Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I have never done production work like this before. Does that make me ineligible for hire?
A: Absolutely not! In fact, most of our employee owners had no experience with composites or processes like ours prior to starting at Royal. No other company in the area manufactures products like we do, so we do not look for individuals with experience. Rather, we look for people that fit into our culture and are willing to grow. Once hired, we combat the lack of knowledge with a training program that combines classroom learning and hands on experience.
Q: I have interviewed for a position at Royal. What’s next?
A: Once all interviews for a position have been conducted, we select the candidate that we feel is best suited for the position. This could take a couple of days or a couple of weeks. Once we have made a decision, we will extend an offer for employment to the chosen individual. All individuals will be notified once a decision has been made, even if they were not selected for hire.
Q: I was told that employee owners have to stay on the shift that they hire onto for two years. Why?
A: Each department and each shift has an important role to play in our success. By having employee owners stay on the shift that they were hired onto for at least two years, we ensure that we have the skills and abilities necessary on each shift to meet our goals and train new employee owners.
Q: After two years on my shift, can I transfer to another shift?
A: Yes, but not necessarily immediately. In order to transfer to another department or shift, an employee owner must follow the internal application procedure to apply for an opening and be chosen to take that position.
Q: Are there any exceptions to the two year rule?
A: If an employee owner follows our internal application procedure and applies for an opening that is considered a promotion from their current position, the transfer can be granted provided they are selected as the best suited applicant for the position.
Q: What is a flex Friday?
Flex Fridays are built in buffers in our production schedule that help ensure that we meet the ship dates that we have promised to our customers. Every other Friday is a flex Friday. Early in the week of the flex Friday, our Production Manager publishes a schedule stating whether or not a department is working on Friday. If the Friday is listed as mandatory, all employee owners are expected to report to work and normal attendance rules apply. On a recommended Friday, we ask that employee owners come in but don’t require the use of paid time off if they do not. Optional Fridays hold similar rules, and off Fridays mean employee owners do not have to report to work. Often times, flex Fridays are partial days for our production employee owners.
The important thing to remember about flex Fridays is that, while they offer many benefits to employees, they are flex for the company and not a guarantee. If the production schedule is behind, we ask that all employee owners put in some extra effort to get caught up.
Q: What is the attendance policy at Royal?
A: Royal expects all employee owners to be at work and ready to work by the start of their shift each day. To simplify our attendance policy, we ask that employee owners wisely manage their paid time off (PTO) to prevent unpaid time off. Since the first 60 days of an employee owner’s new job are crucial to the success of their training, we ask that no time is missed during this initial period. Therefore, PTO time is not available for use until after 60 days.
Q: Why does Royal offer only a high-deductible health plan?
A: A lot of factors were considered in the decision to offer only a high-deductible health plan, including the rising cost of health insurance and our employee ownership. The high-deductible plan was able to offer us lower premiums for insurance. Since premiums are a cost that can never be recovered, we are striving to help employee owners use the money that would have been spent on premiums to save for their medical expenses using a pre-tax Health Savings Account (HSA) which, in turn, can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses.
Q: What does it actually mean to be an employee owner?
A: Ownership likely has a different meaning to each of our employee owners. In general, the benefit to employee ownership is the privilege of knowing and seeing how you, as an individual, can impact company profitability which, in turn, impacts personal profitability.
Ownership does not grant an employee owner the right to hire, fire, discipline or set pay for other employee owners nor does it give an employee owner the right to vote on everything. Think of individuals who own stock in other companies through their 401(k) plans. They are not allowed to do any of the previously mentioned things. However, as an employee owner and shareholder of Royal, you have the opportunity to perform and make decisions that can positively affect Royal, which is a benefit that owning shares of other companies does not provide.
Q: I have been offered a job and have been accepted. Now what?
First of all, congratulations and welcome! As you prepare to start a new chapter with us, please know that there are a few requirements that we must meet. All new hires must pass a pre-employment physical as well as a pre-employment drug screening. In addition, all new hires must provide proof of identity and proof of eligibility for employment to satisfy the requirements of the Form I-9. Also, because Royal is subject to the provisions of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), new hires must prove that they are a U.S. Person.
Q: I have heard rumors that the pre-employment physical is hard! What’s up with that?
A: Our pre-employment physical is designed to ensure that all hires are capable of meeting the physical demands required of a particular job. Many of the activities in the physical, such as push-ups and sit-ups, are done to fatigue the body. Once the body is fatigued, the lifting exercises are done to ensure that, even when tired, an applicant is capable of lifting safely. The physical can be tough for some and not all candidates pass, but most individuals have no issues.
Q: What are the first few days at Royal like for a new hire?
A: Regardless of what shift they have been hired onto, all new hires will work a modified schedule during their first week at Royal. The first day is a mixture of paperwork and orientation with Human Resources and training with our Safety Coordinator. The next few days include some additional paperwork, classroom training to learn about composites and job shadowing with operators on the production floor. For employee owners ultimately moving to second or third shift, depending upon the availability of trainers on their shift, they may stay a few extra weeks on a modified schedule for additional training before being sent to their shift.
Q: I would like to advance at Royal. Is this an option? What support is available to me?
A: Most definitely! One of Royal’s goals is to develop and grow our employee owners. All open positions are posted internally and any employee owner can apply. Internal applications are then passed onto the hiring supervisor for review and interview. Whenever possible, we promote from within.
For employee owners who have their sights set on a position that is not yet open, we encourage them to complete a Personal Development Plan with their supervisor, job shadow for a few hours with the current incumbent, and if necessary, start taking classes to provide them with the knowledge needed for such a position. To support employee owners with continuing education, Royal offers a tuition reimbursement program that will cover tuition, books and fees. We also sponsor several in-house training options for employees.