A Kalamazoo-based designer and manufacturer of outdoor furniture, structures, LED lighting and accessories, was named one of the top three best places to work in manufacturing and production.
Fortune Magazine and employee research site Great Place to Work named Landscape Forms as a top contender for the award after surveying more than 220,000 employees working in the manufacturing and production industry. This marks the second consecutive year the company ranked in the top three for the award.
Landscape Forms’ qualities that earned it the ranking include maintaining a participatory environment and celebrating workplace culture by encouraging communication and participation, and implementing a four-day workweek in its manufacturing and production facilities, the company said.
Margie Simmons, CEO of Landscape Forms, said many aspects of the company’s manufacturing culture make it unique, but a commitment to high level of participation and professional development are primary drivers.
“We work very hard to demonstrate that you can have a healthy, exciting and gratifying career in manufacturing at Landscape Forms,” Simmons said. “As a high-variety manufacturer, our team members aren’t just cogs in the wheel — they are craftsmen and women with a personal commitment to quality who know they’re really creating sustainable art that will enrich the outdoor experience.”
Jim Marshall, Landscape Forms’ vice president of culture, said modern workers are looking for more from their workplace experience and are seeking a more flexible relationship with work.
“(A four-day work week is) kind of a radical idea in manufacturing, but ultimately we understand that people have unique needs, and therefore, we want team members to have a range of opportunities and the ability to choose between various levels of part-time, full-time and even overtime schedules if they want,” Marshall said. “It requires extensive cross training — something we already take a lot of pride in — and building a deep understanding of team members’ abilities to best deploy them throughout our organization. But it’s a really exciting project. I think it will differentiate us like no other manufacturer and serve as a recruitment and retention tool.”