Archives for the month of: January, 2014


It is a cold January evening in Iowa as I begin to write this post and my mind keeps wandering to my upcoming vacation.  My best friend is getting married at Disney World and I will be out of the office for a full week.  I noticed a couple of hours ago that I am quite calm.  This is a little troubling to me because it is quite different from the frantic way I usually get everything accomplished in the three days before going on vacation.  So this begs the question, “what is different this time?”

Upon reflecting, I have identified what I believe are the three contributing factors to my Zen-like state. Try using these tactics next time you plan to leave the office for a planned extended period of time:

Advance warning: My first step in preparing to be gone actually started several weeks ago.  This is when I blocked off my calendar, built my upcoming absence into project timelines, and began mentioning the dates I would be unavailable to the people I work with the most.  This advance communication has enabled everyone to plan accordingly.

Leave instructions:  My mom is a retired English teacher and I remember her writing copious notes for her substitute each time she had a planned absence.  While this may seem like a lot of work upfront, it lessened the chance that she was going to return to chaos.  I believe that we can be too focused on what must get done before leaving on vacation and not give enough thought to what is going to happen while we are gone.  This is why I have a project status sheet completed that gives a brief overview and also outlines the next steps.  I have also have scheduled a meeting on Friday to review this with my team and my manager.  This way, projects can keep moving and I will hopefully have fewer urgent requests when I return.

Remind Yourself that Vacations Help You Rest: One of my good friends has two-year-old triplets and he always struggles with taking time for himself.  He explained that he and his wife work through this by reminding each other that they are better parents after occasionally taking time for themselves.  I am not saying that being away from your family is the same as being away from work, but I do believe that the same concept can apply.  I know that I will come back from vacation refreshed and energized to jump back into my work.

I hope that you can use these tips before your next vacation to prepare yourself for a relaxing time.  And since I know you’ve been wondering . . . No, Mickey Mouse will not be attending my friend’s wedding, but we will meet him at a character brunch the next morning.

How do you set yourself up for a worry-free vacation?


Have you ever wondered why money is green or why school buses are yellow? You may be surprised to learn that there is science, not just personal preference, behind these color choices.  Color goes deeper than just all those aisles of paint chips at the home improvement store.  Color has an effect on us and our environment whether we realize it or not.


Yellow can raise spirits and self-confidence.  It is generally happy and boosts creativity.  Yellow can help clear your head, allowing you to make good decisions and be organized.  It is also a universal sign of caution (i.e. school buses and crime scene tape).


Red, the color of love, can raise blood pressure, stimulate the adrenal glands and increase your appetite.  Red can also incite feelings of anger or aggression.  Not to worry though, pink has the opposite effect as it is calming and nurturing.


Olive Green can be associated with rot and can make us feel sick, but change the shade and you have a whole different effect.  Green can be calming and help us connect with nature.


Blue is usually thought of as a depressing color, but this is only in the darker shades.  Lighten it up and it can help lower blood pressure and eliminate insomnia.


We all know that white is the color of purity and cleanliness, but it can also aid our mental clarity and help us get a fresh start.  While these are certainly good things, white can also make us feel cold and isolated.

The next time you are creating a new workspace, renovating your office or just adding some decorations to your desk, consider the psychology behind your color choices.

What colors dominate your office?

HON Customer Support MemberAbout a month ago, I had an awful experience when I tried to call and change my satellite TV service.  The funny thing is, the plan I was switching to would have made the company more money!  Needless to say, they lost that opportunity through poor customer service.  Haven’t we all had those poor customer service experiences?  Anxious. Nervous. Stressed. Exhausted. Angry. Frustrated.

Here at The HON Company, we want you to feel satisfied, comfortable, and confident in the assistance you receive.  We pride ourselves on the fact that our members go through an intensive training process that allows us to properly assist every customer.   We strive to be easy to do business with, and our Customer Support training process allows our members to learn and live this philosophy.

The training process begins with classroom training.  Starting day one, our members are immersed not only in Customer Support processes, but also The HON Company culture and values.   They learn about the history of our organization, tour production and warehouse facilities, and get hands-on experience with our products.  Members in Customer Support are given access to every available resource, in order to be prepared for the stream of questions and inquiries they experience on a daily basis.  In addition to classroom training, they gain insight on other functional areas of HON and get real-world exposure to customer requests through phone and email shadowing.

New members on our Customer Support team receive input from our experienced members, train diligently on our applications, and are given in-depth scenarios to apply processes to situations they may encounter.  As a department, we recognize how difficult it can be to manage customer requests—but we also know how important customer satisfaction is to our business.   In fact, every member of our leadership team was once a front line member who managed customer inquiries.

Of course, we cannot prepare for every single situation.  However, through our training process, our Customer Support members gain the knowledge to be able to find an answer that may not be readily available.  There may be occasions where a customer has to be placed on hold or followed up with, but our goal is to strive for a first contact resolution.  As a team, we know that it is important for our members to be able to find resolution as quickly as possible for customers.  After all, without good customer support, there would be no customers…and without customers, there would be no HON!

Everyone has had a negative experience when contacting customer support—we aim to make sure this never happens when you contact HON.  We want our customers feel confident the answers they receive are accurate. Regardless of whether your question is as simple as “What’s my ship date” or more challenging like “How do I specify an electrical set up with my systems order?”, you can be sure that HON Customer Support will give you the best possible customer service experience.

Have a Question? Contact HON Customer Support

%d bloggers like this: