For my first three blog entries on the HON Forward Blog I took you through the life of a sales trainer during a live training event. For this entry I wanted to give a brief glimpse of an average day at The HON Company HQ.
Whether you work at, or with HON, you probably know of our love for acronyms: BDM, IDS, DSG, MTV, TLC, etc.—well maybe not the last two, but you get the idea. An acronym you may or may not have heard of is VOC: Voice of the Customer.
The Roadrunner. The Coyote. Therein lies an endless battle of wits involving Do-It Yourself Tornado Kits, Rocket-Powered Roller Skates, and the obligatory anvil from Acme Inc. Yet, even as a child, I couldn’t understand Wile E. Coyote’s determination to catch the Roadrunner with the seemingly infinite amount of flawed Acme products that ultimately ended in, some might say, epic failures. Moreover, how could Acme continuously pump out gadgetry that resulted in less than perfect outcomes?
To me, it seems that Acme should have taken a stab at the concept of Rapid Continuous Improvement (RCI). The RCI philosophy is an ongoing effort to drive beneficial change along the lines of processes, products, and services by making them more efficient and effective. Here at HON, we employ the RCI philosophy with a multitude of programs. While some are focused on internal processes, many are developed to reduce waste, lower cost, and benefit the customer.
Studies have shown that taking regular breaks during the workday can lead to improved productivity and creativity. Additionally, stepping away from the computer screen will give your eyes a break and reduce eye strain.
While I could get up and walk to the restroom or get something to drink for my work breaks, I’ve found that adding a bit of color to a picture helps spark my creativity during a task.
Working your way through a large document or an excel spreadsheet may cause your eyes to cross or your concentration to start to wane. Take a 5 minute break. Stand up, grab a crayon and add a little color to your favorite picture. It’ll get your mind off of what you’re working on for a short time as you attempt to stay in the lines and allow your eyes to look at something different. Then, head back to the task at hand with relaxed eyes, an open mind and get to work.
Currently, there are about five pictures in various stages of colored-ness by coworkers who pass by. They may get done this year, they may not, but no one cares. The coloring artist took a moment away from the computer screen to relax their mind before heading off to accomplish their next task.
What do you do to take a quick work break?
Okay, so maybe it seems like a little bit of a stretch but after running my first Tough Mudder® in St. Louis, here is how I came to the conclusion that preparing for a Tough Mudder is like hosting a webinar.
Add Value, Create Excitement, and Work Together
Add Value- During the preparation phase of our training for Tough Mudder, we learned a lot. Adding value is important in many ways because if something doesn’t add value to your life, you simply don’t do it. This holds true for Tough Mudder training. Everything we did in preparation added value and helped to strengthen our bodies for the event. We would do 100 yard, 150 pound bag drags across an unused football field. We would practice our pull-ups, do monkey bars on the playgrounds of local schools, and we would run hills all over the city. Everything we did added value in our preparation phase so that we would be able to traverse muddy monkey bars, mud miles, and 9-10 foot wooden walls. We must add value for our learners and we do that by hosting webinars on new products and tools from The HON Company. Webinars are a key component to our training. We train our learners on how to effectively sell and win projects using The HON Company’s products and tools so that when the rubber meets the road, they’re prepared.
Create Excitement- Adding value isn’t enough. We also need to create excitement. I have to say that Tough Mudder does a great job in creating excitement for their events. Not only do they send multiple, informative emails about the upcoming event but they include videos on obstacles Mudders will encounter on the day of the event much like the challenge our team participated in as seen here. The first wall alone builds excitement. Each Mudder has to traverse a 6 foot wall before even getting to the starting line! Once over the wall, Tough Mudder rallies everyone together and builds excitement for the whole course before releasing Mudders across the start line. The same kind of excitement needs to happen for any event The HON Company puts on. For our learning events, we advertise them in different ways to create excitement around each event. As our Tough Mudder race approached we received emails about other upcoming races. The HON Company advertises their upcoming webinars in the same way. You will find them in “On-the-Mark,” on the learning center on the HON Ready Portal, or you will hear them plugged at the live learning event you’re attending. Webinars help supplement live and e-learning and continue the excitement of winning big when your company teams up with HON.
Work Together- Prior to running a Tough Mudder they rally everyone together and prepare each of us for the event ahead- “That Mudder to your right, that mudder to your left, that mudder behind you… that’s your teammate.” In our group, there was a lady whose partners opted out at the last minute and she joined another team on the spot. It’s about working together. Some of the walls are 9-10 feet high and not everyone can do them on their own. Our team had to work together on many occasions to get through the course. The same goes for learning events. All of the opportunities to learn need to be brought together and complement one another. For The HON Company, our live learning events are structured around how to sell HON products in a face-to-face setting. However, we also have webinars to supplement the live learning events. Webinars are usually centered on our newer products and focus on how to be competitive and aspects of the product that set it apart. We also have formal (and fun) e-learning that helps our learners to learn specific attributes of the product and talking points. Each of the learning events need to complement each other and work together to get to the desired outcome. Just like the Tough Mudder motto of “no Mudder left behind,” The HON Company’s wide variety of training opportunities strives to make sure “no dealer is left behind.” We do promise though, that we’ll keep you squeaky clean!
How do you add value, create excitement, and work together?
I am sure you have heard that laughter is the best medicine. When I decided to look into this claim, I found that both the Mayo Clinic and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s websites say that laughter can have positive health benefits including:
- Improved overall attitude/mood
- Reduced stress/tension
- Pain relief by triggering the release of endorphins
Both sites also reference that forced smiling and laughter can active the same responses as genuine amusement.
I believe it also stands to reason that this impact is derived by your feelings of humor, not by those of people around you. I mention this because I have a special affinity for puns that my husband does not share. He likes to say “You’re funny. You’re just not as funny as you think you are.” He always says it with a smile but I am excited to now claim that I am promoting good health when I can’t stop laughing at some cringe-worthy pun.
I encourage you to chair this issue to improve your own health by taking the time to smile and laugh. But for now, let’s table the topic.
Even though green may be our favorite color at HON, this is not exactly what having a green office means. The design industry has moved leaps and bounds in the last decade to improve the quality and sustainability of the built environment. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is a nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings (usgbc.org). Okay, so how exactly do they decide what is considered cost-efficient and energy-saving?
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a rating system used by the USGBC to determine how sustainable a project is, by a list of requirements that the project must meet. Since no two projects are alike, LEED has several categories for which a project can fall under to be rated. The categories range from new construction to healthcare all the way to homes and neighborhood development. Once in a category, you are given credits based on sub-categories. The main credit categories for scoring are included below. LEED is much, much more than just a rating system though; to learn more about the USGBC and LEED visit usgbc.org/leed.
Did you know that HON is a proud member of the USGBC? Almost all of our desks, chairs, files and workstations are in compliance with several LEED Interior Design & Construction credits! Here at our headquarters building, HON underwent a major renovation about 3 years ago and became LEED Silver Certified.
To check out just how green HON design is, visit hon.com/sustainability to read up on our green story.
Our Initiate® workstations are featured in the image above. Now that looks like green design!
How do you and your company stay green?