Showrooms for dealers and manufacturers require a large investment of time, money, and planning to execute and keep running.  After all of the hard work is done, you not only have a great showcase of your product offering, but a great space in which to host a variety of events.  Here are a few types of events you can host in your dealer showroom to increase brand awareness, uncover more opportunities for engagement, and receive a higher return on investment from your showroom.

1. Stakeholder Meetings and Retreats

Make your conference room available to customers and important stakeholders to use for meetings and company retreats at no charge. This provides them with a fun new space where they can host their meetings, creates brand exposure for you, and helps continue to build relationships with your customer base and key community members.  Not sure where to start?  Try reaching out to non-profit organizations, board of directors, local associations or the area chamber of commerce.

2. Networking Events

You are probably already involved in an alumni group, chamber of commerce, or local networking organization, so offer to host the next meeting at your dealer showroom.  This can also be a great way to connect with local talent and discuss possible internships and career opportunities.

3. Customer Appreciation Luncheons & Events

Create a themed event where you provide lunch or appetizers and invited your customers to tour your showroom.  This is a great way for customers to build a stronger relationship with sales representatives, meet dealer leadership, and become more familiar with the latest office furniture solutions.

What other events do you host at your showroom?

Please join me for a virtual tour of HON Customer Solutions! I will take you through four prevalent activities that are practiced here in HON CS.

Support

As we strive to deliver an effortless customer experience as an organization, providing valuable support to our customers in Customer Solutions is our number one focus. Our department encompasses Business Relations Specialists (Regionalized teams), Government Solutions Specialists (Government Solutions Team), Commercial and Government Order Entry, Product Solutions Specialists, Commercial and Government Project Coordinators, Tailored Solutions, Dealer Services Group, and Integrated Design Solutions. Members of all divisions work near to other members of their team to maximize communicative efficiency.

Pictured: Business Relations Specialists answering customer phone calls and emails

Pictured: Business Relations Specialists answering customer phone calls and emails

Pictured: Integrated Design Solutions answering customer phone calls and emails

Pictured: Integrated Design Solutions answering customer phone calls and emails

Learn

We value training and continuous learning in Customer Solutions as part of a Rapid Continuous Improvement mentality. Our training room serves not only as a classroom for new members, but for all department members during frequent training sessions on important business updates.

Pictured: Training class in Customer Solutions training room

Pictured: Training class in Customer Solutions training room

Pictured: Training class in Customer Solutions conference room

Pictured: Training class in Customer Solutions conference room

Collaborate

We employ a strong sense of community in Customer Solutions. I believe this to be driven by our support of one another through collaboration. Our department is furnished with several collaborative meeting areas that allow for impromptu meetings to share ideas or touch base; or to simply take a break.

Pictured: Collaborative meeting area

Pictured: Collaborative meeting area

Pictured: Collaborative meeting area

Pictured: Collaborative meeting area

Refuel

Breaks are important for maintaining consistent productivity. Members are able to visit the kitchen steps from their workspace to grab a coffee, soda, or a snack from the vending machine.

Pictured: Customer Solutions kitchen and break room

Pictured: Customer Solutions kitchen and break room

Pictured: Members are treated to movie theatre style popcorn on special occasions!

Pictured: Members are treated to movie theatre style popcorn on special occasions!

Valentine ’s Day is right around the corner. If you haven’t prepared any celebrations for your office yet, we are here to help!  Below are 5 HON-inspired Valentine’s Day greetings that you may share with your coworkers this holiday:

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Your support helps Accelerate my productivity!

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I am so thankful that you are part of our Flock®!

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I appreciate your hard work from the Nucleus® of my heart!

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I hope we stay friends for 10500 more years!

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I can’t Contain my appreciation for you!

What are some of the fun ways you celebrate Valentine’s Day in the office?

Here in the cold Midwest, it’s easy to fall into a boring routine during the winter months. Every day is a battle to stay warm. Thick tights and tall boots conquer my wardrobe in drab colors. I drink black coffee every morning. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Here are some of my favorite ideas for injecting a little color into your work day:

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1. Recharge your wardrobe with the color of the year: Pantone’s Marsala. Invest in a warm scarf, shoes or bag in this versatile winter color. Don’t worry, it will transition just as well to the spring and summer months. If you’re not sure if Marsala is for you, try adding a pop of color someplace small like nail polish, lipstick, or a pocket square.

2. Why not drink your black coffee out of a colorful mug? Years ago a HON friend gifted me with a bright superhero mug to make my mornings more cheerful. Not only do I think of her with every sip of coffee, but it brightens up my desk (and day!)

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3. One easy way to add some color to your day is switching up your office supplies. Grab some funky Post-it® notes. Trade in your black pen for purple. Use a pink highlighter. You might be surprised how the little things can put pep in your step.

4. HON partners with Momentum Fabrics to offer several great seating fabrics with Marsala tones. Some of my favorites are Momentum Millennium Cerise, Momentum Tradition Malbec, and Momentum Marathon Pinot. Ask our friendly designers to inject some color into your workspace today!

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Did you know that all of Pantone’s Colors of the Year for the last 4 years are available in Momentum fabrics from HON? Keep your workspace stylish and on trend with the year’s hottest colors. Check out the Momentum Color Card on hon.com today.

What are some ways you add color to your workday? How do you add Pantone’s Color of the Year, Marsala, into your office or wardrobe?

Aside from the obvious perks of being in an engineering rotational program, I have also had the opportunity to learn a surprisingly difficult lesson in project management: the challenge of taking on and handing off partially-complete projects. Whether it is in Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, Engineering, or any other area of a business, knowing how to successfully hand off a project in an ever-changing work environment is a skill that is often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of your everyday job. After a few cumbersome attempts at handing off and taking on projects mid-completion, I have come up with a list of do’s and don’ts.

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DO:

1. Document!

One way I keep myself in check is to document my projects as if I were going to hand them off at any moment. This ensures that there are no misunderstandings regarding what work has been completed and what work remains, including any major roadblocks. Additionally, this documentation can help you stay on track after a long weekend or a few days out of the office, and provides all of the information your manager may need when looking for an update.

2. Save all material in one central location

In the age of technology, it is easy to get lost in notes on your smartphone, shared drives, thumb drives, and, if you’re like me, the post-it notes strewn across your desk. It is so important to keep all of the information that the new project owner will need in a central location.  Use a folder, such as a shared drive or a SharePoint site, that is easy to access and consistently up-to-date.

3. Provide clear and concise information

Keeping all project information accessible is important, but it may also be beneficial to have a worksheet that briefly summarizes the project in 1-2 pages. It is very difficult for most people to read 25 pages of information, graphs, and notes during their already-busy work day, so keeping a 1-2 page project hand-off worksheet is crucial. Project information I suggest keeping on this worksheet include:

  • Accomplishments
  • Lessons Learned
  • Action Plan
  • Challenges & Risks
  • Resource and Contact Information

DON’T:

1. Leave a project without an owner

The most crucial step in successfully handing off a project is verifying that the project will go on without you. Too often projects fall out because of lack of ownership. Signing off on the project is one method of verification, although there are a number of other options as well.

2. Rely solely on E-mail

Once you have a new project owner established, it is very important to meet in person if possible. Although e-mail, conference calls and virtual meetings seem to be the definite future, the Wall Street Journal found that in-person meetings are more effective 85% of the time.

3. Get too attached

Finally, know when to let go of the project. It is very hard when you feel you have put a lot into it. However, it is important to be able to recognize when the project handoff is complete and you can now attend to your new projects. So, let it go! (I know you have all seen Frozen at least once…)

What methods do you find helpful when handing off a project?

‘There’s an app for that!’ is a phrase I commonly hear from my younger, technology-immersed brother.  Much to the dismay of my fellow Millennials, I rarely use my phone as anything other than a communication tool. However, as I wander down technology lane, I admit that I find myself drawn to its efficiency.

As a child of the ‘Era of Efficiency’ that is today, I find that effective productivity delivers results. Here are a few pointers from a self-proclaimed Task Master:

Plan It: As I reflect on my college years, I often wonder how I made it through without Outlook. From setting tasks to reminders or generally planning the day with the Outlook Calendar, I’ve found that scheduling time (and knowing when your meetings are) is beneficial to accomplishing your priorities. If you don’t make time for something, it’s not going to happen!

Communicate: Ever find yourself composing an email that has somehow turned into a novel? While it may be easier to splatter ink across the page, it’s best to keep it succinct. Make sure that your communication, whether it’s an email, phone call, or IM, includes relevant information in a concise format.  A lengthy email may nail out all the details, but a short one encourages a full read.

Take a Break: When the 2 p.m. mid-afternoon slump hits you full force, sometimes it’s better to get up and get moving! Energize yourself to shake off the nap-time feeling and seize the afternoon. If you start to lose focus and daydream (of course, this never happens), grab a drink or take a short stroll. You’d be surprised what a quick trip to the kitchenette can do!

Cut it Out: The world is full of magnificent things: roses, waterfalls, sunrises, and, of course, computer keyboard shortcuts. When I discovered the simple beauty of Ctrl +C, my world became much more fluid. However, it’s not just copy/paste –rather, any inefficiency that encumbers you. Try using the tab key while typing in fields and saving Favorites so they’re easier to find. By cutting the fat, it’ll streamline your technique and bolster your output.

Stick to It: If you’re a serial snooze-button hitter, this tip is for you. After you’ve planned your day, put it into practice. Getting distracted by the cupcakes in the break room or sidetracked by the latest gossip is a productivity killer. If you find that interruptions cause you to lose your train of thought and throw your schedule out the window, don’t be so available. Go over to the commons area or book yourself a meeting room.  A few minutes of heads down work occasionally fits the bill!

Efficiency looks different depending on the circumstance or situation – find what works best for you. While technology lane can be a bit bumpy at times, its benefits are abundant. Tips or tricks on working efficiently? Share them in the comments below!

Move.

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Exercising daily increases energy and wards off fatigue. To help fight off the afternoon slump, try incorporating some seated stretches into your day. Opt to get up from your task chair and talk to a coworker vs. emailing her or take the stairs instead of the elevator.  You can also try printing your next document to a different printer and get your blood flowing. Keeping your body active during the day also keeps your mind active.  Lastly, moving helps elevate tense muscles and that pain in your neck, keeping you focused on the task at hand.

Hydrate.

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One of the biggest fatigue fighters is hydration. Water helps your blood carry oxygen throughout your body. Water also makes up a large portion of your brain. Stay alert by hydrating your body and, subsequently, your mind.  Keep hydrated at work by opting for water over soda and always having a water bottle nearby. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women intake 91 ounces of water and men intake 125 ounces of water in food and drinks each day.  So, grab a bottle of water because staying hydrated doesn’t just help your productivity; it also helps your overall health.

Put your phone away.

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Hide your cellphone. Stick it in a desk drawer or your bag and leave it there until breaks. Texts, social media, and email have a way of sucking you in. If you want to meet that next deadline without staying late, hide your phone.

Snack in moderation.

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I think we can all relate to stuffing ourselves silly with a holiday meal. It usually makes us sleepy and lethargic. The same is true of over snacking. Always pack a portioned snack. Bringing a whole bag of chips (or any whole packaged item) thinking you’ll just eat a handful is a sure fire way to over indulge. Stick to light snacks at work like a piece of fruit or some crunchy veggies. Anything too filling and dense can have your head hitting the keyboard before you know it. And when you’re asleep, you are certainly not productive.

Earbuds.

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If your job allows, have a pair of earbuds handy. Listening to peppy music while you work can increase your productivity by keeping you motivated and helping you stay focused. Earbuds also help drown out loud conversations going on around you, ringing phones, or outside traffic. Whether it is a music boost you seek or the noise blocking benefits of earbuds, they can certainly improve your work productivity.

What are your go-to tips to stay productive at work?

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