You must live your core values

The Last Word

Learn more about:

Steve Maahs
President and chief operating officer
Alto-Shaam Inc.
W164 N9221 Water St., Menomonee Falls
Industry: Foodservice equipment manufacturer
Employees: 440 (majority in Wisconsin)

Steve Maahs is president and chief operating officer at Alto-Shaam Inc., a Menomonee Falls-based manufacturer of commercial cooking solutions and systems. It is not enough to state your core values; you need to live by them, he says.

“Our people are the keys to our success. This statement is one of our core values at Alto-Shaam, but it’s not enough to state your values. You need to live by them.

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“We’ve seen tremendous growth at Alto-Shaam in the past few years. Our sales have doubled, our people have doubled and our building has expanded by 25,000 square feet. Throughout all of this growth, living our values has remained a top priority as we support kitchens around the world.

“From hiring and training the right people to developing leaders from within, growth gives a tremendous opportunity to rely on your employees and provide them the tools they need to get the job done. Education is among several reasons for our growth – and it has played a direct role in our success.

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“Empowered employees can contribute to the overall health and financial success of a business. Rewards for hard work have helped the company shape our future. Our employees gather together every quarter to learn just how the entire company is doing and how they can do more to increase their annual bonus. Sales, cost reduction, quality and warranty numbers are all shared with our entire team so they can learn just how their individual contribution can directly impact their end goals.

“By providing this information, we are finding that our employees are engaged. They are carefully inspecting their work to increase their overall quality. They are making extra sales calls or carefully monitoring spending in their area.

“Our growth is proving that when we listen to our values, our entire family–our people–are an incredible key to our success.”

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