Putting Employees First, Always
Seasonal work often means brutal hours for months at a time, followed by a slow period. But Amanda Hayhoe-Kruger, president of Hayhoe Asphalt and Leadership Award winner, knows that employees are human. They need mental and physical rest, to see their families, and have time for themselves.
Sometimes, leading means putting people ahead of profit, and Hayhoe-Kruger said it’s worth it.
“I believe that the most important customer in my business isn’t my asphalt customer — it’s my employees,” she said. “It’s imperative for them to know how important they are to me and to Hayhoe Asphalt. … Having healthier and happier employees is invaluable.”
Qualified workers for skilled trades can be hard to find, so attracting and retaining employees is crucial. As a leader, Hayhoe-Kruger knows that putting employees first will help with that.
In 2019, Hayhoe Asphalt started an apprenticeship program, giving people a chance to try out the job for 60 days. After two recent high school graduates participated, they were offered full-time employment at the end of the apprenticeship and now earn a living wage that could lead to a six-figure income without additional schooling required.
For all employees, Hayhoe-Kruger implemented a minimum $15-per-hour starting wage, weekly company-provided lunches and other benefits.
“I’ve found that life is so much more enjoyable when we are all generous and kind and show love to each other,” she said. “Leading my crew has been so much more rewarding and fun since I made the leap to sharing more of Hayhoe Asphalt’s profitability with them. Our team makes better wages and feels that they are truly appreciated. And our customers benefit by having a team of workers who know their value and enjoy coming to work. It’s definitely a win-win-win situation for everyone.”
As a leader, Hayhoe-Kruger has shown her commitment to her team for years. Now, it’s her turn to be recognized.