Culture Drives Business Success

In 1997, Barry-Wehmiller embarked on a journey to change the way they do business by focusing on the treatment of their employees. This journey was spearheaded by Chairman and CEO Bob Chapman. In good times and in bad, they believe that every single person matters, just like in a family, and this belief has been key to the company’s success.

We know that people’s health and their wellbeing is a huge part of how they live the rest of their lives. So we really want to challenge our people to take responsibility for their health and also their financial well-being.”

— Rhonda Spencer, Chief People Officer


Watch the story of how Barry-Wehmiller transformed their culture by placing greater emphasis on their most valuable asset…their employees.

Bringing a Vision to Life

Barry-Wehmiller partnered with Lockton to align their health and retirement benefits with their cultural vision, which challenges the company to measure success by the way they touch the lives of people. Because of this commitment, they want their employees to feel recognized for and fulfilled by their contributions.

As the company expanded globally, it became critical to align the benefits and well-being programs with the culture. Strategic decisions are made progressively and intentionally to empower employees and drive employee engagement.

Changing the Conversation

As a result, Barry-Wehmiller has changed the conversation from cost to care and from information to inspiration, and they’ve seen amazing results. Not only have employee well-being program engagement scores gone up, but Barry-Wehmiller has also been able to keep healthcare cost increases less than 4 percent a year. Barry-Wehmiller also sees that acting as a steward of strong retirement planning is critical for employees who often have decades of employment with the company.

Prior to engaging with Lockton, Barry-Wehmiller worked with other brokers on a project basis. Ed Strouth, Director of Health and Well-Being for Barry-Wehmiller, appreciates the contract design and relationship he has with Lockton. “Lockton is able to truly work as an extension of our team and bring cutting-edge ideas to the table,” says Strouth. “Their expertise in actuarial, legal, well-being, and
global services has helped us stay ahead of the curve in what we offer our team members.”

We have an opportunity to shape not only the time that they have with us but also how they’re able to live their lives beyond their time with us.

— Rhonda Spencer, Chief People Officer

Challenging Each Other to Bring the Best Solutions

“I appreciate the way Barry-Wehmiller always puts their employees first,” says Lora Autullo, Director of Client Management for Lockton. “They challenge me every day to be progressive and bring new ideas, and that makes them a great client to work with.”

Rhonda Spencer, Barry-Wehmiller’s Chief People Officer, appreciates the coaching approach Lockton brings to her team and Lockton’s ability to both guide her and incorporate feedback on Barry-Wehmiller’s vision. “I think we are a really challenging client to work with, and they’ve always been there to meet our needs in every single thing we’ve asked of them,” says Spencer.

“Because we are a company of acquisitions, things come up quickly, and I appreciate Lockton’s responsiveness and ability to turn around analysis and recommendation,” says Strouth. “They are there when I need them, and that gives me great peace of mind.”

Culture Matters

Barry-Wehmiller’s philosophy is that the ripple effect of leadership in business is huge and the way people are treated at work influences the way employees interact with their families and their communities.

Does Lockton’s culture impact Barry-Wehmiller’s decision to partner with Lockton? “There’s a quote from Tony Hsieh at Zappos,” says Spencer. “Your customers cannot feel from your employees what they do not feel from you. I may have only a little insight into the culture at Lockton, except that it impacts the way their people treat us.”

Company Profile

Barry-Wehmiller is a 130-year-old business with close to 12,000 employees globally and is approaching $3 billion in revenue. They are the combination of 90 different acquired company histories that supply consulting and manufacturing technology for the packaging, corrugating, sheeting, and paper-converting industries.

You can read more about Barry-Wehmiller’s distinctive approach to leadership and culture in the book Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia.

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Read how Barry-Wehmiller embarked on a journey to change the way they do business by focusing on how they treat their employees.