Introducing Rubie Hernandez – Our Associate of the Year
Rubie Hernandez is the Staff Management | SMX 2012 Associate of the Year. Rubie works on assignment at Federal-Mogul in Skokie, IL coordinating express deliveries in the Federal-Mogul Distribution Center. Federal-Mogul serves the world’s foremost original equipment manufacturers of automotive, commercial, aerospace, marine, rail and off-road vehicles; and industrial, agricultural and power generation equipment. Rubie joined the Staff Management | SMX associate team at Federal-Mogul in 2008.
To recognize Rubie’s accomplishments, Staff Management | SMX Vice President of Global Operations & Staffing Center of Excellence, Jerry Wimer, visited Rubie at the Federal-Mogul site in Skokie on August 29, 2012 for a celebration with the Federal-Mogul and Staff Management | SMX team. Jerry thanked Rubie for her contributions to the Skokie operation and presented her with a congratulatory American Girl Shopping Spree for her three daughters as well as $1,000 in spending money. It was a great day for the entire team as they celebrated Rubie’s accomplishments and her well-deserved recognition!
True to her name, Rubie Hernandez is a rare and precious gem; a model employee, or, as Jeff Konecky, Federal-Mogul Distribution Center Manager says, “an all-star among all of my hourly associates, both Federal-Mogul and Staff Management | SMX”. As a result, requests for “a few more Rubies” are not unusual for the Staff Management | SMX service team to receive – but, of course, rubies are rare.
Rubie Hernandez has worked for Staff Management | SMX on assignment at Federal-Mogul in Skokie, IL since 2008. Rubie joined the Staff Management | SMX team at Federal-Mogul after staying home with her three daughters, Jasmine (11), Josie (9) and Lupita (7), since Josie was born. After her husband was permanently disabled, Rubie knew she needed to work outside the home but finding a job and leaving her daughters was not an easy transition. First, Rubie had to get comfortable with the idea of trusting other people to take care of her three girls. Second, Rubie had not worked outside the home since she was a teenager working day-labor positions, and so she needed someone to give her a chance.
During her job search, Rubie’s niece suggested that she apply for work with Staff Management | SMX at Federal-Mogul. Rubie applied and was hired in May 2008. Rubie explained that it wasn’t easy at first because she “had a hard time keeping up” in Federal-Mogul’s fast paced environment where achieving rate is a requirement for all employees. In October 2008 Rubie was laid-off but returned in January 2009, accepting a temporary position in the Federal-Mogul Distribution Center. Rubie returned to work determined to succeed. She put her mind to obtaining and exceeding rate and never looked back. Today, Rubie’s productivity performance percentages are well above the average of her peers, both Staff Management | SMX and Federal-Mogul, in every single category.
Of Rubie’s performance, Jeff Konecky of Federal-Mogul says:
“Rubie consistently exceeds expectations in everything she does. She takes a tremendous amount of pride in her work and she rarely makes mistakes. Additionally, she has a great, can-do attitude and always has a smile on her face that makes her a pleasure to work with. I cannot say enough great things about Rubie. She is committed to excellence in all that she does.”
Jeff Schallhorn, Staff Management | SMX Senior Account Manager, adds that in addition to her stellar performance, Rubie is an employee who can be counted on.
“Her dependability and reliability are demonstrated in her attendance history. Rubie has maintained perfect attendance since July 2011 and her last absence occurred in February of 2010.”
In her role in the Federal-Mogul Distribution Center Rubie coordinates express deliveries, making sure that high priority items are shipped accurately and on time. Rubie’s experience shows as she explains how she plans her day and prioritizes orders to ensure that orders are accurate and no deadlines are missed. When describing her responsibilities, Rubie is keenly aware of how the work she does impacts Federal-Mogul’s customer. Accuracy is critical in Rubie’s role. The orders she manages often contain just a handful of vital parts for customers in the United States and Puerto Rico, and without the right part Rubie knows that the customer will be negatively impacted. Rubie says, “I don’t want to have any customer complaints. I know if I do good work and customers are happy and come back, Federal-Mogul will be busy and that will ensure that I have work to do.”
Beyond this motivation to do the right thing for the client, Rubie proudly acknowledged that she is competitive and takes pride in outperforming rate and being recognized for her contributions. Rubie has been recognized as the Staff Management |
SMX Associate of the Month, and Jeff Schallhorn often has to remind his team that Rubie can’t be the associate of the month 12 months out of the year. Rubie has also been recognized for her performance with numerous individual and department awards.
Despite her competitive nature, Rubie always makes a point to help new employees become successful at Federal-Mogul. When asked to describe Rubie, Sharron Jones, First Shift Staff Management |
SMX Account Supervisor, described her as, “a one-woman welcome wagon for new associates. Rubie is always in a good mood, even when things are stressful; she is upbeat and always encouraging to her coworkers. She tries to see the good in others and is a reliable, cooperative, cheerful and genuinely nice person.” Jeff Schallhorn adds “One characteristic that cannot be overlooked is Rubie’s bubbly personality. Seemingly always in a good mood, her laughter is infectious and she exhibits the kind of positive attitude that makes her a model employee.”
Rubie explains that she always tries to be friendly to new associates when they start. After they are comfortable with her, she points out things that could help them be more efficient. “I might start out by just saying ‘hi’ so they have time to warm up to me, but after a few days I will give them pointers on how to do their jobs better and what to focus on to make rate so that they can be successful.” Rubie is a natural trainer, willing to share her wisdom accumulated over four years on the job, and is a gifted communicator, able to relate to her diverse peer group and form connections that allow her to help them. Rubie explains that she tries to get along with everyone and to find a way to relate, “I like to take a minute to have a little conversation with people to find out how their day is going and to try to be positive and brighten their day if I can.”
As the primary breadwinner for her family, Rubie is always anxious to take on more hours. She explains “I am so happy when there is overtime. Once I worked 23 days in a row; I was tired but I was grateful for the additional work. Whether it is two hours of voluntary overtime or full days on a Saturday and a Sunday I always raise my hand because it makes a difference to my family.” Also, she adds, “I cannot say ‘no’.”
Even when she is tired, Rubie wants to help others. “If I notice that someone is struggling I want to be the first person to help – to help them lift a heavy box or to get them something that they need. It is my pleasure to help them.” Rubie’s performance and quality are important to her but she also believes that, “it is important to help someone if they are feeling bad or struggling and to try to make their day a little bit easier.”
When asked how she stays positive, Rubie explains that she always tries to have a smile and wants to be upbeat. “I don’t want to have a negative heart, if someone is having a bad day, I try to be positive and help them feel better and have a better day. When I’m tired or something bad happens, I remember what my mother always told me, ‘that things could be worse, and that there is a solution to everything but death as long as you stay positive.’”
Safety is also very important to Rubie, both for herself and her coworkers. Rubie explains that she can’t just think about performance but must be equally aware of safety because, “I am the head of my household, I need to leave work the way I came in, I can’t afford to be hurt. I need to be safe for me and for my kids.” Rubie wants the same for her coworkers too, “I don’t want anything bad to happen to me or anyone else. I always tell them ‘bend with your knees it is good exercise and you don’t want to hurt your back.’”
When asked about life outside of work, Rubie explains that if she is not at work then she is with her girls. Just as Rubie enjoys staying busy at work, Ruby is busy at home. She spends her time with her daughters, playing, going to the library, and, of course, taking care of the family by cooking and cleaning. Rubie acknowledges that life has not been easy because she had children at a young age, but there is not an ounce of self-pity in Rubie, only motivation. She finished high school to set an example for her girls, is working hard to take care of her family and staying close to her daughters to be sure that they make good choices. As a result, her girls are all doing very well – Rubie proudly explains that her oldest is on the honor roll and while they don’t have honor roll for the younger grades, her youngest daughters are also excelling.