Cintas’ frontline engagement from employee-partners the difference in its award-winning ergonomics program
CINCINNATI – Securing consistent, elite recognition on the national stage does not happen overnight. The continued “secret sauce” of Cintas Corporation’s (Nasdaq: CTAS) award-winning ergonomics program? It begins with the impactful work done internally by its employee partners on a daily basis.
“Our program is driven by frontline employee-partner activity,” said Dr. Davana Pilczuk, Cintas’ Corporate Ergonomist. “At Cintas, we feel the field employee-partners have inside knowledge as to how to improve their jobs, so our program is designed to listen to them. Most other companies have ergo programs that are expert-driven, meaning they have a staff of ergonomists making decisions and solving problems.”
June is National Safety Month and an opportunity to shine light on the meaningful and impactful efforts of Cintas’ ergonomics program. The company’s heralded Health & Safety team is focused on the well-being of Cintas’ employee-partners year-round, and the ergonomics team has a specific emphasis on not only the workforce’s safety, but also improving workmanship quality and overall productivity.
That also includes a pair of tentpole events that highlight the innovation and ingenuity that comes from the company’s front lines: an internal ergo competition and the company’s ongoing leadership and success at the field’s international competition and conference.
Cintas’ award-winning ergonomics solutions begin in-house with a program that helps employee-partners perform their jobs more safely and efficiently and inspires personal involvement in developing ergonomic solutions. The result: a true focus on the worker that separates Cintas from other companies in the space.
Just one example is its ergonomics competition, which the company has staged for the last five years. The competition seeks to engage the workforce and encourages employee partners to invent new and creative ways to make the jobs they do easier on their bodies.
Last December, the Cintas-hosted competition featured 13 winners from more than 50 entries. Almost 200 employee-partners from the Rental, First Aid & Safety and Fire Protection divisions, as well as its Global Supply Chain arm, logged on to learn the results of the in-house competition that earned the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Innovation Award in 2019.
The internal contest has also served as a benchmark for several Fortune 500 companies.
In March, Cintas was well-represented at the internationally recognized 26th annual Applied Ergonomics Conference (AEC) in New Orleans, with multiple employee-partners competing for the elite annual Ergo Cup and Excellence Awards.
Since 2018, Cintas’ rich ergonomics leadership has been recognized regularly in the Ergo Cup. The company has won four Ergo Cup awards (2018, two in 2021, 2022) and three Excellence Awards (2019, 2022, 2023) in that time. Further, in 2023, Stephen Jenkins – Cintas’ Director of Health & Safety and 2018 AEC Practitioner of the Year – gave the conference’s keynote address.
Cintas’ unique combination of the participation and involvement of its employee-partners, as well as the awards they’ve garnered for their efforts to reduce wear from repetitive motions, provides the company opportunities to feature their frontline partners at international conferences like the Applied Ergonomics Conference.
Cintas employee-partners and ergo experts staff booths and presentation spaces to talk about their solutions and how Cintas incorporates ergonomics into everyday work. Visitors at the event can get an up-close look at innovations that Cintas’ ergonomics program has provided for production, service and office situations.
The collective buy-in and engagement from employee-partners in the Rental Division – the company’s largest – has identified efficiency improvements that are quantified by its “motions saved” metric. In fiscal year 2022 – the last full year of data available – that number reached an astounding 32 billion, with the company’s North Central Group leading the division.
“The design of our program intentionally focuses on including each employee-partner as much as possible in the problem-solving process,” Pilczuk said. “Culture-driven programs like ours take years to develop, but once it is engrained into our business, we no longer have to solely rely on experts to solve problems.
“We believe in empowering partners to speak up, lead and create change where needed,” Pilczuk added.
About Cintas Corporation
Cintas Corporation helps more than one million businesses of all types and sizes get Ready™ to open their doors with confidence every day by providing products and services that help keep their customers’ facilities and employees clean, safe, and looking their best. With offerings including uniforms, mats, mops, towels, restroom supplies, workplace water services, first aid and safety products, eye-wash stations, safety training, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and alarm service, Cintas helps customers get Ready for the Workday®. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas is a publicly held Fortune 500 company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of both the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and Nasdaq-100 Index.