When I started with Ebsco Spring Company, two years ago, CEO Cheryl Dooley discussed several things she would like to see happen. Increased team work and employee involvement were two key elements she mentioned.
Ebsco already had a great group of people and held many team building activities but no one had the time to create anything with consistency. We needed something, that allowed employees more say in what happened. We needed to encourage more involvement between individual departments. We needed to create something that involved everyone. The solution, The Ebsco TEAMS.
We began with the Ebsco Fun Team. The Fun Team’s purpose was simple. To create fun activities for the entire Ebsco Family. Fun activities that included everyone. The team consisted of members from every Ebsco department. They got to work right away. The Fun Team’s biggest activity is their monthly luncheon. The Fun Team selects a theme and hosts a monthly luncheon for everyone. We celebrate employees birthdays for the month, anniversary days with the company and special awards. I always look forward to the monthly luncheon. It is an opportunity for everyone at Ebsco to get together and share accomplishments. The Fun Team was the trail blazers for our team concept but it didn’t stop there. The Fun Team was so successful that we looked for new ways to involve employees at Ebsco.
We next launched the Safety Team. Safety had always been a priority at Ebsco so it was an obvious place to form our next team. The Safety Team is one of our largest teams. It has at least one member from every department and several from some. We soon learned that the experts on safety were the employees doing the job day in and day out and that every department had a different set of safety concerns. Our safety policy at Ebsco has improved dramatically in the past two years they have been in place. The team has a plan in place to take Ebsco’s safety program to a model for manufacturing. Everyone at Ebsco is far safer with the efforts of the safety team.
The Green Team came next. The Green Team was created by our CFO, Liz Jeter with help from a few employees. The real difference in the Green Team is that their programs are self funded through the proceeds of their recycling efforts. They installed a recycling plan that yielded income that they invested in green ways to increase employee awareness of the recycling plan that created more recycling that increased their income that …. well you get the picture, brilliant! I, in my 50 years have never been on board with recycling until now. The Green Team has influenced me to support them at work and I have even began recycling at home. That alone was a major accomplishment. They have implemented several programs that will save money and help the environment across the company. They have also made presentations to management on capital projects that will have environmental and financial impacts on Ebsco for years to come.
The Fun Team began including ways for Ebsco to give back to the community with their monthly luncheon themes. They collected canned goods and school supplies and other things. This prompted us to create the Community Service Team. It fit Ebsco well since giving back to our community is one of the four pillars in our Mission Statement. The community service team jumped right in and has made everyone at Ebsco very proud. As an ongoing project they have teamed with the Oklahoma Blood Institute. The Blood Institute brings their mobile unit to Ebsco every six weeks and employee volunteer to donate blood. WOW! That’s something that really makes a difference. Recently they have teamed up with the Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank and signed up employees to volunteer. Cheryl approved the volunteers to go ‘on the clock” so they get paid for their volunteering. Not Bad. The Community Service Team has had volunteers participate in several walks, helping the community and flying the Ebsco colors. Way to go Community Service Team.
Our next team focuses back on our employees. The Ebsco Healthy Living Team. The Healthy Living Team produces a quarterly news letter for employees with Healthy Living News and recipes. They have teamed up with Community Service to provide Healthy Breakfast the morning of the blood drives to ensure everyone eats well before giving blood. Their biggest program was aimed at tobacco users. We estimated that over 25% of the Ebsco staff used tobacco products. The team convinced, Cheryl, our boss to provide anyone that wanted to quit, E Cigarettes. The E Cigs provide only the nicotine without all of the other harmful additives. They also are a tool for some to quit completely. The down side is they are costly. The Healthy Living Team met with all tobacco using employees, presented the plan and then purchased E Cigs for everyone that wanted to try it. I am happy to say, after 31 years smoking, I am one of the employees that quit. Thank you to both Cheryl and the Healthy Living Team. I and others at Ebsco may see a few more years bacause of you.
So now I am happy to announce our latest team. I have written about it in several previous blogs. E = m c². The Ebsco Common Sense Squared Team. We are launching it now. Due to the enormous success of all of our other teams, we are launching E=cs². This team will be out continuous improvement process for Ebsco. In manufacturing, continuous improvement is the life blood. In today’s world-wide economy, without a continuous improvement program a company would quickly fold. Ebsco Spring is turning over its continuous improvement program to our experts that do the job day-in and day-out. The other teams have proven the capabilities and motivation of our staff. It just makes sense to start E = c s².
To say I am proud of the accomplishments of Ebsco’s Team members would be a total understatement. I have always been a major proponent of pushing things down and allowing the ones doing the job, to have a say in how the job gets done. The teams have gone beyond that and allowed the Ebsco employees to direct how the company does business. They have become the driving force behind this company. The results of the Ebsco Teams has far exceeded the expectations of our management team and we all had high expectations to begin with. Cheryl had the vision two years ago of what we could accomplish with team work and empowering the employees. The teams turned that vision into reality and made Ebsco Spring a much better company today. THANK YOU TO ALL THE TEAM MEMBERS, you are part of the reason I, and many others love our jobs at Ebsco Spring.