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Achieving A Vision: From Measurement To Movement

As any business leader knows, it is one thing to have a vision and quite another to quantify one’s progress and then identify meaningful steps to take toward making the vision a reality. Miller’s Textile Services would like to take this opportunity to share with you a few recent findings that have led to significant milestones on our journey toward better serving you.

In 2013, our company set an ambitious goal for ourselves to become “the best independent single plant textile rental company in the United States.” This was not just a management goal; in fact, the goal was subscribed to by every single employee in the company.

Of course, the next step was to determine a baseline from which we could determine progress toward the goal over time. In the spring of 2013, we conducted a survey among both customers and employees to measure our effectiveness in key areas. We also established a two-year interval before our first follow-up survey to allow enough time for meaningful progress.

Recently, we conducted the follow-up survey, which revealed both some problems and, as we like to think, opportunities for improvement.

Improving Workflow By Improving Turnover.

In addition to the master survey, Miller’s Textile Services uses quarterly surveys to assess how the company is performing in key areas, as well as to identify potential issues and opportunities.

A key positive can be drawn from the fact that almost 95% of Miller’s employees describe themselves as “expert” or “competent” at their primary job, with more than half claiming that they can handle more than four tasks or jobs well. This sense of accomplishment and productivity is one of the key benefits of working at Miller’s.

On the other hand, two-thirds of employees described job turnover as above average to high, a result that was recorded equally in both the Linen and Uniform divisions. In a local job market in which virtually every industry is seeking qualified workers, it became imperative to get to the root cause.

Two Generations, One Goal.

Ultimately, a great deal of the turnover issue was traced down to generational differences in workers and how these differences are handled by managers. As a direct result of the survey and recommendations by the Employee Experience Committee, some key personnel changes were put in place.

As these personnel changes were occurring, the management team also identified changes in the ways in which workers from different generations must be handled. As a result of these and other findings, the entire management team recommitted to improving employee turnover and retention, as well as initiating strategies to produce the desired results.

These changes, while significant, have all been undertaken with the objectives of improving the work culture at Miller’s and assuring better quality service for our customers. Even though these adjustments are fairly recent, we are seeing an improved atmosphere among the employees in our plant. And, we are happy to report that for the first time in many years, we are seeing a waiting list for employment at Miller’s.

Better Employees. Better Service.

Of course, there’s more to realizing a vision than changes in personnel. Another issue identified by the survey involved tracking, especially as related to uniforms. As a direct result, Miller’s is implementing a new RFID technology which will allow us to track uniforms as they enter and leave the plant. This capability will make us aware of potential shortages even before they happen!

The company is also initiating a strategy proposed by our Customer Experience Committee to make our entire culture more customer-focused. The new strategy will involve both training and cultural directives to build pride and personal ownership of responsibility.

To help create a more engaged and positive employee experience, Miller’s has recently instituted an Employee Assistance Program to help our personnel with life issues. In addition, we worked with our employees to allow them to listen to music while working, which came about as a suggestion from the Employee Experience Committee.

As our 70th anniversary approaches, we’re hard at work on more plans for the future. We’re working on delivering more than just better textile rental products. More than just better service. We’re out to deliver the best independent single plant textile rental company experience in the U.S.

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