This week on Taking the Hire Road, Jeremy Reymer, founder and CEO of DriverReach, is joined by trucking industry veteran and leader Jay Sewell, president of Sewell Motor Express.
The family-owned company has been servicing the industry with shipping and storage solutions for over 100 years.
With experience in other areas of the industry, Sewell has seen the difference that culture can make, no matter the size. Culture can make or break a company, especially when it comes to employee recruitment and retention.
Sewell Motor is dedicated to its employees and prides itself on its core values — a direct reflection of the Sewell family and the very thing that drives company decisions. Among this set of core values is honesty.
“The policy to have with your people is honesty. Communication is your culture,” Sewell said. “You do yourself a disservice if you are not honest with your people and creating a culture that inspires honesty from your people as well.”
The company’s core values also include partnerships and commitment, added Sewell. He describes partnerships as more than just working collaboratively with customers — partnerships exist internally and externally.
“It’s not just with your customers. It’s with your people — you have internal customers and you have to form a partnership with them and stay committed to it,” Sewell said.
The company has very recently become fully employee-owned. Sewell stresses the importance of forming a runway — a transitional plan — as a company leader that keeps both the company and its employees intact as leaders filter in and out. He was able to sell the company to the employees, putting him on the right trajectory toward eventual retirement and leaving the employees all the decision-making power.
He added that this provides Sewell Motor employees another lane of retirement — an employee stock ownership plan regulated through the Department of Labor. This allows employees to receive a portion of the company’s value at the time of their retirement. These benefits have proved attractive for both current and future employees, according to Sewell.
“We stand on the shoulders of a lot of good people, and I just couldn’t sell this company to someone and leave my employees in a vulnerable state,” he said. “This allows us to give something back to our people, at no extra cost or risk to them.”
To learn more about Sewell Motor Express, visit its website.
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More from Taking the Hire Road:
A trucking workforce conversation with FMCSA’s Hutcheson
Legal care as a tool for driver retention
Doubling down on drug testing
Future of Supply Chain
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