Inside Dental Technology
Albensi Dental Laboratories Named Top Workplace 2013
Superior leadership and vision provide an exciting and engaging work environment
When the Post Gazette newspaper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia set out to find the Top Work Places and best bosses in the Pittsburgh metro area in 2013, they decided to ask the people who know best—the employees. Partnering with WorkplaceDynamics, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm, the newspaper invited 1,132 companies to participate in the contest, and surveyed 133 of them. Surveys included questions that asked workers for details about about their places of employment and the top executives. The only restriction to inclusion in the contest was that the company must employ a minimum of 50 people in the Pittsburgh area.
In late September, the results of the surveys were compiled and the winners for 2013 announced. Coming out on top were three companies named the Best Places to Work 2013 and three top community leaders identified as the Best Bosses 2013. One of the winning companies and its leader was dental technologist Don Albensi, Sr. and his dental laboratory, Albensi Dental Laboratory Inc.
“We are very honored to have been chosen by our employees as one of the best places to work in the Pittsburgh area for 2013,” says Albensi. “We are consistently trying to improve our processes here at Albensi and provide a work environment that keeps our employees engaged and excited about their jobs.”
Albensi, who opened his laboratory in 1979 with only three employees, has grown the organization organically into a 99-employee business that continues to flex and adapt to dental technology’s rapidly changing business environment. Bursting at the seams in their present 13,000 square-foot facility, Albensi will soon be moving his employees to a new 60,000-foot state-of-the-art building conveniently located ½-mile from the Pennsylvania turnpike and outfitted with the latest technologies and communication infrastructure.
According to the 19,000 employees polled for the metro-wide contest, it is confidence in the CEO’s leadership and vision that was identified as the key driver of workplace satisfaction. In fact, according to survey results, employees place more importance on their confidence in the company leadership than they do on their pay or benefits. One of Albensi’s employees, responding on the survey, anonymously told the Post-Gazette, “Everyone works together as a team here at Albensi. We adapt well to new things and are always on the cutting edge in our industry. It’s exciting to be a part of what we do as a company.”
Such compliments are humbling to Albensi, who by his own admission in a local Pittsburgh TV broadcast aired September 12, had to leave the bench he loved to grow as a manager and leader of a company. “I graduated as a dental technician in 1976 and nowhere in my education was there any curriculum on how to manage and inspire employees and grow a business.” But over the years what he has learned is that key to leading a business is earning the respect of those working for you. “Our employees are like a large family,” says Albensi. “And as with any family, in order to gain their respect, you must respect them, and they in turn will respect you.” Showing respect for your employees, having an enthusiastic attitude about the future of the company, and being able to admit to your employees you were wrong and apologize is, according to Albensi, a good recipe for growing a successful business and keeping employees long-term. It is this nurturing business culture along with Don’s vision of the future that keeps employees engaged and excited about working at Albensi.