Lee County plumbing company’s initiative helps maintain and hire employees

The remarkably low unemployment rate is great for the economy. But it’s not so great for companies searching for new employees. There aren’t many job seekers out there because so many people have jobs.

However, Next Plumbing in Lee County said it has a new strategy to hire and keep their workers.

“Fort Myers and Cape Coral are two of the fastest growing cities in America right now, which means there’s nothing but work out there,” said Patrick garner, Next Plumbing operations manager. “So if plumbers, AC techs [and] mechanics, if they’re not being taken care of, they’re eventually going to start looking for somewhere else.”

Garner knew his company needed to do something out of the box to keep its workers, so Next Plumbing decided to invest more in them, starting by sending them on fully paid-for vacations.

“It is just amazing to think that Next Plumbing thinks that highly of their employees,” Junior Conn said. “That they want to make sure that the hard work you put in today pays off for tomorrow.”

Conn, a service technician at Next Plumbing, was sent on a vacation to Costa Rica with his wife. Not only that, Next Plumbing, decided to give Conn and other employees their own stake in the company.

“I always like to come into work to begin with,” Conn said. “But I like coming here because I know I have a stake in the company. I look at it as I own this little piece of the pie for my customers for the company.”

Next Plumbing also built a state-of-the-art gym that comes with free personal trainers and dietitians.

“I got more energy,” Michael Donohue said. “I can work longer. I feel better all the way around.”

Next Plumbing also affords it employees a competitive salary and provides them with full benefits. The company management said it has seen increased production and improved customer satisfaction with it increased investment in employees.

Garner said it’s important for work to be more than a job — but a family as well.

“If we’re going to hire the best, we need to treat them the best,” Garner said.

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