The Phoenix Project

Interview with Jean Baptiste Crouan, MD, who reveals the origins and objectives of this collective project.

Jean-Baptiste, directeur d'Auray Plast


“Can you tell us more about this project, which you call ‘Phenix’?

One day, I said to myself… it was time for our organization to change. The question was how …

Also, I wanted us to all work together, to build this project, by relying on our expertise and our desire to see it grow, benevolence and our common ambition. It didn’t happen in a day …

We had to discuss, debate, procrastinate, we doubted, we got impatient, we got a bit lost too, and then we found our way back.

Divine light?
Nothing divine, common sense, consensus and listening! With the help of Orhéa Conseil, we finally managed to identify 3 routes, which are now our breadcrumb trails.

Route 1: With respect to our clients; we want to guarantee them an expertise of more than 40 years and develop our core business (seals and sealing), but also work on new developments, in new sectors.

Route 2: For this, we needed to optimize our industrial process, in order to improve our efficiency, to react quickly to market changes, to various unforeseen events or to new progress, so we revisited our processes, expanded our staff and implemented new tools.

Route 3: Within the teams, we make every effort to exchange, teach and develop skills. We are investing heavily in training.

By relying on an experienced collective, we wanted to improve how we welcome, integrate and train each newcomer in a more relevant way. We also all voted to highlight the 5 key skills that we wanted to find among us all, including our interns! This year, we are learning to solve problems without rushing in headlong!
All while maintaining a positive working atmosphere.

It’s heaven on earth?
We don’t always agree! And we communicate that!
We have formed working groups, trained our leaders in team leadership and we are moving forward together, in project mode… but step by step!

Our leitmotif to achieve these 3 objectives is to have everyone participate, to involve and develop the skills of our individuals, while ensuring the quality of our products. The important thing is that everyone finds their place and can play a role.

Is this your vision of “happiness at work”?
Above all, I hope that people feel good … and it is clear that I am very proud of my team and the progress they have made!
“Well-being at work” is fundamental for meeting the challenges of tomorrow.

Realistically, what does it mean?
For example, we offer, to those who want it, ways to keep fit… thanks to a muscle warm-up , carried out every day by keen employees … and also thanks to impressive quantities of French pastries (everybody needs rewards!)
We set up a “library” with novels available for everybody; once a year we have a “day out” all together, to help build relationships and find interesting ways to tackle subjects.
We also work on skills grids, these allow everyone to know what is expected of them and we make sure to set specific, clear, appropriate and realistic objectives. The accompaniment is caring, while being demanding.
We have also put in place an incentive plan and re-evaluated positions and classifications.
We are concerned about the environment, making sure to turn off the lights as it’s “not the Palace at Versailles here”! We are 100% invested in the small daily gestures (we recycle our waste, we sort our papers; we print only what is strictly necessary and on both sides …)
The CSE is working hard on safety issues and the workstations have been revised to make them more ergonomic, with adjustable tables, more suitable lighting, etc.
The goal is to continue to progress and improve.

So are you happy?
Of course! There is still some way to go, everything is not perfect and as we have about 5 ideas a week, we must prioritize, not be too thinly spread, try to stay pragmatic and tenacious. The current situation is a bit complicated, but I hope that together, we will move forward step by step.  In any case, we’re off to a good start!