Frank J. Sonzala, Executive Vice President, Pressure Systems International (PSI)
Most managers and company executives understand the importance of hiring good people. Not as many realize the benefits of training and developing their workers. Yet, this is essential for a company’s evolution and success.
Zig Ziglar, a salesman, author and motivational speaker, stated: “What’s worse than training your workers and losing them? Not training them and keeping them.”
Worker training and development benefits both the employee as well as the company. Employees who are well-trained become more efficient and productive, and that becomes a competitive advantage.
The challenge is: How do you effectively train and develop employees? Then, how do you keep them motivated?
One day, Tim Musgrave, the president and CEO of PSI, and I were flying home after making calls around the country. Tim was reading the ever-present airline magazine - the ones that sell everything from dog beds to expensive wrist watches. He came across an advertisement for a company selling motivational items.
That’s what we needed, he thought, motivation to keep moving forward. He purchased four motivational/inspiration coins from that magazine with what sayings have become our cornerstones of success at PSI: Never Give Up, Attitude is Everything, Whatever It Takes and Dare to Soar.
Every employee and many of our partners and friends carry a coin depicting these four cornerstones to remind them every day that they can meet whatever challenges they face.
A couple of years ago, Mike McIver, PSI’s vice president of manufacturing, at the company’s San Antonio, TX, facility, went to Tim with what he thought was bad news. One of McIver’s best employees was leaving to accept a job offer he received from UPS.
The employee was well-trained and a key component to the smooth, efficient running of the PSI manufacturing facility, and Mike hated losing him. Mike figured he must have done something wrong to squander the time and effort put forth to make someone this valuable, only to see him leave the company.
That wasn’t the case. In fact, Tim patted Mike on the back for a job well done and told him he should be proud that the training he gives his employees make them a “catch” for a company like UPS. Tim told Mike that he should look at himself in the mirror every morning with a new sense of pride, not disappointment.
This story tells all you need to know to understand the culture at PSI and Tim relates the story often when we have visitors to our plant to explain how a small company in San Antonio, TX, has become the number-one supplier of automatic tire inflations systems around the world.
It is Tim’s firm belief that the best thing managers can do each day is to promote their people beyond what they thought they were capable of to make their lives, and the company, better. If, at the end of the day, that means an employee finds their fortune elsewhere, we’ll be sorry to see them go, but wish them the best of luck.
Should you ever visit our San Antonio facility, it will become apparent that everyone has bought into Tim’s philosophy, understands that everyone matters and everyone is responsible for his or her success or failure.
While our company is interested in improving productivity and quality, so, too, are our people. There is the realization that increased productivity will lead to greater job security, higher profits and increased wages.
At PSI, we fully utilize every human resource to their maximum potential. We continuously train them and keep our people motivated. Plus, we work hard to make sure they feel an integral part of our organization.
This is a formula that works.
Frank J. Sonzala is executive vice president of Pressure Systems International (PSI). Based in San Antonio, TX, the company is the number one supplier of automatic tire inflations systems around the world. www.psi-atis.com.