Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the automotive industry, believes that “Building an exceptional company is the result of building exceptional teams with exceptional people.” Team 1 has been and continues to be a successful company because of exceptional people – its Team Members. Today continues a series of articles profiling Team 1 Plastics’ Team Members. Each month, you’ll be introduced to one of these exceptional Team Members, including Michele Warner.
Name: Michele Warner
Date of Hire: 06/08/04
Other Positions Held / Length of Each: Customer Service Assistant – 1-1/2 years; Customer Service Representative – 15 months; Customer Service Manager – 9 years
Favorite Story / Memory during Time Working at Team 1: Michele said that she has many favorite stories, but working in customer service was her “biggest takeaway” because it was so fulfilling. “I really enjoyed being the voice of the customer and working with the rest of our team to meet the customer’s expectations. At times, we’ve not performed at our best, but our customers have always been fair as we’ve worked through it. And many times, we’ve been able to help them out of a tough spot with a drop-in order or what not, and they are quick to be complimentary which is really nice to hear.”
Michele also mentioned the building expansion that the company did in 2016. “It was really cool to watch the transition from bare land to completed building. Donn [Briskie] did a really nice job of documenting that transition, and it was fun to see those updates every few weeks.”
How has Team 1 helped your Personal and/or Professional Development? “Team 1 creates an environment where it is okay to ask a question, have an opinion, or make a mistake. And Craig’s [Carrel] style of training is to involve you in meetings and decision making so you learn by absorbing it all.” Michele said, “I can’t recall one time when after a customer meeting, or really any meeting, that he offered his thoughts first. Craig is the master of asking you for your opinion before giving his own which allows you to feel empowered and really part of the process. He always asks others, ‘How do you think that went?’ or ‘How did you feel about that?’” Michele said that sometimes Craig will agree with you while other times he may have a different perspective, but he always wants to hear what others have to say first. “I really think that it makes people feel part of the process – it always makes me feel that way.”
Favorite Aspect of Working at Team 1: Michele said that she enjoys the variety of the work in her job and being able to schedule her own day. “A smaller company allows you to wear many hats and have an impact on the company’s goals and direction.” When she was working as Customer Service Manager, she was also quoting work for Team 1. Then, during a restructuring of the company, the supervision of the Warehouse department became part of her responsibilities. “There was a ton of variety, and that’s what kept the job interesting – something new all the time.” Michele said that she is very task oriented, but not very good with repetition. “I love to have a stack of stuff to do and just churn through it, but I also like the aspect of having variety. In two hours, I can be working on something different if that’s how I choose to schedule my time. I come in to work, and I set my own priorities – anything that touches a customer first, anything that touches ownership second, and then everything else after that. I’m allowed to work at my own pace as long as I’m meeting the deadlines. I like that I’m able to plot my own course.”
What do you want to share about your life outside of Team 1? “I am married with four children and three grandchildren. Our youngest child, Cody, graduates high school this month.” Michele said that she appreciated that Team 1 allowed her to be a mother and wife first, and a Team 1 employee second. “My daughter played softball and basketball when she was in Middle School, and if she had a game, and I wanted to be there, I was able to do that. It was really my choice.”
Piece of Advice and/or Encouragement for Future Team 1 Team Members: Michele laughed and said that she’s not certain that she is helpful in giving advice to others. But, then she did offer this: “Be honest, eager to be a part of the team and look for the opportunities. If you encounter a problem, rather than complaining about it, offer a solution.” She also mentioned that you should offer your input and ideas to Management and owners if you see a better way to do something.
Michele mentioned that one of the ways to offer suggestions is when you are completing the annual Team Member Satisfaction Survey. She said that the owners are asking for your opinion, and you should give it. In the survey, there are “six or seven open-ended questions where you have the opportunity to give suggestions” – questions, such as “If you owned the company, what would be the one thing you would change first?” or “What policies do you really like at Team 1 and which ones do you wish could be modified?”
And, Michele advises, “Try to be prepared with good feedback.” To help her be prepared for the survey, Michele said that she “keeps little notes throughout the year.”
Random Question: Who is the best superhero of all time? Captain Marvel. “Because I love the word, Shazam!” which she explained is “used to introduce an extraordinary deed, story, or transformation.”