3 Keys to Hiring Inspired Employees: AmSty’s Christina Guice
Plant Manager Christine Guice prides herself on a hands-off approach.
As the manager of AmSty's plant in Joliet, Illinois, where high-impact polystyrene plastic is made – a material you'll find in refrigerator insultation, disposable coffee cups and other packaging – Guice doesn't need to micromanage. She oversees a small team of 33 with innate drive and initiative, and who inspire each other to succeed.
[Click here for a virtual plant tour with Guice.]
"This group is very passionate about what they do," said Guice. "They want our site and the company to do well."
Assembling and retaining a motivated and effective team doesn't happen by accident. Guice points to three characteristics that are must-haves when hiring.
Self-Starter: Guice looks for people who are natural self-starters.
"We're too lean to have to devote time to handholding," she said. "I hire those who are experts at what they do, or who have the capacity to learn on the job, and who are excited to take the role and run with it."
Curious: "I like people who ask questions. It shows that they're willing to learn," said Guice. "That's a big part of being a facility like this. The learning is constant, and that includes me. If you're not learning something every day, it may be time to leave."
Diverse Thinkers: Most companies that hear the word "diversity" think in terms of gender or ethnic background, but Guice's focus is on diversity of thought.
"If you put people in a room and they all have the same thought process, you'll get the same ideas," she said. "But when you bring people in the room who feel comfortable thinking outside the box, you're more likely to come up with something special."
Occasionally, there's pushback and that's OK, she said. It's part of the process.
The facility has a suggestion program in place allowing employees old and new to submit ideas.
"We review suggestions with everyone and implement a lot of them." said Guice. "If you implement suggestions for change, then employees are more likely to continue to offer ideas."
Enhancements range from recommendations that make work life easier, like purchasing a pallet jack, to community-builders like starting an employee garden.
"I love the people I work with. They inspire me," said Guice. "And I like that AmSty is working to change the world with sustainable innovations in the circular recycling of polystyrene."
"It's something new that people didn't think we could do," said Guice, who chalks it up to the diversity of thought. "What we have at AmSty is something very special."
Learn more about AmSty's sustainability journey here.