Getting into Go Karts

Why Go Karts?  “Because we are makers and have competitive spirits”, says Joe Worley, President of AlphaTech.  “During one of our employee outings, we visited Fun Depot, a local recreational site.  Our guys enjoyed all the activities but kept coming back to the karts.  Kletia and I decided that this should be a year-round event that builds momentum.” Kletia Goodson, head of the Human Resources Department for AlphaTech, and Joe Worley decided employee engagement should go beyond a once-a-year event. Based on employees’ enthusiastic response to Go Karts, they knew building and operating their own Go Karts would be a hit.

Art Kannup stated, “Go Karts will give the creators and makers here something to connect with and enjoy in their work.” Since AlphaTech is the manufacturer and ownership partner for two other American-owned companies, employees have been assigned to three teams: Team AlphaTech (ATI), Team North State Overland (NSO), and Team Avidity Arms. Members of the three teams are responsible for designing, manufacturing, assembling and modifying their Karts. They have assigned team captains, drivers, and even a pit stop crew.

Starting December 2022, teams will race on a track forged in the property surrounding AlphaTech’s machine shop. ATI plans to hold races quarterly, and winners will even receive a PTO bonus.

Robert Owen, part of the management team at AlphaTech and captain of Team Avidity said, “Employee engagement shows that companies care about their employees. There’s more to feeling valued than just pay and benefits. When you realize you are part of a big picture, it instills value, helps with overall attitude and quality of work.” The goal of the initiative is for employees to connect with their work and one another- to find the value behind what they do, and enjoy their craft. AlphaTech hopes employees will continue to embrace the games the way they have already begun to embrace the game preparation.

For some, the appeal of the games might be potential winner bragging rights or developing a new skill set. For others, it might be driving the Karts, or winning that PTO bonus. For AlphaTech, though, the goal above all is to bring employees together and create an enjoyable company culture.

As a family-owned business, knowing and valuing each employee is one of AlphaTech’s highest priorities. Whether it’s walking about the shop, personally handing out paychecks each week, or checking in with everyone throughout the day, the goal is the same: AlphaTech wants their employees to feel that they are part of a community.

This past Christmas, AlphaTech took a day away from work and provided food trucks and games as a way to build the family atmosphere they strive for. Art Kannup, who is the Vice President of Manufacturing and has been with AlphaTech since its beginning, said, “I noticed employees want to be part of something greater- not just running a machine. Engagement makes us feel like a team. We did games and stuff last year and it really engaged the employees. It renewed their excitement behind their work.”

Employees need to know they are valued and see their part in the company. When employees feel engaged, they are more likely to show optimistic, team-oriented, and passionate behaviors. Understanding this, AlphaTech has decided to direct their resources into a game-changing employee engagement initiative for the upcoming year: Go Kart racing!

Author: Kathryn Worley, October 2022

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