Thermoforming Report

June Thermoforming Report: Celebrating Milestones

by Keith Brown, President & Owner, Siena Group.

June 2024.

What is it about those 5’s and especially those 0’s?!? When that date flips over on your career or your company and a year hits 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 – and even 30 and 40 and beyond – it causes us to stop and think. And it should. They are important. We explore that very thing in our Thermoforming Report this month. Take a few minutes to read… and happy current and future milestones to all of you!

As usual, we have several great articles relevant to our industry and quite a few amazing All Stars to highlight! Check them out down below in the links on the right. We also have more extraordinary talent in the Featured Talent tab.

Celebrating Milestones

Celebrations, parties, and recognition due to hitting key milestones. Are they worth the time, money, and resources? Do they matter? 

The answer is a resounding, “YES!” It applies to the personal and professional, to your career and to your organization. As I hit my own major milestone (10 years in the recruiting business!), it makes sense to reflect and think through this topic in more detail. 

Organizational Anniversaries

I fondly remember, as a newly minted leader in Kimberly-Clark (promoted from a Senior Process Engineer into an Operations Manager role), I became part of the site leadership team and began my leadership journey. I recall in those early phases the plant was hitting a major timing milestone… and candidly, I don’t even remember which one (25-year maybe?). 

Whichever year it was, there was a significant hubbub that ensued. Resources were freed up to tend to so many different things – both people and money. The lobby was fully renovated. New signage was installed. A lot of time and energy were spent all over the plant on this event because the CEO and his entourage were coming to mark the occasion.   

And I didn’t get it. The money spent certainly could have been put to better use (in my opinion). The amount of time it took for engineers to design and implement the projects around the plant definitely could have been used for more tangible work. 

The celebration went very well. The CEO was pleased, as was the Plant Manager. Lots of pride. Lots of shaking hands.  Steaks were grilled for the entire plant (of which the leadership team cooked across all four shifts in the 24/7, 12-hour shift operation in support).  And after the dust settled, I asked my manager point blank: “Was all this worth it?”  And what he shared was one of my first leadership lessons. 

Here’s how I recall my manager replied: “We look back in order to look forward. It informs our future. It allows us to pause and celebrate our wins. And the investments in the plant will last for years to come. They weren’t just for this one event, but a lasting reminder of the achievement. Recognizing milestones enables us to get past the daily grind and realize what we’ve accomplished together.

As a clarification, this was 25 years ago! To say that landed on me heavily is an understatement!

Many truths are timeless. A more than 10-year-old Harvard Business Review article, Anniversaries are Not to be Wasted (11/2012), discussed this very thing. A couple of key excerpts: 

An anniversary… is an opportunity not to be wasted. The pride and unity it inspires makes it an ideal time to ask people to think together about why their work matters and how it should move forward.” 

Recognizing trends through your history helps you anticipate new challenges you will face.” 

…don’t just celebrate. Imbue your commemoration with the understanding that looking back can be more than mere nostalgia for the past. It can inform a whole body of work for the future.” 

Harvard Business Review
Professional Anniversaries

If a company should celebrate, what about you and your career? Yep. The same principle applies. 

Reflecting on what you’ve accomplished helps you in many different ways. Work is tough. Things worth doing tend to be hard. You have responsibilities and commitments. You face significant challenges – some of your own doing and some that are dumped on you. Yet, successfully completing key deliverables is very satisfying!

When your anniversary ends in a zero, it tends to make you take a pause. Yes, you’ve had tough years and delivered and were recognized. But, as that date turns over and the years go from 9 to 10 or 19 to 20 or even from 29 to 30 (so very rare these days!), take some time to reflect

Yes, it may only be the next day, but it allows you to look back on all your successes and failures as a body of work. It’s a lot.  And it is worth thinking through… and celebrating!

We found several articles highlighting this topic, as would be expected. Here are a few: 

One that I liked is from an article from Medium, 8/1/23, The Significance of Celebrating Milestones in your Career Journey. This article is filled with great insights; I’ve shared only a couple below. 

Humans thrive on a sense of accomplishment. Celebrating milestones allows you to reflect on the hard work, determination, and sacrifices that brought you to this point.” 

Celebrating milestones acts as a bridge between past achievements and future aspirations.” 

More to Come!

As stated at the outset, I have a key milestone to celebrate.  And uniquely, it applies both to my professional career and to the small business I started 10 years ago. I will save that rumination for June’s blog coming up later this month. 

The takeaway is simple: invest time, energy, and resources into celebrating and recognizing you and/or your organization’s key milestones! And use them as the jumping-off point for the next major chapter! 

As your Thermoforming Talent Partner, we represent clients AND candidates! We’re here to help in any and every way possible! We provide hiring strategies, priority candidate searches, job searches, client & candidate introductions, interview tips, résumé facelifts, resignation strategies, and much much more. LET’S STRENGTHEN YOUR SEARCH!

“We look back in order to look forward. It informs our future. It allows us to pause and celebrate our wins. Recognizing milestones enables us to get past the daily grind and realize what we’ve accomplished together.” Kimberly-Clark Plant Manager

  • Solving the Skilled Workforce Shortage Will Take a Hands-On Approach. via Forbes.
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    House Projects. There are small jobs and big jobs, but they all follow a sequence. The more complex a project, the more steps are needed. The parallels to adding new talent to your team are more similar than you would think. via Siena Group.
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    Better aligning employment with modifiable drivers of health could unlock years of higher-quality life and create trillions of dollars of economic value. This article addresses six modifiable drivers of health in the workplace that connect the dots between health and the workplace. via McKinsey.
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Global Engineering Manager: Project Leader with 25 years of experience who is a Subject Matter Expert in leading and successfully executing highly complex capital equipment and construction projects in heavily regulated industries.

Vice President of Sales & Marketing: Extraordinary Sales Executive who brings 30 years of experience in packaging, with strengths in both heavy and thin gauge forming. Open to relocation and able to travel in a remote/hybrid role.

Vice President of Sales & Marketing: Heavy Gauge Thermoforming: This custom heavy-gauge thermoforming Sales Executive brings 30 years of expertise in delivering results, with a strong ability to assess the team and talent and adjust as needed to better align skills, develop people, and improve the organization.

Director of Sales: This strong Sales Leader comes with nearly 20 years in thermoforming food packaging, bringing a very strong book of business with him! He’s skilled in leading, mentoring, and coaching a team, with strengths in driving top-line sales in key accounts.

Even More Thermoforming Talent! We work with so many talented people in many different functions – all in thermoforming. Whether it’s an Operations Leader, Plant Manager, Supply Chain Leader, HR Leader, specialized Engineer, Quality Leader, Sales Leader, or pretty much any thermoforming role, we are here to help. If you have a need, please do not hesitate to reach out! 

Click for more All-Stars.

At Siena Group, we are your Thermoforming Talent Partner. With more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing, hiring & recruiting talent, we bring a greater understanding of the companies we partner with and the candidates we pursue.
Let’s Strengthen Your Search!

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