At Wiley Metal we’ve always been very proud of being a family metal fabrication business. That’s because our family culture reflects who we are, and we’ve always been fabricators. Verne Wiley believed in doing things the right way, and that will never change.
If you read, “Celebrating Our Achievements and Looking Forward” you’ll know the third generation of Wileys are taking on more responsibilities in the business. We’re using that as an opportunity to build on what makes Wiley Metal Wiley, and we’d like to share why that’s good for our customers.
Addressing Organizational Culture
When leadership grows and changes, company culture almost always changes too. That brings a risk of losing some of the things that made the organization successful in the first place. In his new role as VP of Leadership Development, Mike Wiley wants to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“Culture” can be a bit of a vague thing in the down-to-earth world of metal fabrication, so the first thing Mike did was get additional education and training. To start our cultural journey and guide us along the way, we partnered with Lippert Components and their Lippert Academy. Additionally, Mike began working with another Indiana-based organization, Culture of Good, where he received certification to lead culture strategies and empower stakeholders. He then formed our Culture Team. This team is charged with building and strengthening the Wiley company culture.
Mike and several team members will continue collaborating with these organizations to help us along our cultural journey, as it is a never-ending process. We continue to learn more about ourselves as individuals and as a corporation with the help of our trusted partners.
A Look at Our Mission
The first thing our Culture Team did was to look at our mission – what we come to work for. Working with the executive leaders, they encapsulated our spirit in this single sentence:
“We are a family, building people, products, and solutions to help our customers and communities thrive.”
It shouldn’t be surprising to see “customers” in there, but what’s that about “communities”? Well, we see it as part of our family culture. We want to be good neighbors, and one way we can do that is through service activities. This is where our people go out and do things for others in the community. We took a look and in 2022 Wiley team members donated 427 hours to their local communities.
Once we’d put down in writing what Wiley is here to do, it was time to think more about how we do it. This is what led to our Core Values Statement.
Five phrases set out how we work, and the attitudes we bring to our work:
- Honesty-Respect-Integrity – Genuinely Us
We are genuine and approachable in all interactions by staying true to ourselves while acknowledging and embracing our differences with others.
- Teamwork – Better Together
We achieve results that would seem impossible alone by leveraging each other’s strengths and improving on each other’s weaknesses.
- Positive Attitude – Seeing the Big Picture
Choosing a positive mindset in all circumstances despite the challenges.
- Sustainable – Passing the Baton
We ensure future generations can succeed at a high level by developing and training people on efficient routine procedures.
- Drive – Going All Out
We aspire for continuous success in all endeavors by remaining dedicated and determined to achieve our goals.
Culture Team Still at Work
A Mission and Values don’t by themselves change or sustain a culture. Doing that means actually working at it. So the Culture Team is still working. They’re in charge of:
- Organizing and planning service events
- Arranging Wiley Metal team member events
- Reviewing Wiley Metal team member suggestions
- Driving the culture journey we are on at Wiley Metal.
It’s still early days, but we’re confident this team is going to have an impact. Rather than allowing our company culture to drift, we’re going to work to retain our family feel, attitudes, and values.
What’s in This For Wiley Metal?
Metal fabricators like us don’t usually spend a lot of time on “soft” subjects like culture. We’d rather be out in the shop cutting, bending, and welding, but we think this is important.
Wiley Metal has always been a place where team members are treated like family. Their ideas are listened to and their thoughts, feelings, and motivations matter. That said, one of the things we’re working on through our culture initiative is increasing team member engagement.
We believe that the more team members are involved in the work we do here, the more they can and will want to contribute. That’s going to make work more interesting and enjoyable, and it’s also going to help build a future for all of us.
What’s in This For Our Customers?
Every manufacturing business is about people adding value to materials, and ours is no different. Experience and effort play big parts in doing that well, so engaged, motivated team members will naturally pay close attention to quality and to doing the job right.
Because they know they’ll be listened to, they’ll also contribute ideas. Those ideas could be anything, from changing how parts are nested on a sheet to modifying a welding process to a better way of packaging parts that prevents damage in transit. Whatever ideas they have, we want the people at Wiley to contribute to them, because that’s how we get better.
Getting better isn’t just for our benefit: our customers see improvements too, in quality, service, delivery, and even design. So why does our family culture matter to our customers? Because it affects every aspect of the work we do and the things we fabricate. Our experience is that our culture has served us well for decades, so we’re going to strengthen it rather than allow it to drift into something else.
Metal Fabrication and a Strong Family Culture
Our Culture Team has put together a Mission Statement and Core Values that together encapsulate why we come to work and how we go about our work, but we know that’s not enough. Culture is more about what we do than what we say, so the culture team is pushing us to put those Core Values into action and live by them every day. Here at Wiley Metal, we strive to be the best people we can be.
One measurable way you’ll see that is in the number of hours our team members contribute to their communities. For 2023 the goal is 2,000 hours and once we hit that we’ll set a higher target.
That’s not going to get in the way of our fabrication work though. . We’re metal fabricators through and through. If you’d like to discuss your metal fabrication needs, please contact us today.