Workplace MVP LIVE from SHRM 2021: Jay Hollins, Labelmaster Products
Treating all employees as family and treating everyone the way you want to be treated are the values Jay Hollins with Labelmaster Products says are important in her company. She spoke with host Jamie Gassmann about how she got into HR, how Labelmaster recruits, the resources they provide to employees, how they seek to treat the whole person, and much more. Workplace MVP is underwritten and presented by R3 Continuum and produced by the Minneapolis-St.Paul Studio of Business RadioX®.
This show was originally broadcast live from the 2021 SHRM Annual Conference held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jay Hollins, People Manager, HR/HRIS Manager, Labelmaster Products
Jay Hollins is People Manager for Labelmaster Products. She is in charge of Recruitment, Human Resource planning, organizational development, training & development, employee relations, safety, security, employee assistance, policy development & implementation, compensation & benefits and Human Resource information systems – to the advantage of the company and its employees.
Jay fell into Human Resources and recruiting and loved it, even though she considers herself shy.
Jay has been in HR since 2014 and joined Labelmaster Products in 2019.
At Labelmaster, they help businesses take the complexity out of hazmat transportation. In short, they help to make the world a safer place. They manufacture and distribute products, develop software, and provide consultative services that all kinds of businesses need to keep their stuff moving across the globe safely and compliantly.
Labelmaster has been around for 50 years and their customers include Fortune 500 manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, transportation and other businesses that need to move hazmat (or Dangerous Goods).
In the ever-shifting world of dangerous goods shipping, Labelmaster keeps your business ahead of regulations and compliant every step of the way. Whether you’re shipping hazardous materials by land, air, or sea, they provide always up-to-date expertise to ensure every shipment runs smoothly. With the most comprehensive assortment of software, products, and services available, every box is checked and nothing is left to chance. From hazmat labels and UN certified packaging to regulatory training, Labelmaster keeps you cool, and compliant, every day.
About Workplace MVP
Every day, around the world, organizations of all sizes face disruptive events and situations. Within those workplaces are everyday heroes in human resources, risk management, security, business continuity, and the C-suite. They don’t call themselves heroes though. On the contrary, they simply show up every day, laboring for the well-being of employees in their care, readying the workplace for and planning responses to disruption. This show, Workplace MVP, confers on these heroes the designation they deserve, Workplace MVP (Most Valuable Professionals), and gives them the forum to tell their story. As you hear their experiences, you will learn first-hand, real-life approaches to readying the workplace, responses to crisis situations, and overcoming challenges of disruption. Visit our show archive here.
Workplace MVP Host Jamie Gassmann
In addition to serving as the host to the Workplace MVP podcast, Jamie Gassmann is the Director of Marketing at R3 Continuum (R3c). Collectively, she has more than fourteen years of marketing experience. Across her tenure, she has experience working in and with various industries including banking, real estate, retail, crisis management, insurance, business continuity, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications with special interest in Advertising and Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Paseka School of Business, Minnesota State University.
R3 Continuum is a global leader in workplace behavioral health and security solutions. R3c helps ensure the psychological and physical safety of organizations and their people in today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable world. Through their continuum of tailored solutions, including evaluations, crisis response, executive optimization, protective services, and more, they help organizations maintain and cultivate a workplace of wellbeing so that their people can thrive. Learn more about R3c at www.r3c.com.
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the SHRM 2021 Conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center, it’s time for Workplace MVP. Brought to you by R3 Continuum, a global leader in workplace behavioral health, crisis, and security solutions. Now, here’s your host.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:20] Hello, everyone. Jamie Gassmann, your host here with Workplace MVP, broadcasting from the SHRM 2021 Expo here in Las Vegas, Nevada. And with me, I have Jay Hollins. She’s People Manager at Labelmaster Products. Welcome to the show, Jay.
Jay Hollins: [00:00:37] Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:40] So, Jay, you were sharing with me that shyness is what brought you into your H.R. career. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Jay Hollins: [00:00:46] Yeah. So, I am, like, ridiculously shy, but you wouldn’t be able to tell. But I got into H.R. with recruiting by accident. The recruiter that we had she couldn’t make one of the job fairs, and my manager was like, “Hey, I need you to go.” And I’m like, “Oh.” He was like, “Just talk about the company and pass out applications.” And while I was there, he came and was like looking over me and he was like, “Oh, my God. This is you.”
Jay Hollins: [00:01:17] So, I went from the recruiting path all the way up to where I am now. So, my shyness, I use it as a way to, like, break out of my shell. So, it takes me a minute. But once I’m involved and I’m so passionate about H.R. that, you know, it just shines.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:33] That’s fascinating. So, you went from being behind the scenes to in front of the scenes and promoting your organization to other candidates.
Jay Hollins: [00:01:40] Yeah. Because, you know, one thing is to get them in the door. You can get them in the door sometimes. But to keep them there and to nurture them there, that’s where all the excitement is, you know to be able to mentor them and to go deep inside. That’s all about H.R. to me.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:58] Yeah. Awesome. So, tell me a little bit about that. Like, Are you – is that from when they’re, like, applying and you’re introducing the program, or not the program but the job itself, or when you actually get them into the organization and they’re hired. You know, what part are you referencing?
Jay Hollins: [00:02:14] It’s all of it.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:02:16] All of the above.
Jay Hollins: [00:02:16] Yeah. I’ve been told that when people interview with me, I make them feel like it’s not an interview. Like, we’re having a conversation. And, that nurture continues all the way through because once you get them in there, you have to keep them, right.
Jay Hollins: [00:02:30] So, I want to make sure that the first face you see is the same face you see 10 years from now, five years from now. I want you to know that we’re passionate about our employees. I’m passionate. I didn’t just do a sales gig to get you in the door. I want to get you in the door and I want to keep you there, and I want to make sure that you’re happy and make sure that you’re going to be able to succeed while you’re here.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:02:53] Yeah, absolutely. So, now looking at Labelmaster Products, so let’s talk a little bit about what does that company do and the type of people that you’re hiring, and kind of start there.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:03:03] Okay. So, we are a Dangerous Goods Compliance company. So, what that means is we help companies stay compliant with shipping any type of dangerous or hazardous material either by land, sea, or air. So, we do manufacturing, we do warehouse, we have professional, we have I.T., we have a whole variety of different positions that we hire for. And, no matter what background you have, we can find a spot for you. You can do entry-level, you can do mid-level, you can do professional to executive. And, we are a family-type company, where once you’re in, you’re in.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:03:46] Beautiful. So, you’re hiring all different types of skill levels.
Jay Hollins: [00:03:51] Correct.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:03:51] And so, when you’re looking – like, especially in today’s hiring market, you know, with manufacturing and some of the other jobs that you kind of mentioned, where are you seeking these candidates out? Like, what are the types of things that you’re doing to try to find them?
Jay Hollins: [00:04:02] So, now, that’s the tricky part, you know, because you want to be creative and you want to make sure that you’re not limiting yourself to get candidates that are all the same. So, we want to have a diverse crew. So, we do social media, we do job fairs, we do community fairs, we open our doors to do job fairs in the community. We do – we don’t really do a lot of print, but that’s something that we’re interested in, so social media, word of mouth. A lot of our sales teams when they’re going out into their conventions, they all say, “Hey, we’re looking for a few good people.” So, we’re pretty advocate about that.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:04:45] Yeah, in trying to, kind of, get creative it sounds like, and you leverage different channels to try to meet people in a different way. So, now being manufacturing, it’s probably very competitive, I got to imagine with some of the candidates out there. How do you stay, you know, I know that whole kind of engagement piece and, like, bring them in and, like, kind of, nurturing them through that. You know, I’ve heard the term throughout the show and a lot of my different interviews of that employee life lifecycle, if you will. But how do you engage with them and like, you know, show them that this is a really good opportunity? Because you’re competing with other employers out there. So, what are some of the tactics you use?
Jay Hollins: [00:05:22] So, there’s no tactic really. It’s just we’re intentional about what we’re doing with our employees. Once we bring you in, we love all you like no other. You know, we’re a very employee-friendly company. We let people know we may not be the box brand or the big-name manufacturing or warehouse company because we compete with that. You know, we compete with different big names. So, we want to – once the employees come in, they see that we are all about the employee, what services that we’re doing to make you feel, okay, not only while you’re working, but personal.
Jay Hollins: [00:06:04] So, we reach out to employees if they’re having any type of personal issues. We’re not just like, “Okay, call the EAP number.” No. We’re in there. We’re trying to figure out what can we do as a company as a whole to make you feel like you’re important.
Jay Hollins: [00:06:20] With our industry, it is ever-changing and it’s in and out. But I can say a lot, probably about 50% of our employees, have been with the company for over 30 years.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:06:30] That’s amazing.
Jay Hollins: [00:06:31] Yeah.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:06:31] That’s amazing.
Jay Hollins: [00:06:31] And, that’s in the warehouse manufacture department, as well as in the office. And, we’ve had a lot of employees that leave. But then they come back because they realize, you know, we’re passionate about our employees and we care about how our employees feel, even if it has nothing to do with the job.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:06:50] Yeah, which, you know, and really I – another kind of common term I hear is that whole person coming into the workplace and that’s not just the job that they’re there to do but it’s also that person outside of work because you really can’t leave that at the door. So, it’s interesting that you’ve built this culture wrapped around how do I take care of that employee, not just when they’re here at work but kind of all inclusively. And, you’re showing the benefits of that with that retention rate. That’s incredible.
Jay Hollins: [00:07:16] Yeah. Like, we have some employees that you know you’re not going to please everyone. But when people leave, they know that we cared about them as a whole and not because of what you were able to do or produce for the company. But we have people that no longer work with us but still call to get advice from us or still calls to get some type of help from us. And, we don’t shy them away like, “Oh, you don’t work here anymore and I can’t help you.” No. We’re all involved with whatever they need as a person. Because once you’re part of our family, then you’re part of the family. Like, any type of event that we have, we reach out to old employees and say, “Hey, we’re having an event. Are you coming?” So, once you’re part of our family, you’re part of the family.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:08:01] Yeah. And, now and obviously, I mean, you mentioned it’s a little bit smaller than some of your bigger box locations or bigger box locations you compete with. Does that start at the top? Is that like a culture that was established by maybe the founders or the owners or, you know, leadership of that organization?
Jay Hollins: [00:08:18] Absolutely, absolutely. The funny thing is, no matter if you are in the warehouse or the manufacturing or you’re one of the top executives, you’re going to interact with the president, you’re going to interact with the CFO. Like, the president knows everyone by name. He’s in the warehouse, walking around, interacting with individuals. All of the executives, they’re open doors. It’s not like the executives, you close the door. I can’t go in and talk to you. Any given moment, you’ll see one of the employees in the manufacturing department or in the warehouse over into the office side, and they’re talking to one of the executives because it’s no high me and little you. It’s we’re all in this together and it’s like, “Hey, we can all have” – you know, the biggest thing at our location is the Sox fans against the Cubs fans.” So, once we all get round up –
Jamie Gassmann: [00:09:08] Are you located in Chicago?
Jay Hollins: [00:09:11] I am.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:09:11] I know that. I’ve heard that team before.
Jay Hollins: [00:09:11] So, that’s the biggest thing that’ll get everybody talking, and you’ll see that’s the only dispute. The Sox fans against the Cubs fans. That’s the only one.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:09:22] I bet that gets really interesting when the season is going.
Jay Hollins: [00:09:25] Oh. So right now – because I’m a Sox fan, so right now we’re on cloud nine. So, all the Cubs fans are kind of quiet. So, it’s all about that camaraderie. And, you know, no matter what office, no matter what location, no matter what department you’re in, you can always find some type of common ground where we’re all in this together.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:09:46] Yeah. And, you know, from your perspective, what role does H.R. play in helping to fuel kind of that camaraderie and the programs that helped to drive some of that cultural success?
Jay Hollins: [00:09:57] So, we look at people as individuals. We look at people at how would I want to be treated and we’re looking to see what we can do to make you feel good in the inside and out. So, because if you’re not – if you’re having a bad day, it’s going to affect your work, you’re going to see it in your work.
Jay Hollins: [00:10:17] So, we want to be so in tune and so engaged with that employee that if they’re having an off day, instead of easily going to write them up, it’s like, “Hey, something’s off about this person. They don’t normally act like this,” or, you know, we don’t just pass the buck and was like, “Oh, that’s the manager thing.” We’re involved. We work with the managers to see, “Okay. Is there an issue with the employee? Let’s figure out what’s really going on. What’s the root cause?” And we work with them.
Jay Hollins: [00:10:44] So, I think the compassion that the whole team has, not just with the H.R. department, but even with our managers, we love the employees, and it’s not because we are here to do a job. It’s because we enjoy what we do.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:10:58] Yeah. That’s fascinating and great words of wisdom of just, you know, treating that employee as a person, keeping that holistic human approach to it. That’s [inaudible].
Jamie Gassmann: [00:11:07] So, if any of our guests wanted to contact you, reach out to you, how would they be able to go about doing that?
Jay Hollins: [00:11:12] So, you can either go on our website, it’s labelmaster.com, also known as American Label Mart, or you can research me, I mean, not research, don’t research me, please. Or, you can email me at email@example.com.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:11:31] Wonderful. Well, thank you so much, Jay, for being on our show. You’ve been a pleasure to interview.
Jay Hollins: [00:11:35] Thank you.