Felicidades are in order for our good friends at Plamex, the Mexican division of headset maker Plantronics. For the 2nd year in a row, the company, which employs more than 2,000 people at its manufacturing facility in Tijuana, has been named by the Great Place to Work Institute as the Best Place to Work in Mexico. It’s one thing to make a list like this once. Showing up consistently means a lot more, in our view. Plamex has been a perennial entry on the list for the last several years, but this year became the first company to make it a ‘two-fer” in the top spot on the Mexican list, and they’re already working toward a three-peat.
This past February, I spent a day touring the Plamex plant, meeting some of the people behind the magic there, and learning why the accolades are so well-deserved. We blogged, on February 17of this year, about their practice of employee mass weddings. The company is featured prominently in our new book, Contented Cows STILL Give Better Milk, which is coming out in July. Here’s an excerpt from part of what we wrote about Plamex:
When Alejandro Bustamante assumed the role of President of Plamex, the Mexican division of headset maker Plantronics, in the mid-1990’s, he encountered a largely disaffected workforce in a factory struggling to meet the demands of a growing market fueled by rapidly changing technology. Quickly assessing the situation he’d walked into, Bustamante determined that he couldn’t fundamentally change anyone, but what he could do, was to institute a culture in which everyone – everyone – was treated with respect. He soon restored respect and a real sense of dignity in the plant, and as a result, he and his team have pulled off a business turnaround of gigantic proportion. The company’s output, quality, profitability, and reputation as the place to work in Mexico have all soared.
“The job of a leader,” he told me, while standing in the entrance to the Tijuana facility’s large main factory, “is to create the atmosphere to get the results we want. It’s as simple as that. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s not complicated.”
When I asked Bustamante to explain how Plamex had gone from its 1995 state to being named the number one Best Place to Work in all of Mexico, by the Great Place to Work Institute in 2011, the Tijuana native had a ready answer.
“There are three things we want for every one of our 2,286 associates here. First, we want to give everyone the respect they deserve. Second, we want to develop each one of them, to let them do as much as they want and go as far as they want. And third – and this is probably the most important – we want to improve the quality of their lives, and the lives of their families. When you do those things, you get their very best. And that’s what we need – their very best.”
This is the company that solved its recruiting problem by giving every associate their own business cards, as a show of respect. It’s the same company that brings the Baja California Division of Motor Vehicles to the plant once a month so that associates can renew their driver’s licenses. And it’s the same company that has a robust career development plan that’s available to every associate who wants to develop within the company.
If you read Spanish, click here for a full article on Plamex in the Mexican press.
So, we take our hats off to the leadership and associates at Plantronics in Tijuana, Mexico, and wish them another great and profitable year of proving what we’ve always said – that Contented Cows Give Better Milk.