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Empowering and Developing Our Operational Workforce

Kirk Wehby cropped
By Kirk Wehby, Chief Operating Officer

Earlier this month, Smith’s Houston headquarters hosted our inaugural QC Summit, where employees from our global offices had the opportunity to meet and discuss strategies to further enhance and refine our quality management system. In a blog post recently featured on Smith’s LinkedIn Life page, Chief Operating Officer Kirk Wehby shares his insight on how to build an effective and successful operations team.

One Team – One Mission. This is the theme of Smith’s QC Summit, which is being held this week at our operational hub in Houston. This gathering offers our quality experts around the world a chance to share their knowledge with one another to help power continuous innovation and improvement. I chose this theme for our QC Summit because it embodies the message that I want our operations team to embrace every single day. Moreover, events like this are a vital part of our commitment to developing and empowering our greatest asset – our people.

Our plan for an employee’s development starts before they’re even hired here at Smith. We actively seek out candidates with high potential when recruiting for our most entry-level positions. Strong work ethic, positive attitude, and the ability to learn and adapt quickly are some of the top traits I look for in every applicant because I want our employees to continue to grow and succeed in their careers with us.

Providing opportunities to advance and excel is one of my highest priorities for my team. Here at Smith, we strive to promote from within our ranks as often as possible and then hire new talent into their entry-level posts. I want our best candidates for higher-level positions to already know our systems, inside and out, and my team members consistently demonstrate that understanding. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I hired a supervisor from outside Smith.

Beyond that, we are constantly looking for ways to further develop each employee’s skill set. Most of our team members are cross-trained in at least one other area, and all employees take part in our Lunch and Learn programming and proprietary online training coursework. This week’s QC Summit will not only enhance our attendees’ individual proficiencies, but will also strengthen the sense of unity among our three global distribution centers.

During the summit, we’ve been carefully examining each step in our processes to look for ways to improve our efficiency. Attendees have had the opportunity to share their ideas and perspectives and cultivate new initiatives that will positively impact our global processes. Once the summit concludes, they will then take these lessons back to their home facilities to present to their coworkers.

Ultimately, my goal for this summit is for all employees, regardless of whether they attend the event or not, to come away with a greater connection to one another and a drive to improve both the company and themselves. One Team – One Mission.

Interested in joining our dynamic, friendly, and professional team? Learn more about career opportunities at Smith here.


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