Aisin Drivetrain donates $9,000 to local causes


CROTHERSVILLE — Aisin Drivetrain Inc. has donated to the schools and fire department in Crothersville and other causes on a regular basis.

As a way to engage employees, leaders of the automotive parts maker decided to try something new this year to add to the regular company giving: Employee appreciation days.

From creating a committee to organize those events to choosing the theme, food and activities to narrowing down a list of charities to benefit from the initiative, it all involved employees.

At each of the monthly employee appreciation days from May to August, raffle drawings were conducted where workers had a chance to win prizes and give back to local charities at the same time.

In the end, all money raised would be given to six causes.

Throughout the day Aug. 25, representatives from the benefiting groups visited during ADI’s lunches to accept a check and pose for a picture with employees.

Employees raised nearly $5,000, and the company threw in some money to make the total $9,000, resulting in each organization receiving $1,500, said Joe Neuman, general manager of operations for ADI.

The Give Back Day also celebrated the employees’ efforts, as they received free pizza, snow cones, ADI hats and koozies and played games.

“It was a way to give back to our community as well as engaging our employees,” Neuman said.

Initially, the thought was to bring in some food trucks each month. That soon changed to creating themes and coming up with games to go along with free food. Plus, lunches were extended from 30 to 60 minutes.

In May, the theme was Indy 500, and there were timed trike races on courses set up outside the plant. The other themes were carnival, luau and Give Back Day.

Employees could win prizes with the company logo on them by participating in the games, and raffle prizes included Blackstone grills and Yeti coolers.

Knowing raffle money would be given back to the community, a list of nearly 20 charities was narrowed down to six by the employees. Along with Crothersville Community School Corp. and the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department, the chosen charities were We Care, Humane Society in Jackson and Scott counties, Crothersville Senior Citizens Center and Ride for a Cure.

“It gave our members more of a voice, and if they are going to give money and as a company we’re going to give money back, they had an opportunity to say who that money goes to as opposed to maybe management or whatever looking at those opportunities,” Neuman said.

The employee appreciation days had several benefits.

“Morale has increased 100%,” Neuman said. “They look forward to the events, they give us feedback, as well, but to see some of the interactions of members that maybe wouldn’t engage with each other prior, they get to meet new people in different departments. The true joy and smile from our members has been the biggest piece of it that you can’t put a price tag on to where you come to work and you enjoy coming to work.”

Allowing them to be involved in the initiative shows management cares, too, he said.

“We’re involved. We’re out there every day with them,” he said. “We are a family here. We’re a family of 600 people, which is a lot, but we don’t survive without our employees, and so providing that reassurance and some of these events, it’s a lot of work to put these on, but they appreciate it.”

Also, productivity has increased, and absenteeism has reduced, Neuman said.

“Just the overall vibe and culture of ADI is what we’re going for,” he said. “It’s more than just putting parts together. It is ‘You’re coming here, you’re getting paid well, we’re air conditioned, we have events, we’ve changed our floor structure that’ll involve more of our members to where their voices are heard and we can increase what we’re doing here.”

Neuman sees employee appreciation days continuing in the future.

“This will be a yearly summer event,” he said. “Now, we still bring in food trucks. We’ve been bringing them in these off days. We’ll bring them in through the fall as they can come in. We’ll do different events inside for our members, but as far as these outside events, this will be yearly starting in May through August, September timing.”

No posts to display