Stecker Machine Blog

Why Machine Shop Family Ownership Matters

10/28/2020 | Matt Oswald

Does "family ownership" really matter to the average worker? More specifically, does it matter in a machine shop environment? Yes, Employees of most family-owned brands are generally happier and more productive. They feel better about their jobs, and it shows in their work. 

So, does that translate to customers, too? Yes again, family businesses are the most trusted, according to an Edelman Trust Barometer survey. And, according to Family Business Magazine, 60% of customers said they prefer to buy from family businesses.

Family-owned businesses are generally approachable, stable, and trustworthy which all contribute to boosting sales and profitability. Many family-owned companies realize this, so 76% refer to themselves as a family business in marketing materials to establish a strong identity and build trust with customers and employees. Taking all of this into account, a family-owned business increases consumer confidence and generates better profitability. That’s good news for employees of these businesses! 

In a family-owned business it’s the little things that make a big difference.


Commitment plays a large part in a family-owned business. When family is involved, not every decision is strictly a business. Family-owned businesses are committed to making decisions to protect the long-term benefits provided to their employees, their communities, their charities and their local causes which results in their employees being more committed to them as well. 

Stability and Loyalty

With a more conservative approach and less debt than other businesses, family-owned businesses are better prepared for tough economic times. Focusing on long-term resilience rather than short-term gains helps family-owned companies’ weather economic storms and avoid having to lay off employees during economic downturns. This longer employee tenure then reinforces loyalty and a positive culture, while also being more efficient. Family businesses focus on long term stability and not the short term needs of often distant shareholders. 

Company Culture 

Company culture reflects family owners values and culture. Often employees fits right in with a local family owned business, because company culture stemming employees and owners are connected by local values. Employees are likely to see family owners beyond work out in the community, at church, school, stores, restaurants and festivals. Engagement at work and in the community helps build team cohesiveness. 

Long-term Company Vision

Family-owned businesses retain employees longer. According to Harvard Business Review, employee turnover rate is lower in family owned companies and is below 10%. A machine shop that has a strong, family-focused culture attracts good people and keeps them engaged and loyal. Often managers and shop leads have worked their way up from a machinist position resulting is a win-win situation that ensures the employee and the company will be set up for long-term future success. Employees grow with the company and family. Business growth fuels new career opportunities, and employee development powers company growth. 


As far as day-to-day operations, a family-owned machine shop often make decisions easier and quicker, because there are less office politics and policies involved. When an employee notices a process improvement or suggests an equipment update, he or she is listened to, and action can take place sooner. This flexibility translates to employees’ lifestyles too. If a personal family situation changes, a family-owned business is more willing to adjust to meet that new life need. Plus, the flexibility of a family business encourages employees to participate in community service opportunities. 

Work Life Balance

Family-owned businesses are more apt to understand that a person needs some balance between work and life. Even the most dedicated machine shop employee has a life outside the shop walls. A family-owned business is more likely to celebrate that fact instead of view it as counterproductive to business. That happy employee, whether an assembler, a machine operator, a quality technician or a manager, feels cared for and is inspired to perform at his or her best. Plus, in many family-owned shops, overtime is voluntary and not forced upon the employee.

Stecker Machine’s family ownership

Employee comments about Stecker Machine Company follow the same trend:

“Being part of a family-owned business means that you are not just a number. They really do care about your success, your family and your wellbeing.”

“The Stecker family decided to share the profits with their employees. Profit sharing alone will enable me to visit my daughter at least once a year, maybe twice. That’s something I could not have done otherwise.”

“It’s great that Stecker focuses on employee development at every level. A majority of our supervisors and engineers began as Stecker machinists.”

“Stecker knows that hiring the right people, and treating them like family, is crucial to everyone’s success.”

Stecker’s Employee Benefits

Not every machine shop offers such an impressive benefits package to their employees. 

  • Health, Dental and Vision Insurance
  • 401(k) with a Company Match
  • Profit Sharing
  • Vacation
  • Holiday Pay
  • Sign on Bonus for plant employees
  • Life Insurance
  • Short-Term Disability
  • Safety Reimbursement Program
  • Continuing Education Program
  • Employee Assistance Program

Ready to explore joining the Stecker family? We always appreciate hearing from enthusiastic, qualified people. We want you on our team.   Check out our career openings and apply today!

Matt Oswald

About the Author

Matt leads SMC's Human Resources and Marketing Team. He has worked for Stecker Machine for over 7 years on projects spanning CNC manufacturing, robotics, inbound marketing, and leadership. He enjoys applying his engineering background to any business challenge.

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