, safety is at the forefront of our priorities every day. It’s important to us that people leave work the same way they arrived: healthy. Safety is paramount, whether they’re driving a branded ENCON vehicle on the road, working on the roof of a project, or climbing a ladder.
We have a golden rule that if someone has a broken piece of equipment, they have the green light to go ahead and replace it. We take safety very seriously.
We invest in ongoing training and education classes for our team to ensure we’re always at the forefront of the industry, leading the way and enforcing safety.
Our team takes internal and external training classes, technical training classes, soft skills, etc.
I’m a firm believer in repeating training classes every few years because it’s helpful to have a refresh, and you may have missed something the first time, or it may resonate with you more now.
Our biggest and best asset is our
people — and keeping them safe and wanting to show up to work the next day is priceless. u
David Indursky is president of ENCON, an award-winning, second-generation family-owned mechanical company in Ocean, N.J. For additional information, please visit enconmech.com.