Work-Life Balance at Douglas Machine

There’s a key statement on the Douglas website — one that could easily be overlooked or skimmed through — that embodies the Douglas desire for its employees to embrace life beyond work:

“As an employee-owned company, we work diligently to be the best we can possibly be. Not only through innovation and the ongoing improvement of our products and services, but also in how we impact others and the world around us.”

It’s that last bit that says it all. Everything in life needs balance, and it’s improbable (if not impossible) to have an impact if you never physically or mentally leave the four walls of work behind.

Douglas employees live in the Alexandria, MN area and surrounding region. It’s a part of the state that’s rich in natural beauty, small-town friendliness, unique arts opportunities, and community clubs and organizations. In other words, it’s a good place to be, even in January. (Usually.) And Douglas Machine, as a company, encourages its employees to get out there and enjoy it, contribute to it, and make it an even better place.

Engaging & Supporting Our Communities

In any given week, there’s a signup available for Douglas employees to enter a drawing for free tickets to concerts, performances, sporting events, conferences, fundraisers and more. Here’s a small sample:

  • Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra
  • Central Lakes Concert Association
  • Community Education events
  • The Shrine Circus
  • Guest speakers
  • Alexandria Chamber of Commerce events
  • Professional games, including the Vikings, Twins and Minnesota Wild
  • Movie tickets to family shows

Douglas also encourages volunteerism by providing tickets to community summits, conferences and luncheons. Red Cross blood drives are held on-site several times throughout the year, and teams of Douglas volunteers sign up to help with Habitat for Humanity builds, United Way functions (such as the mobile food drop), and more.

Jan from corporate administration probably put it best: “Our people are happy to help.”

Douglas County Fair (Aug. 16-19)

Summertime in the Alexandria area means heading to the lakes for plenty of fishing, swimming, paddling, skiing and just plain relaxing. Street fairs, festivals and sidewalk sales abound. This week, the Douglas County Fair takes center stage on Aug. 16-19. And chances are you’ll see a lot of friendly faces from Douglas Machine there on any given day… there are nearly 700 of us, after all!

Troy from the build center said that, with his daughter showing her horse at the fair through 4-H (a community club for youth), he sees a lot of fellow Douglas employees at the fairgrounds throughout the week. In addition to many Douglas families’ kids being involved with a 4-H club, Troy said it’s not uncommon for people to come by at work to let him know they saw his daughter’s horse on their trip through the horse barn.

Being involved with the Douglas County Fair and the community through 4-H is a long-standing tradition for Troy’s family; cumulatively, his kids have been involved with 4-H for 18 years. Their areas of expertise range from horses, dog obedience training, shop projects, photography and baking.

Families involved with 4-H complete community service projects throughout the year too. They visit local nursing homes, fundraising for scholarships, cleaning up roadsides, and much more. It’s a way for Troy’s kids to learn leadership skills—how to run meetings, the ins and outs of community service projects, customer service, and, from working at the 4-H lunch stand, even how a business works.

Troy feels it’s important to be involved in the community. “The experience of helping other people, of being active and involved in the community — it’s knowing it’s not all about you,” he said. It’s a sentiment you’ll hear from a lot of Douglas employees.

Jan is also heading to the fair this week. She said it’s a family tradition now; her husband even volunteers as a cart driver to shuttle people between the parking lot and the entrance. Her grandkids are especially looking forward to this year’s lawn mower derby.

“The fair brings the community together,” she said. “And you always see Douglas people there.”

Besides the ever-popular fair food, Jan said her favorite part of going is simply watching families having fun together. “That’s great to see,” she said.

Summer Celebration

Every summer, Douglas Machine employees take a week to kick back, relax and have some fun together at work. Typically held the last week in July, Douglas Machine’s Summer Celebration is simply that—a celebration of summer and being together as employee-owners. The week features unique daily themes, plenty of treats, an all-employee picnic and friendly competitions like the ever-popular “rubber chicken toss.” A free family night at Casey’s Amusement Park is always a highlight.

Take a look at some of the fun we had this year on our YouTube channel.

Connect With Douglas Machine

Ready to learn more about how Douglas employees work, play, and connect with the communities we serve? Then be sure to contact us today. You can also reach out to us for more details on our industry-leading secondary packaging solutions. We can’t wait to hear from you.