Industry Tips

Happy Employees make great Employee Culture

Employee Culture and having everybody getting along is of utmost importance to running an embroidery shop for over 45 years, says Erik Mickelson. Employees and coworkers you can trust and come to work with a great attitude make managing an embroidery shop a breeze. Let me show you how we create a great workplace with happy employees that come to work daily and give their best effort.

Northwest Custom Apparel Crew

Say thank you to your employees.

You won’t believe how well a genuine “Thank you” boosts employee morale and employee culture. I look for staff members that come to work with a cheerful and willing-to-do-anything attitude and make it a habit to say “Thank you.” Our direct-to-garment printer operator is always upbeat, so on Friday, I surprise him with some beef jerky or a select Northwest IPA beer. The beer is to be sipped after 5 pm in the confines of the operator’s home.

New Employee Welcome Postcards

Hiring a new employee is difficult in this current state of the economy with inflation and a large job market, so you want to ensure you keep your new staff members. The first day of work is stressful, so I take measures to welcome them and make them feel part of our family. I always mail a “welcome to the team” postcard signed by our staff members to the new employee. I physically send a postcard since many people don’t get physical mail; a postcard is a nice touch than receiving an email.

Ice Cream Stunners

Working in our factory in August can be toasty even in the cool and rainy Northwest. When we have a warm Friday, I bring ice cream bars and popsicles for the factory and office staff. It’s an excellent way to show the team you care and cool down for the factory staff.

Staff BBQs

There isn’t a person that doesn’t enjoy a summertime Friday BBQ during a workday. Having a monthly BBQ during the summer with the staff builds employee culture. Equally important is having charcoal briquette BBQs on your back patio. Try to keep the food simple and go to Costco to purchase your fixings in bulk to save money. We like hamburgers, potato salad, fruit salad, macaroni salad, and some Coke zero.

Summer Time Company BBQs are delicious

Weekly Meetings

Meetings bring team members together to discuss what each department is doing. I discovered that if you don’t have weekly team meetings, communication between departments breaks down, causing confusion and frustration. We use ZOOM meetings, which are more accessible than getting everybody into our conference room. Zoom makes it easy for the employee to pop in and out of the meeting if necessary. I start the discussion with a company overview and sales report. I am transparent with sales numbers with all our staff members so they feel they contribute to the company’s success.

Employee Salary and Benefits

In addition to salary, benefits, and opportunities to grow professionally, many employees consider employee culture necessary when looking for a new job. In fact, according to an Indeed survey, 56% of embroidery job seekers who considered an embroidery experience but did not apply to it said they ultimately chose not to apply because they didn’t feel it would be a good employee culture place.

Understanding different employee cultures can help you develop a positive one for your workplace that centers on your company’s values, mission, and goals and helps your employees be productive, satisfied, and engaged.

Embroidery Operators provide Employee Culture.

Owners of embroidery companies have a role in creating a strong employee culture by starting embroidery recruiting in Seattle with the embroidery companies’ core beliefs and values. A strong employee culture includes employee training and orientation, making it viable for an embroidery operation to live in Seattle. Embroidery shop owners must reinforce the company’s values and reward embroidery operators for the strong employee culture. Northwest Custom Apparel follows the culture and its core values.

An embroidery shop worker culture defines the proper way to behave within the organization. This culture consists of shared views and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee perceptions on embroidery in Seattle, behaviors, and understanding. Managerial culture sets the context for everything an enterprise does. Because apparel industries in Seattle and situations vary significantly, there is not a one-size-fits-all culture template that meets the needs of all embroidery shops.

Who is Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson has been the 2nd generation embroiderer with his family’s embroidery shop, Northwest Custom Apparel, since 1996. Erik is a Washington State University business graduate with an MBA in business management from Western Governors University. Please reach out to Erik with any questions at [email protected].

Erik Mickelson

About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!