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Employee Happiness at CW Crates & Pallets

CW Crates & Pallets President and Owner, Frank Duffy, realizes the value in creating great jobs and investing in employee happiness. The return on this investment can include less turnover, heightened productivity and performance, and a better product or service — all of which lead to increased revenue and higher profits.

So how does one approach employee happiness?

The most obvious answer is in compensation, but that alone is likely to prompt limited and short-term results. The conversation about employee commitment is starting to center around much more than salary and benefits. Workspace design, goals and growth, an engaging work culture, and the right work-life balance are as important as compensation when it comes to employee happiness.


Ergonomics, user control, and accessibility are examples of not just a welcoming workspace design, but also a functioning workspace design. CW Crates & Pallets is proactive in accommodating its office staff’s ergonomic needs with standing desks and other as-needed office equipment. They encourage breaks for stretching and exercising and even provide a StairMaster, hand weights, and other accessories for effective workouts.

The shop follows LEAN methodologies that focus on making each step as efficient as possible. Some recent LEAN implementations include adding wheels to work stations for ease and quickness of setting up new jobs, adding “Lazy Susan” pallet tables, implementing new rolling work carts for each employee, and consolidating Kanban items by 25%. These are just a few of the steps that have helped employees feel more motivated about their work and less tired at the end of their shifts


CW recognizes ambition and talent, paving avenues for staff to advance their skill-set and grow with the company. This encourages employees to think in terms of longevity and solidifies commitment. Introducing opportunities to learn stimulates the mind and fights boredom which can lead to a loss of focus and productivity. In addition to this, one on one coaching is used to identify opportunities and build morale. Recognizing employees’ strengths can inspire them to give their best at every turn.


Both employee and employer play important roles in achieving a healthy work-life balance. As a family-first company, CW allows flexibility in scheduling and makes their PTO packages available to new employees after only 90 days. Employees are also encouraged to manage their workflow in a way that gets them out door on time at the end of their shift, and in cases when the shop can work ahead, CW offers the option to go home early. When an employer's efforts are coupled with the employee’s commitment to disconnect with self-care and family activities during their off-time, a healthy work-life balance can be achieved. themuse has a wonderful blog offering tips on how workers can help establish a better work-life balance.


Of all these talking points, company culture might be the most important.

Drawing from the Chinese proverb: Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand, CW team leaders include staff in establishing and improving processes. CW fosters a collaborative environment which draws ideas and feedback from its workers. Aside from inclusion, the staff at CW Crates and Pallets enjoys a break room with a pool table above their shop, free lunch with a BBQ each Thursday, and a supportive family environment with plenty of recognition and rewards.

The CW commitment to satisfied employees

When an employer is committed to shaping his or her employees’ happiness, that employer is fostering a quality of life which in turn contributes to healthier families which in turn helps shape better communities.


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