A joyful group of Lineage team members posing outdoors at the Second Harvest Foodbank, celebrating their commitment to community service and team culture.

You Said, We Did: How One Site Created an Unbeatable Team Culture

February 29, 2024

At Lineage, we strive to be an “awesome place to work” for all of our team members across the globe. So, when one of the sites in our network found themselves struggling with team member disengagement, they knew they had to act decisively. Their journey speaks to the incredible power of active listening, servant leadership and a commitment to creating an unbeatable team culture.

Identifying the Problem: Getting to the Root of Disengagement

Lineage’s facility in Allentown-Ruppsville, Pennsylvania, found themselves at a crossroads when the team became increasingly disillusioned and disengaged, all underscored by an internal team member survey. With turnover on the rise and workplace culture degrading they were eager to find solutions to the problem. 

Several team members had previously voiced concerns over various issues at the site that had been affecting overall engagement. Rather than dismissing the team’s feelings, the facility turned inward to find a solution, embracing the concerns as an opportunity and pathway for growth. Now the question was where to start. 

Transformation in Action: The Power of Listening and Acknowledgement

Site leadership began by implementing a regular roundtable discussion – an open forum for team members to voice their opinions about workplace culture and other opportunities for the facility to improve. 

The initiative was received remarkably well. Team members flocked in to provide opinions and suggestions for improvements, ranging from minor problems to massive projects. 

A group of Lineage team members gathered inside, smiling around two large donation boxes for the Toys for Tots program.“The roundtables were a great outlet for the team,” said Ashley Yob, Continuous Improvement Manager. “It really opened us up to having more candid conversations by consistently giving team members a space to talk freely with leadership.”

The discussions allowed leadership to tap into the pulse of their team.  Afterward, leadership would convene to determine where to start with the feedback they received—what was feasible? What could be worked on over time? What needed to be forwarded up the chain? Step-by-step, they built a game plan. 

They started with a series of strategic changes aimed at bolstering team engagement and morale. The site's leadership recognized that a cohesive team culture wasn't just a lofty goal; it was necessary for long term success.

One-by-one, leadership addressed the issues they could. From small aesthetic changes around the warehouses, to updating their attendance policy so it was more inclusive of earned sick time, to establishing consistent shift schedules resulting in improved work-life balance. Site leaders built trust by showing that each team member’s voice truly counted. They made clear that each team member—regardless of role, background or seniority—is important and contributes to the team’s overall success.

“It’s not about checking off a box just to say we did something,” said Laura Fell, Senior HR Business Partner. “It’s about the opportunity to hear our team’s voice and get some constructive feedback.”

Not only was the remarkable transformation noticed internally by the team, customers also picked up on the difference, recognizing that the team’s improved morale lead to better customer service overall. 

Building a Path Forward: Growing a Global Culture of Listening

The story of Allentown-Ruppsville stands as a testament to the power of transparent and open communication between team members and leaders. By actively listening to team members, acknowledging their challenges and strategically implementing change in response to feedback, they managed to address their turnover issues while doing the work to make their team’s culture one that is truly unbeatable.

Lineage is immensely proud of the path forged by Allentown-Ruppsville, and we’re actively encouraging facilities around our global network to take charge and listen, making an awesome place to work for all Lineage team members.