Success Stories
The Owner Really Trusts His People
The Label Technology Story

Label Technology (LT) has been in business for eleven and one-half years as of the time of this writing (July 1998). They make pressure-sensitive labels for the food and agriculture markets.

Label Technology's employees rated LT very high on a number of corporate culture attributes, such as trust, treating employees like people, recognition, and spirit of cooperation. We asked Vinton Thengvall of LT what he thought accounted for these results.

Thengvall: I believe you can trace our success in this area to the owner of the company. He really trusts people, and would do anything for an employee. If an employee has trouble in his or her personal life, the owner will do anything he can to help. This breeds respect, which filters throughout the organization.

Lab: Your communications scores also were far above average. Any comments on this?

Thengvall: We have an open-door policy at LT. Sometimes at other companies there is a "stated" open door policy, but the reality is otherwise. Here, it is real. It sometimes gets a little cumbersome, but it pays off in the long run. People feel their ideas are valid and worthwhile, and that we are interested in listening to them.

The CEO also fully supports other efforts to instill effective communication. We have team meetings and department meetings with all employees. We also have a "hoopla," where we stop work for 15 minutes to recognize employees. We do this once or twice a month.

Lab: How do you account for LT's high employee training scores?

Thengvall: We do cross training so that people get a bigger picture of what we do as a company. People with very different job responsibilities, such as graphics, shipping, printing, or accounting are encouraged to exchange positions for half a day. Sometimes employees actually work in these new roles while they are there; sometimes they simply watch and listen.