Focusing on Details Puts Buechel Stone on Top | Buechel Stone Recognized as a 2023 Top Workplace in USA

“No company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”

Jack Welch

What does the word “Rockstar” mean to you? 

If you keep up with all things Buechel Stone, you know we take our “Rockstar” theme seriously. A lot of companies throw similar employee mantras around willy-nilly: rockstars, ninjas, gurus. The recent Super Bowl commercial for showed this front and center for the whole world in a fun, clever way. We have a different type of Rockstar, and our people love being called one. For us, it’s in everything we talk about, from our social media all the way down to our employee handbook and even the name of our trucking division.  

I still remember first introducing the idea of a “Rockstar” theme for our employees. As a stone company, it seemed somewhat logical, but I wasn’t sure if anyone would go for it. I asked a few people for their opinion and told them straight out, “If we do this, we have to own it. Either we’re all in or all out.” I didn’t want it to be just a word-; I wanted it to mean something. The idea was well received and since then, our employees have been known as Buechel Rockstars. We’ve worked hard to make that more than a nickname.

Palletizing thin veneer

In the summer of 2021, Kory Bestul was hard at work as Buechel Stone’s hiring manager. Kory wanted to get a benchmark of how our Rockstars really felt we were performing, not just as a company but for them as employees. What was it that we do that makes them want to come to work here each day? We’ve always tried hard to keep our employees informed of how we were doing and make sure they felt heard, but it’s hard to gauge how they feel deep down or how we might be missing the mark. 

Kory did some research and found energage as the go-to source for confidential employee surveys, with over 70,000 organizations and 27 million employees surveyed. Not only do they offer the survey process, your results could earn you a place on a list of a top workplaces in either a part of your state or, in some cases, the country. We wanted honest and thoughtful responses, so we gave our Rockstars the opportunity to complete the survey during work time. Six months later, we were proud to say our survey results earned us 53rd top workplace in our category for southeastern Wisconsin. We were humbled and relieved that what we live and breathe was making Buechel Stone a great place to work. We were not perfect, and we knew that, but energage allowed us to both celebrate how we were doing and give us actionable insights to improve, based entirely on our own Rockstars’ feedback. We took a deep dive into our survey results and worked with each department to make sure everyone understood not only what we wanted to improve, but also what improvement looked like. 

Fast-forward to 2022. After months of changes and planning and hard work, we asked our Rockstars to complete the energage survey again. As part of these changes, we also honed our Rockstar theme; we don’t want to stop at calling our employees Rockstars, we want them to feel like Rockstars. And we were going to use our second survery’s data to do just that. 

M&M minus the brown ones, because details matter

To me, the data in these surveys is a lot like the infamous Van Halen contract rider for no brown M&M’s. Details matter. Glossing over the details means important specifics can be missed. David Lee Roth’s autobiography explained the TRUE reason behind the famous M&M rider:

“Van Halen was the first band to take huge productions into tertiary, third-level markets. We’d pull up with nine eighteen-wheeler trucks, full of gear, where the standard was three trucks, max. And there were many, many technical errors — whether it was the girders couldn’t support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren’t big enough to move the gear through. 

The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say “Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes…” This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.” 

So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl … well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.” 

The brown M&Ms rider is a great rock ‘n’ roll legend, but the truth is far more interesting. It’s that detail-focused level of scrutiny we took to our first survey results that helped Buechel Stone improve and now, only one year later, we are happy to share that we are officially a TOP WORKPLACE in the UNITED STATES! This year almost 22,680 businesses competed for the top workplace award in the 150-499 employee size level. As a top workplace, Buechel Stone is in the top 2.9 percent! 

A stone company recognized as a top workplace. This amazing feat is, in large part, a testament to the many Rockstars at Buechel Stone that make sure we are paying attention to the details.  

Ada Rosario-Portorreal, our benefits coordinator stated, “our rockstars were even more willing to provide honest feedback this year. Being the second year completing the survey, they saw how their feedback from the previous year really did matter, and we listened. For a lot of people, it was all about being heard.”  

Splitting stones

We are a stone company, but we hire Rockstars. For them to feel like a Rockstar, we need to make them feel special in a way only an employer that cares can. We recently learned we’re also a top workplace in southeastern Wisconsin again this year, and on May 17 we’ll find out where we fall on the list of other Wisconsin-based businesses. Some say being a business owner is a big opportunity. Personally, I see it as a huge responsibility. Opportunity is something you choose, a responsibility is something to take on. There is a difference. As a Top Workplace in the United States, I would say we are taking that responsibility seriously, and the rest of the country is noticing, one Rockstar at a time.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this a reality! 

Interested in joining our team of Rockstars? View our current openings and apply!