We are excited to announce that CEO Jeff Seidel and United Packaging have been nominated for and awarded SmartCEO‘s 2018 “Corporate Culture” Award! It comes with great pleasure to receive recognition as a company for this honor. Jeff and a few others from the United Packaging team will accept the award at a ceremony on December 7th with the other winners.
A little about SmartCEO
SmartCEO’s mission is to educate and inspire the business community through its award-winning magazine, connections at C-level events and access to valuable online resources. SmartCEO’s integrated media platforms reach decision makers in the Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, metropolitan areas.
A little about the Corporate Culture Award
The Corporate Culture Awards program honors companies that foster a creative, collaborative workplace culture to enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage. Smart leaders understand that culture is a company’s greatest asset, driving performance and growth. What’s more, a successful culture is actively and intentionally cultivated and developed.
Corporate Culture Awards winners will have championed for a positive, productive culture in their organization, and will have worked with employees to develop successful cultural practices. The final roster of winners will be chosen by an independent committee of local business leaders, profiled in SmartCEO magazine, and celebrated at a high-energy awards event.
Inside United Packaging’s “Corporate Culture”
A business partner nominated United Packaging for the award, and we were then asked to submit an application to be considered. For the application, team members wrote about their observations and experiences working for Jeff and the company. Below, you’ll find answers about daily work days, special or fun office events, and overall work culture. You are invited to learn a little more about “work life” at United Packaging, and we are happy to share it with you!
SmartCEO Corporate Culture Application
Provide a business description of the company.
United Packaging is a family-run packaging, shipping, and supply chain company that opened its doors in 1992. Headquartered in Bristol, PA, United takes an integrative approach to the packaging industry, providing clients with the tools, insights, and consultation needed to achieve their business goals, in addition to thousands of products across all industries. Above all, United Packaging values its relationships with its clients, partners, and its team members, and that has allowed for continuous growth over the last 25 years.
Describe in detail the various attributes of your corporate culture and why it is unique. Provide specific examples.
CEO Jeff Seidel founded United Packaging in his parents’ basement, and he has been the center of the business since its inception. Jeff is a family man, and so by default, the company thrives with a sense of community. Instead of employees, there are team members, some of whom have been working with United Packaging for 20+ years.
Jeff is not a “corporate” CEO. He comes in early and stays late, and his door is literally always open. He is part of the collaboration of the company day in and day out, making sure his team is happy, motivated, and successful. Every morning without fail, Jeff walks through the office saying hi to every team member individually, engaging in conversation about work, sports, or a great movie he watched on Netflix. On Fridays, Jeff brings his dog Brody to the office for official mascot duty and puts a smile on everyone’s face.
Celebrations comes easy to the company. United Packaging welcomes additions to the growing team with open arms and a party in their honor. This allows everyone to meet and get to know each other to make onboarding smooth. Group lunches and dinners, summer BBQs, holiday parties and gift giving, and the occasional happy hour promote a tight-knit group of people who enjoy working together for the company.
What makes your corporate culture successful (i.e. workforce management, flexible schedules, benefits)? How does it give your company a competitive advantage and what milestones you have achieved as a result of your corporate culture?
United Packaging provides team members benefits, including a strong PTO policy, different levels of insurance, and a workable schedule for each individual person and their role. For example, the Packaging Consultants are often on the road meeting with clients or prospects, and need that time on a weekly basis. They are encouraged to come into the office 3 days each week, but there is a lot of flexibility around this. If clients need something on an off day, this flexibility always works in their favor.
Moreover, as an example, this year one of our full-time employees needed surgery and could not make it to the office for about two months. The company allowed her to work from home as she was able, while maintaining benefits, which has allowed her to successfully transition back to full time. Senior management made it very clear that her health and recovery were of utmost importance to the company.
The way the company maintains relationships with its own team reflects on the relationships it has with its clients and business partners, and gives United a competitive advantage over companies who do not have a foundation based on relationships. A productive, happy internal team will project the same to its clients. As such, we have both clients that have been working with us for decades, and hundreds of new clients each year, which has allowed the company to grow every year since 1992.
What internal initiatives or processes (i.e. sustainability, philanthropy, wellness programs) does your company have in place to maintain a successful corporate culture?
The last few years United has focused efforts on sustainability – both in product and in process. We now carry many recyclable and biodegradable products, utilize low-energy machinery, and promote substance waste-elimination in our warehouse and in our clients’ warehouses, as well. Sustainability is also vital in the form of manpower and time management. For example, we have enhanced our supply chain department with the addition of an expert analyst to reduce time and costs for ourselves and our clients. We’ve also implemented a proprietary Advantage Program for qualified clients that comprises stocking programs, business analysis, and progress reports for further sustainability. The program saves our clients time, energy, and money with “green,” sustainable processes.
Fundraising is important to our culture because it brings people together for something greater. For the last 3 years we’ve partnered with Bucks County Toys for Tots to provide them with packaging supplies, trucks for shipping, and gifts for their program. We also assemble kids’ bikes in our warehouse and use our trucks to deliver them. Last year, we participated in another fundraiser called charity: water that provides clean water to areas around the world that struggle without it. United Packaging, along with family, friends and business partners, raised over $3,000 for clean water. Donating is never mandatory, but we find that our team is always willing to contribute.
FUN FACT: Describe in detail any fun contests, company trips or team building outings your company hosts throughout the year.
The biggest happening in 2017 was our 25th Year Anniversary. In its honor, we planned and hosted a trade show at our warehouse in May, where we hosted over 30 vendors and over 200 attendees, and included gourmet catered lunch, a Rita’s truck, games, prizes, and giveaways. It took months of planning, but it was worth it. It was our first ever in-house trade show, and our way of celebrating 25 years of business, as well as showcasing our partnerships and thanking our clients and team members. The office still buzzes about it 6 months later!
Around the winter holidays, the company puts together a party outside of the office for everyone to enjoy. In the past, we’ve done bowling and laser tag, karaoke, and a murder-mystery dinner party to name a few. 2016 was bowling and laser tag in Bucks County. Food and drinks were provided, as well, and the entire company attended. We like to change it up every year, and we are still deciding what 2017’s party will be.
SHORT QUOTE: Name the most important aspect of building a great company culture?
“Treat everyone who walks through this door with respect, professionalism, and appreciation. Empower people to do great things.”