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Employee Spotlight - Branden Weis

June 26, 2024 Viega
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Branden has been with Viega for just two years, quickly progressing from a temp position to the weekend shift supervisor in McPherson, Kansas. We sat down with him to learn more about his story and his passion for creating an inclusive workplace.

Tell us about what your job looks like in the day to day:

Working a weekend shift, my Fridays are Mondays, and my Mondays are Fridays. It’s a little backwards, but I love it. I get in here every day at about 4:30 AM, and go out to the floor to see what my day will look like. Once leadership arrives, we sit down and make a game plan for the day. Taking on this supervisor role back in November was a whole new thing for me, and I’m thankful for the leadership team here who are all very seasoned. I manage the inventory and work within the Lean Practitioner program. It all keeps me busy, which I like.

Talk to us about your journey with Viega up to this point:

COVID saved my life, in a sense. I lost my job during the pandemic, right when my wife had just had a baby. I remember driving and saw the hiring sign outside Viega. I quickly applied and was hired as a temporary worker on third shift. I really believe they saw my potential and what I wanted to do with my life, and nobody slowed me down. This company is unique in the fact that they help open doors for you. I had the opportunity to move into a Level 3 role, then took on a leadership role, and now I supervise the weekend shift. If it wasn’t for all of this, I wouldn’t know as much as I do. I remember taking the role during COVID thinking, “This will get me by,” and now I have really found a home here.

What’s something that stands out to you about working at Viega:

As a family-owned company, Viega truly cares about your family. I’ve had to take days off because my son is sick, and my manager is asking about my son – not concerned with when I’m coming back to work. Additionally, even if your path is unconventional or you have to pause in the process, your growth doesn’t stop at Viega. That’s a big reason why I’ve stayed, and hopefully I’m going to be a lifer here. I’ve never worked somewhere where you have so many outlets to learn and grow. It just goes to show, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re at – if you have the right attitude, they want you.

What are some of the ways you’ve grown at Viega:

When I was a Level 3, I went through ViegaFit training, which is a program Viega offers that focuses on continuous improvement. At the end of that course, I had the opportunity to apply for the Lean Practitioner program, and I ended up getting selected. This is a Sigma Six Global Institute (SSGI) course, where they pay for you to do the course and curriculum. The best part is you get to participate in three different workshops, co-facilitate one, and then you facilitate one yourself. It’s been an incredible experience, and I’ve been able to progress in it, even with a busy workload.

How do you create an inclusive environment for your team:

I always want to make sure everyone feels seen. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the diversity and inclusion work at Viega, and it’s something that brings me so much pride. My team knows I’m here to support them – in their career trajectory, but also just as people.

I remember doing a blind resume when interviewing a member of my team. I told him, “I don’t want to know anything about your past. I want to hear about your future and what you are doing now to get there.” The energy I got from that prompt was so positive because we weren't focusing on his past. That’s what my crew gets from me. I even started playing Dungeons & Dragons to connect with my team members outside of work. Of course, my team is doing incredible things on the floor. On the other end of it, they know I’m going to be there for them on a personal level too. 

What do you like about Viega?

Everyone here lives with the motto, “Treat the janitor with the same respect as you do the CEO.” That culture bleeds here, and I’ve found my forever home. I just need to figure out what’s next, how I can continue to grow, and help others around me do the same.

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