In 1967, Procter & Gamble broke ground on a little over 100 acres and started construction on what was to become one of P&G’s largest volume sites. In 1968, production began with what P&Gers fondly call our “FIRST SOAP” operation, Downy, a liquid fabric enhancer.
Over the next 50 years, the site would continue to grow and undergo many changes, including producing a variety of high quality products and forms to delight our consumers, supply new and existing customers with transformational technologies and provide innovative supply solutions.
There is one thing that has not changed since the very first day that the plant opened its doors, and that is the power of its amazing employees, our high-performance organization.
One of the key elements of our organization has always been the belief that everyone can and wants to contribute to their full potential and make a difference. From the first day employees are hired and trained, they get the opportunity to make a difference through being equipment owners on their teams and contributing to their team’s results every shift. This high-performance organization is built on a foundational value; that we have respect for the capability of all people.
In 1837, our founders, William Procter and James Gamble, said, “Find & Hire Good People.” People take care of everything else.
Richard Deupree, a P&G CEO in 1947, stated, “If you leave us our money, our buildings and our brands, but take away our people, the company will fail. But if you take away our money, our buildings and our brands but leave us all our people, we can rebuild the whole thing in a decade.”
I’ve seen people accomplish goals they would have never thought possible but because they believed in themselves and other believed in them, they achieved what they thought was impossible for themselves and the business. We call this a win-win; both the business and employees win!
This has translated into business results that are truly remarkable. It has also translated into long-term careers for many employees. I just recently celebrated the retirement of an employee with 33 years with P&G! We are also very fortunate and honored to host the very first and second employees ever hired in the plant at our 50th celebration!
Another outcome of this culture is having “generations” of P&Gers, where P&Gers refer other family members to come to work at the plant. We have many employees who have parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, children and friends who have worked in the Lima plant!
This “real family” environment only contributes to the “work” family environment that is created. When you spend that much time at work together, it becomes another family.
So many times, I’ve seen employees help each other out; whether it’s giving blood to help a friend in need, helping someone whose basement flooded, providing transportation when needed, visiting in the hospital after surgery, surprising someone with a birthday celebration, helping with wedding plans or baby showers or comforting someone when a loved one has passed away.
This has also translated into business ownership. People do what it takes to create success at work. Our values, which our employees developed, are “Do What’s Right, Work Together, Get Results.”
I’ve also seen this same high-performance spirit out in the community. People built homes for Habitat for Humanity, employees helped clean women’s shelters, tutored in schools, mentored children as a Big Brother, passed out food to the hungry at the food bank, painted rooms in hospitals for children, ran/walked to support Relay for Life and the battle against cancer and donated products to those in need. I could go on and on.
Our employees reflect the superior talent in our greater Lima Region community, so it’s no wonder we have amazing employees!
It is this high-performance organization that made our people the “Force of the Past,” and it will be this same organization that will be the “Power of the Future.”
To celebrate and honor our P&G people, the site embraced a slogan for the 50th anniversary.
Thank you to all the wonderful community supporters, suppliers, contract organizations, public officials, and private citizens who have helped to support our growth. We are very proud to have been in business in the Greater Lima Region for 50 years, and we look forward to another 50 years (and more)!
Elia Lopez is the plant manager for the Procter & Gamble plant in Lima.