$100K savings for TCL program participant

Superior Farms has been an employee-owned company through its Employee Stock Ownership Plan for years, and recently engaged in new efforts to continue to enhance its culture of true ownership and teamwork. To facilitate and support this transition, Superior Farms turned to The Complete Leader (TCL) program. The TCL faculty has been working with the Superior Farms leadership team for a year, and the company has already seen significant gains, both monetarily and with its employees. 

Mike McCormick, Operations Manager at the company’s Denver Division, says Superior Farms has saved more than $100,000 in losses and inefficiencies due to TCL’s leadership training.

McCormick believes the significant savings to the bottom line is due in part to the strategy of improved communication—allowing employees to have a say in matters, large and small, that would improve systems, processes, and their jobs. 

One such change that came from these input sessions was the moving of equipment stations during harvest that increased productivity. “It really came down to working along with the team,” said McCormick, “We value our employees’ input, and wanted them to help us make things better.” These small changes made a big difference in the end.

Another key to the improved efficiency was the leadership team’s conflict management training through TCL. McCormick recalls a situation where one supervisor would revert to barking orders during stressful work situations. The manager’s team came to McCormick for help, many feeling frustrated and really wanting to see positive change. He told them that he could speak with the supervisor, but that it would be better coming from the team members themselves. McCormick used the skills he had learned during his TCL training to coach the team to respectfully address their concerns with the supervisor. 

The open communication worked, and the manager was able to see himself through the eyes of his team and make the changes necessary to create a more productive work environment. One of the most satisfying outcomes for McCormick was seeing the team put their heads together to solve problems during stressful times, instead of reverting to old ways. McCormick attributes this success to what he learned through TCL. “If we hadn’t done the conflict management training, everything could have fallen apart,” he said.

“Instead of just teaching them to be bosses, we are teaching them to be leaders,” said McCormick. “Our requirement is if you can’t lead yourself, we won’t allow you to lead others.”

Superior Farms, founded in 1964 with headquarters in Davis, California, is North America’s top processor and marketer of lamb. The company is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, providing products and services to customers throughout the United States, Canada and more than 10 countries. The company has approximately 400 employee-owners at more than 5 facilities and offices. Superior Farms strives to operate with integrity, providing value to its rancher partners, and is committed to serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.