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Making Employees a Priority – Not an Afterthought
Ever since Mark Wesa, Chairman of MKD, set out to start something different for himself, he always maintained that putting employees at the center of his organization’s culture was important. Not for his company’s benefit, but for his employees’ benefit, first and foremost.
His thought – when people feel valued, respected, and considered – they’ll want to work with you and for you. Not just to earn a paycheck, but to contribute to something that shares meaning to them.
Today, more than 25 years later, and about 400 more employees on the payroll, Mark and his son Michael, now President of MKD Electric, attribute their success directly to their employees. And they continue to put their focus on their employees, as much, if not more, than they put into managing the organization’s day-to-day operations and growth.
“MKD’s employee-centric approach to our culture, our work, and decision-making is something I don’t think enough employers spend valuable time thinking about,” said Michael Wesa. “Employees are our focus across the board, from benefits and safety programs, to work environment and work-hour flexibility, and I think our employees feel valued because of that.”
No more was that readily apparent than the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. MKD, like many organizations, was forced to adapt. Having employees working from home and managing childcare can have a drastic effect on employee wellness as well as productivity. Offering flexibility, support and understanding to employees navigating unprecedented times can and did have a dramatic effect on overall organizational wellness and employee morale.
But, with an already established culture that focuses on putting employees, as well as health and safety first, MKD was able to maintain organizational functionality and serve their clients well throughout so many changing guidelines.
However, in addition to successfully navigating a global pandemic, MKD strives to go out of their way to communicate regularly with their team, having quarterly business meetings to keep the team apprised of ongoing plans within the organization. Sending regularly emails to communicate policy changes. Holding a strong open-door policy to offer support, guidance and just to listen to employees facing challenging times on the job or in their personal lives. All these things make up one of the industry’s strongest cultures, but it doesn’t go without constant improvement, either.
Transparency with employees is key, and that includes sometimes collecting feedback on programs and understanding how they affect employees, good and bad. Not everything is always going to be pretty or work out how you planned, and that’s ok.
“We try to stay proactive in attending to employee needs, especially with the pandemic creating new challenges never faced before. But that comes with the territory of being an employee-focused company. If we weren’t identifying challenges that need to be addressed to help employees, are we really doing our best to serve them the best we can?”
Michael Wesa, President of MKD, who grew up working along side his dad, recognizes the value in making people a priority at work and across the MKD footprint. But it doesn’t stop there.
“As our business changes, so too does the need to adapt for our people and talent. We have a lot of work yet to do, but we can’t accomplish anything by ourselves. It takes a team effort and a collective of like-minded individuals with the same goals in mind to keep pushing forward. But we also need to let people know that we care and this isn’t all about work. When we do that, as employers, anything is possible, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for us.”
MKD is a leading full-service national contractor specializing industrial electrical, instrumentation and automation implementation. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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