On Tuesday, September 8, 2020
The below article appeared in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier's Employer of Choice special edition on September 6, 2020. You can view the original article here.
'Essential' Employees Remain Dedicated to Advanced Heat Treat Corp.
When a company’s employees readily sing its praises, people should listen, says Joel Robinson, an Advanced Heat Treat employee.
“A lot of companies talk about having a family culture and operating under a set of core values, but Advanced Heat Treat truly means these things and actively works to make sure that stays true,” he says.
AHT does this through the Employee Continuous Improvement program. The initiative encourages employees to submit ideas that will create efficiencies, save money, improve safety or otherwise improve a process, product or service. Employees are rewarded when one of their ideas is implemented.
During the past fiscal year, employees turned in 258 suggestions, Robinson notes.
Open communication and collaboration keep AHT on the leading edge of the heat-treating and metallurgy industries, says Mikel Woods, president.
AHT’s products and services are used by a variety of industries and clients across the globe. This includes essential industries like automotive, utilities, firearms, defense, medical supplies and many more.
As a result, staff were required to continue working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, explains Woods.
Social distancing and safety procedures spread out work schedules, requiring staff at AHT’s two local sites to maintain operations with reduced crews, he explained.
“Our employees are essential workers. No one complained. People stepped up,” notes Woods. “There were people who stepped up and to lead without even being asked. They just did it.”
In early spring, AHT organized a COVID-19 team to get updates and develop policies and procedures. The team implemented measures to educate employees about COVID-19 risks, equip employees to work from home when possible and increase cleaning measures and other safety precautions.
The pandemic experience has reinforced the importance of “developing backups — and backups among backups,” Woods explained.
In some cases, employees stepped in to respond to emergencies and determine solutions without being asked to do so.
A strong solid workplace culture has helped staff endure this year, says Jennifer Lassen.
More than 40 percent of employees have been with AHT 10 or more years. Lassen attributes this to the company’s emphasis on job security, loyalty, generous compensation and benefits and opportunities for professional development.
Gary Sharp, founder and CEO, articulated the company’s employee-focused culture.
View prior years' Employer of Choice articles by clicking the buttons below.
2018 Article: "Employee Longevity Cherished at AHT"
2017 Article: "Loyal Employees at Heart of AHT"
- meet the team
- press release