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Printing’s Best Workplaces : The Cream of the Crop

November 2011 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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Why should anyone want to work for your firm? Sure, it's a buyer's market, with nationwide unemployment still hovering around 9 percent. Even now, however, printers can still be heard lamenting the lack of quality, skilled employees, and perhaps we can attribute that to the top performers happy with where they work, what they're doing and how much they're getting paid.

Instead of following a “take it or leave it” stance to employment, there is a select group of companies in the printing industry that take an aggressive approach to offering working terms and conditions that attract and keep valued employees. Many of these firms refer to themselves as families, and as well they should, given that many of these teams have been together for decades. One printer proudly pointed out that her company allows parents to bring their sick children into work rather than making the worker burn a personal day, then admitted that virtually all of the employees’ children are now grown, and some of the offspring have joined the firm. Now, that’s a low turnover rate.

A common denominator was found among these companies, which were culled, in part, from the Printing Industries of America's 2010 Best Workplace in the Americas award selections (incidentally, the 2011 selections should be announced this month). Many of them reported that of the handful of people who had left their companies over the years, a fair percentage ended up coming back after realizing that "the grass wasn't greener on the other side."

The Best Workplace selections were based on a number of criteria, including training and development opportunities, recognition and rewards, workplace health and safety, health and wellness, and work/life balance. We have randomly selected a sampling of these award-winning printers to profile.

How does your shop stack up against them? Perhaps they will provide inspiration, and a few good ideas, to help make your printing company an occupational destination as opposed to a port en route to somewhere else.

Suttle-Straus
Waunakee, WI

Certainly, John Berthelsen needs no introduction; the 1998 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame inductee is one of the industry's most recognizable faces, and his company—a web, sheetfed and digital printer that specializes in direct mail and commercial work—is the pride of Wisconsin, printing's royal state.

 
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