Messer's Training And Recruitment Success

By Kathleen Sweeney | September 28, 2010

Cincinnati-based Messer Construction Co., a regional general contractor and construction manager, provides leadership for complex building projects in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. Founded in 1932, the company has sustained growth during the past 75 years and now has more than 900 employees.

Messer's goal is to be the "Employer of Choice" for those seeking a career in the construction industry. The company gives every employee the opportunity to be a company leader and creates an environment where everyone can excel.

Vibrant Future For Employee-Owners

As a 100-percent employee-owned company, all administrative employees are eligible to participate in the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) after only one year of employment. Messer's business plan is based on a 40-year growth model, ensuring a vibrant future for all employee-owners.

As company owners, Messer employees recognize their success is company success. At Messer, ownership is a mentality and it permeates every aspect of the business. It's even included in the mission statement: "An atmosphere where employee professional growth is the foundation for company growth."

Dedication To Training And Recruitment

Messer offers hundreds of training programs each year, including on-the-job training. Each of its training programs is specially designed to create value for every employee who participates. And, if there is a training program an employee needs that Messer doesn't offer, the company assists them in finding a resource that does. Messer ensures each employee has the training they need not only to perform their work, but also excel at it.

Messer commits to providing educational opportunities to students. Messer supports students with summer "bridge" programs between high school and college, giving students a head start on their college careers. On the college level, Messer supports and participates in career fairs aimed at engaging future employees. The company is also a strong advocate of cooperative education and provides co-op positions for students at leading universities in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Because of a company-wide commitment to economic inclusion, Messer promotes an environment that attracts minority and female employees. Once a minority student begins a co-op or internship program, they are aligned with a Messer senior manager. This promotes discussion regarding college and career planning.

Messer retains minority employees by aligning them with a company officer who serves as a personal coach. This relationship provides access to top decision-makers and enables discussion about career opportunities and professional growth.

Growth From Within

Because Messer employees are also owners, the company has committed to a fast-paced growth model. Because of the integrity of the company, many employees' careers span decades. In fact, the average tenure of any one of the 95 members of Messer's senior management team is more than 17 years.

Many of the senior managers and executives began as co-ops and have since become the model for employee growth from within.

Multi-Generational Company

Messer began as a family-owned company and those values and commitment to construction excellence haven't changed. Around Messer, it's not rare to hear of family members working together. There are fathers and sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers, uncles, and even grandfathers on the Messer team, all working together to generate future growth for their company, co-workers and families.

Knowledge Base

As employee-owners, people at Messer realize the quality of their work affects not only their future, but also the future of their co-workers. That's why Messer has created an open environment for information sharing. The Center of Excellence is an extensive employee-information driven database available to all employees. The Center of Excellence captures best practices in every aspect of the business and skill development, from crane operation to conflict resolution.

A practical application of this knowledge base is Messer's health care expertise. As Messer positions itself as a leader in health care construction, the Center of Excellence provides a way to preserve best practices and spread health care knowledge among every company employee.

Because Messer employees have an ownership mentality, they are committed to long-term thinking and contributing to company growth. Messer has an impressive retention rate because the company focuses on recruiting the right employees and providing an atmosphere where individual professional growth is the foundation for company growth.