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Currier Plastics’ formula for employee retention

We hear a lot about how difficult it is for companies to find skilled employees. Once you find and hire employees, the next challenge is retaining them long-term. You certainly don't want to lose these valuable employees once you've invested in their training and education, but how do good companies hold on to their most valuable human assets?

Clare Goldsberry

December 5, 2014

2 Min Read
Currier Plastics’ formula for employee retention

Currier Plastics recently celebrated its company founder, Raymond J. Currier, by dedicating a newly constructed employee courtyard in honor of his achievements with Currier Plastics. The courtyard was beautifully landscaped by the employees and contains a gazebo where they can enjoy their free time such as breaks and lunch, while at the plant.

Like many in our industry, Ray Currier started Currier Plastics in 1982 after working for another local plastics processor for 40 years. He started his company with two injection molding machines and three employees. But he also started with something else; the company said he started Currier Plastics with a strong belief in treating customers and employees with the utmost respect and attention. This, said Currier, became the foundation of his business model.

"Ray decided he had the formula for success," commented Harold Bobbett, who was employee number two, and who retired from Currier after 20 years as the tool room manager.

That formula involved treating his employees like family. Ray is remembered as being a "creative person with a heart who not only designed the injection molded parts that got the company started," but also owned a woodworking shop on the site where he built crafts. "Employees were often the recipients of handmade items such as a birdhouse or cradle decorated with an image of a train burned into the headboard for their firstborn," recalled Bobbett.

Although Currier has more than 120 employees today, the culture instilled by Ray Currier in 1982 remains the same today as when Ray Currier was alive. "Treat your employees and your customers fairly and they will respect you and reciprocate," says Gary Kieffer, vice president of new product development and employee number three.

Employee number four is Richard Bobbett, who is Harold's son and the company's master scheduler. Employee number five is John Currier, Ray's son who started six months after the company opened.

"Ray would have been proud of the accomplishments of the team and we wanted to recognize his importance and so we dedicated the courtyard in his honor," Kieffer stated.

This is the legacy of many family-owned companies in the plastics processing and moldmaking business. While these companies have become fewer over the past decade, it's great to see a family-owned business still thriving with employees who have been with the company for more than 30 years.

One of the advantages of a smaller, family-owned business is that everyone knows everyone else, and it's easier to treat the employees like family. The same holds true for the customers who often get to know all the people who have a hands-on role in the production of their molds and molded parts. A true relationship develops, and in spite of all the technology and social media, face-to-face relationships with both employees and customers go a long way toward make a business successful.

At the end of the day, people do business with people - whether its employees or customers. People matter.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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