Since its founding in 1959, Capital Valve & Fitting Co. has provided fluid system components for industrial and manufacturing clients across Louisiana and Mississippi.
It has also become known as a generous and progressive place to work. In addition to strong compensation and benefits packages, the company promulgates an ethic of “just treating people right,” says Walter Brock, vice president of administration. Last year, it began a values training program that formally promotes doing the right thing and operating with integrity.
The average length of employment for Capital Valve’s 69 employees is 12 years— lengthy for the sector, Brock says. The company makes a point of regularly evaluating employee satisfaction and engagement at its four locations: Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette and Lake Charles. An outside firm conducts the survey every two years.
“We’re very interested in knowing what the engagement level of our people is,” Brock says. “The more they enjoy their job, the better they can serve our customers.”
Human resources manager Ashley Boughton says that benefits and strong brand enticed her to accept a position with the company over the summer. “Capital Valve has generous sick and vacation time, great flexibility, and continuous training and development,” she says. “During the recession, those are the kinds of things you saw being cut and not coming back, but that wasn’t the case here. This is a company that is interested in doing the right thing.”
Service is also embedded in the workplace culture: Each employee is given a paid day off to serve a charity of his or her choice. Companywide, employees also support causes, including the recent ALS ice bucket challenge and fun runs to raise money for local nonprofits. “Team building activities are very big for us,” Brock says.
Annual crawfish boils and holiday parties give staff a chance to show off their families. And a recent wellness program offered free pedometers and cash incentives to either lose weight or quit smoking. Capital Valve still offers sick leave and buys back unused days at the end of the year.
With record sales growth over the last three years, the company is expanding its Baton Rouge footprint with a new office building and a training center at its Interline Avenue site.