Inside the Culture at Sperry & Rice

Posted By:  Sperry & Rice
Monday February 13, 2023

The culture at Sperry & Rice is focused on three main aspects: people, training, and the community. Let’s look at all three, one by one.

People Focused

Without people, Sperry & Rice is just machines and materials – we need trained, enthusiastic people to take raw, unfinished materials and turn them into finished high-quality rubber components that our customers require for their products.

We hire people for attitude and train for skill. Finding people with experience in rubber extrusion isn’t easy, which is why we identify people that align with our values and train them in the skills needed to do the job.

We’ve worked hard to make our hiring process very efficient, starting with the interview stage, and it moves quickly at Sperry & Rice. Candidates are typically contacted within 48 hours of applying. Then we schedule a phone call explaining the job opening and what we are looking for, and if the candidate is interested, we set up an on-site interview. If it seems like the perfect fit for both the candidate and us, a job offer is extended and accepted, we start their onboarding. The entire selection process happens in about a week.

Training Focused

On a new team member’s first day, they are introduced to all departments, they meet their supervisor, and their trainer, who they will work with for the first two weeks. An HR rep checks in daily to see how things are going and to support the new employee as well as answer any questions and make sure they are showing progress in their training.

After 2 weeks, we check in on progress, and get feedback from the new employee’s trainer and supervisor. If things are going well, the team member is placed onto a departmental team. If for some reason the training isn’t going as expected for any of the parts (employee, trainer, or supervisor), we review the process to see what’s missing or what skills we need to work on. We never want someone feeling frustrated; we want to utilize their enthusiasm and put the right person in the right role. Since we choose the right people for their attitude, we try to make the adjustments and find a role in which our employees thrive. Moving to a different department than where they started, it’s normal and we encourage employees to speak up if they don’t feel their role is a good fit.

Cross-training is encouraged for all Sperry & Rice team members. We want our team members to feel that they’re making an impact, and when they can contribute in multiple ways, they are more productive and happier. Plus, it allows us to be more flexible, and shift work around as needed because our people possess skills in more than one area.
Everyone at Sperry & Rice is aware of their options to move to other open positions and we encourage that because we want our team members to be fulfilled.

Community Focused

Sperry & Rice is very well known as a high supporter of our communities in both locations – Brookville, IN and Killbuck, OH.

For example, our Brookville team recently held a holiday toy drive and partnered with Indiana Family and Social Services to give them to local children. Sperry & Rice also provided additional funds to purchase and donate even more toys.

Another example is the partnership with The University of Akron, where Sperry & Rice offers hands-on engineering co-ops to the students enrolled in The College of Engineering and Polymer Science. We believe it is important to train, encourage, and help start the next generation of engineers on their career paths. Our co-ops allow future engineers the opportunity to develop their skills and get paid to work on advanced rubber engineering projects.

If we can make an impact in our community, we will.

Team Focused

There’s actually a fourth component to our culture at Sperry & Rice, and that’s our team.

We understand not everyone is the same, so we make sure to treat every team member how they want, and deserve, to be treated. A communication style that works for one person may not work for another, so we take the time to get to know our team members and how they operate as they are all part of our success.

In addition to PTO, team members can earn attendance bonuses and receive recognition in front of the entire Sperry & Rice team. And this past holiday season, we celebrated as a team with contests and a holiday meal together.

Culture is important at Sperry & Rice, so if you are looking for a career with an innovative manufacturer, we may be a good fit. We like to say that when you work here, you make a difference – because you do. Interested? Check out our available positions and join our team.

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