Archives for category: Articles

Members

As we gather the fallen leaves, pick the ripening apples, and overstuff the quintessential bird, we occasionally tend to forget that it’s the season to be thankful. Alas, not this year! We’ve gathered a list of all the things that we’re thankful for here at The HON Company. So, grab a smoldering hot chocolate, kick up your flocked feet, and settle in!

1. Our Amazing Customers

First and foremost, we’re thankful for our amazing customers! Your dedication to selling the HON brand and promoting our products is without parallel; we appreciate your support! From east coast to west coast, and everywhere in between, we value the fact that our customers choose the HON brand. Thank you for your continuing partnership!

2. Our Dedicated Members

What makes The HON Company tick? Our members! Everyone from Supply Chain to Marketing, Customer Support to Sales, Training to Product and beyond has a hand in the daily upkeep of this amazing company. Whether we’re working on garnering the next shipment of lock assemblies or designing a new prototype, we all work together to make this a well-oiled machine.

3. Our Commitment to Being a Great Place to Work

Chili Contests, Jeans Days, volunteer and professional opportunities … who wouldn’t want to work for HON? As a member going on her seventh year of working for this fantastic company, I can’t imagine working elsewhere. We continually improve our members through leadership programs, HON University courses, and frequent training sessions. Now that’s something to sink your teeth into!

4. Our Evolving Products

On average, we launch about 10 new product lines a year! We stay ahead of this ever-changing industry by constantly evolving our product assortment, revolutionizing our materials and textiles, and introducing innovative new product lines. Check out our newly launched seating textile In Season (aptly named for a fall blog!), view our recently expanded Flock collection, or try out our Build Tool on hon.com today!

5. Our Community

Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Muscatine, Iowa was the Pearl Button Capital of the World in 1905, accounting for nearly 37% of the world’s buttons. Since then, Muscatine has become home to The HON Company where we take a vested interest in upholding our strong community. Whether we’re fundraising for local or national charities with the HNI Charitable Foundation or helping the community in partnering with City of Hope, we strive to make a difference!

Though we’re not serving hot apple cider and green bean casserole just yet, there’s plenty to be thankful for here at The HON Company! Anything you’d like to add to the list? Tell us below!

Advertisements

Blog Infographic draft.png

Most products that we use in our daily lives go through some form of testing before they are launched into the market. This is an important step to verify user safety, environmental compliance, and ultimately a positive overall experience. Have you ever thought about how your office furniture is tested? Here at HON we have an A2LA Certified Product Test Lab, an A2LA Certified Pack Lab, a Parts Approval Lab and a Color Lab, so you could say we take our testing very seriously!

IMG_6896

HON engineers test Empower Benching above and beyond BIFMA with 7900 lbs on 20 stations!

The first test we conduct is part-specific, and it takes place in what we call our Parts Approval Lab. For this test, we scan our parts with a laser and the software generates a 3D color map that will tell us exactly how much, if any, the part varies from the print. For example, when we model the back of a chair, we scan those parts to verify that all contours are exactly how we modeled it.

The second test validates our colors, and this takes place in our Color Lab. Dedicated members verify the colors of each part match the exact color composition that is specified, regardless of the material that is used. We check for consistency so parts don’t vary, which gets us the same great look every time.

The third test is shipment testing, where we simulate what could happen during the shipping and handling process. This category has three areas:

  1. Compression testing – simulates products being stacked in a warehouse
  2. Drop testing – simulates the possibility of products being dropped during a delivery or installation
  3. Vibration testing – simulates placing the packaged product in a semi-trailer to make sure the packaging doesn’t cause any scratches

We pay attention to details and obsess over small things, so we even go as far as testing in both freezing and humid climates to make sure our packaging can withstand any end destination.

The fourth test is structural and fatigue testing to ensure the safety of the end user. This testing simulates different situations in which the end users may find themselves, such as an individual putting books into an overhead in a panel system.

To deliver long-lasting products, we also test fatigue scenarios, such as the “caster durability” test.  In this test we simulate the chair rolling for a pre-determined distance to ensure the casters will remain dependable through the lifetime of the product.

These are abusive tests, meaning the forces we use are beyond what would be generated in normal use. Using both BIFMA test standards and our own, we make sure the safety of the end user is not in jeopardy.

The fifth test looks at the user interface and it includes standards that HON created to guarantee the consistent comfort of our products. For example, have you ever thought about the amount of force required to push the button for raising and lowering your task chair arms? Well, our engineers did, and alas a test standard was written for it! We standardize on this to make sure the user experience is as comfortable as possible.

The last test is what we call Live Environment Testing. Considering we work in an office ourselves, we are often asked the question “would you use this product in your own office?”. So, to answer this question, we made it a test requirement! As part of our full test plan, our engineers seek out members in the office with fresh eyes to the product and ask them to test it out. For example, I was once asked to use a prototype Ignition® 2.0 task chair at my workstation for a few days and provide feedback. This test is also a fun way for HON to engage with our community, such as getting feedback from the local community college or doctor’s office. After this process, the project teams compile the feedback and make any final improvements to the product. This type of testing is very important to make sure we can deliver the best possible product.

So, now you know the science behind what it takes to deliver the best office furniture on the market. If you would like to see inside our test lab, check out this video and be sure to visit hon.com to view our product brochures!

“BIFMA” stands for “Business + Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association”, and it is the “not-for-profit trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers”. They create and maintain the industry safety standard, as well as sustainability standard, and educate customers on the importance of product performance. You can read more about BIFMA here.

“A2LA” stands for “American Association for Laboratory Accreditation” and it is an organization that gives accreditation to all types of laboratories in accordance with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards. At HNI we place such a high value on quality assurance that we go through this accreditation process and gain the accountability of this third-party. You can read more about A2LA here .

business strategy development concept at the office

For many of us the workday starts at 8 AM, if not earlier. From the time our eyes open to the moment we walk into the office, there are already so many tasks to be accomplished. The hustle and bustle to get to the office can feel draining when you are racing a clock that was preset for you. The weariness is only amplified when you delay the inevitable by snoozing over and over. So, why not take charge? Set your alarm earlier and allow yourself time to truly wake up and smell the coffee. By following these 5 tips, you can set the groundwork for a winning morning. And when you win the morning, you win the workday!

Plan Ahead: Before bed, take a peek at your calendar and prepare for tomorrow.  Set yourself up for success by laying out your clothes and avoiding the stress that comes with ‘not having anything to wear’. Hop into bed at a reasonable time (without your phone!). Science repeatedly confirms that a good night’s rest is key to being your best.

Quiet Time: Don’t rush to turn on the television, read e-mails, or log into your social media accounts. Starting your day off with glum news and chaos does not set the scene for serenity. Spend some time with your thoughts and review your intentions for the day. This peaceful moment will shape the rest of your day and you will be more likely to be focused, content, and optimistic.

Get Moving: By stimulating blood flow you are also releasing endorphins (hormones that trigger a positive feeling in the body). Don’t torture yourself by engaging in an activity that doesn’t appeal to you. Be sure to choose an exercise that you really like. It can be as simple as a bedside stretch or walking the dog around the block.

Breakfast: Start off with a large glass of H2O; this is crucial as you are the most dehydrated after a long night’s rest. You’ve already heard it’s the most important meal of the day. So, “let go of the Eggo”! Try proteins and slow carbs, such as scrambled eggs and avocado, for a healthy kick start.  And, of course, a cup of joe might lead to an extra pep in your step.

First Things First: Get big work done early. By doing this, you hammer out the hard stuff while your brain is wide awake. It’s not ideal to save the hard stuff for later in the afternoon when your brain is fatigued. Mark Twain recognized this concept and wrote, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

Craft a routine that you look forward to. And, remember that routines take time to perfect and habits are not formed overnight. Repeated smalls wins lead to big wins and lasting change. Have you always been a morning person? Or have you started implementing habits that have increased your productivity and positivity?  Share your tips!

Flagship - Back Cover

Suffering from stressful deadlines? Plagued with too many things to do? Surrounded by 87 sticky notes crawling into your typing space? Well, here’s your answer: Organization. But don’t run away from the word just yet! While the seemingly harmless word conjures up thoughts of perfectly manicured closets, color coded folders, and plastic storage totes with typed labels, there’s more to it!

These five ways to ‘Organize Your Office’ will aid in your pursuit of a perfected workspace!

Write it Down!
…But you don’t have to buy stock in paper. Writing it down simply means to make a note of it. If you’re like me, relying on memory occasionally (read: usually) results in poor outcomes. Take a notebook with you, jot down notes on your printed slides, or even send yourself an email. But I recommend staying away from multiple, smaller notes; they only add to the clutter!

Go Crazy with Colors
Kindergarten teachers know the ropes – and pull out all the stops. As ‘elementary’ as it may be, color coding is highly effective! Using a color system to categorize documents, meetings, or binders can help you visually assess and process things much faster than taking time to read a label. Personally, I use color coding in my Outlook calendar – a quick glance is all I need to know where I’m headed and for what!

Declutter
While you’re reminding yourself to organize your notes and to dos, decluttering is also a good idea! Endless piles of paper and PowerPoints sitting on a disheveled desk isn’t doing you any favors. As I’ve alluded to in previous blogs, a clean workspace can do wonders. Paper Management tools, like our Voi® Cube, can clear that paper off your desk and transform it into a functional (and attractive!) work zone.

To Do List
There’s nothing like the satisfaction of crossing something off of your To Do List. But in order to feel that satisfaction … you must have a To Do List! Making a list (and checking it twice) will ensure that you complete those important tasks without them falling off your radar. For me, maintaining a list helps me prioritize and keep track of those projects that aren’t knocking on my office door.

Make a Schedule, Set Deadlines
Hustle and bustle at the office may seem like it equates to productivity, but it often does not. If you’re struggling to tread water, take a look at your schedule. Booked 125% of your day? Check if you need to attend every meeting. See a deadline coming up that you might not meet? Book some ‘Me Time’ on your calendar to work away in the closest Flock touchdown station.

Key takeaways? Write it down, colorize, declutter, make a list, and set that schedule! What are some of your tips for organizing at the office?

Interested in exploring some of HON’s organization solutions? Check out hon.com/storage.

Handshake

Working at HON has taught me the importance of corporate responsibility and giving back to your community – not to mention just how easy it can be. For example, HON headquarters hosts member Jeans Days on Fridays to give employees the opportunity to donate to a cause in exchange for a more casual dress code. Throughout the year, members vote on the charities that mean the most to them so that everyone feels a close connection to the mission. In 2016 alone, member Jeans Days at HON headquarters raised over $12,000.  This amount was then matched by the HNI Charitable Foundation, a group dedicated to fulfilling the HNI vision to “Be a Responsible Corporate Citizen”, for a grand total of almost $25,000.

HNI, The HON Company and Allsteel have joined together for many years to support City of Hope – an independent research and medical institution recognized as a leader in the fight against cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS – raising a record $635,000 in 2016.

This simple act of donating to many amazing organizations as a company inspired a personal challenge that I took on this year to donate to a new charity every week throughout 2017. I have picked local charities that serve my immediate community, as well as national and international causes by which my life has been personally affected.

HON’s dedication to its community has shown me that small acts can make a huge impact, both in our local neighborhoods and around the world. And it’s not always just about financial donations. In addition to gifts of money, it can be just as meaningful to write handwritten letters or personally thank your coworkers, customers and community members. I recently sent a thank you basket of treats to my local doctor’s office to recognize what they do for our community and thank the receptionist who impressed me with her professionalism at my last visit. It was an inexpensive way to show appreciation for a strong, local business and to make others feel valued.

What can you do to help out your fellow coworker, your customer, or your local community? If you don’t have the money to give, try simple things like writing a personal thank you to the teammate who helped you on an important project. Thank the person that held the door open for you as you walked back in from your lunch break.  Wave the guy through in the intersection on your commute to work. Even the simple act of paying for someone’s coffee can cause a huge ripple effect that puts a smile on everyone’s face. With the help of HON and HNI, I have been exposed to and learned a lot about the wonderful causes that our members find important and can’t wait to find new opportunities to give back.

How does your office give back to its community? What causes are important to you?

Businesswoman pulling suitcase

By definition, communication is the exchange of information. Countless books and articles have been written addressing how to better understand and communicate with your customers, but these same tips are just as helpful when it comes to internal communication with your coworkers. Here are a few tips and tricks to transform your interactions, both inside and outside the office, and separate yourself from the competition.

Make your presence meaningful:
Add value to every interaction. Make sure you are making the most of your team member’s or your customer’s time and be mindful of how you can help them work better. Do you have success stories to share? Is there an upcoming training or webinar you could attend or promote to your stakeholders? Thoughtful, detailed, and honorable service is something that cannot be bought.

Be an active listener:
When your teammate or customer is speaking — are you listening or piecing together your response? Stop, digest the information, and ask questions. Especially when it comes to working with customers, their success is your success, so expressing a sincere interest will go a long way to strengthening important sales relationships.

Think before you speak:
Once you have digested the speaker’s needs, be sure to think before you respond. It’s okay not to have all of the answers, but it’s not okay to tell people only what they want to hear. Good service is exponentially more valuable than fast service.

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” Benjamin Franklin

Be mindful of email etiquette:
Email etiquette is simple. Whenever possible, address people by name (spelled correctly, of course!). Respond promptly, even when you can’t provide a detailed response – it’s okay to say so and seek out a subject matter expert who can assist.

Deliver more than expected:
Following these prompts should create a deeper connection with both your teammates and your customers – go the extra mile to make it personal. Give more than expected by tailoring the sales experience, being mindful of how you can help those you work with, and always following up after a project has closed. Customers and coworkers want to be understood – be the person that gets them!

How do you bring the ‘wow factor’ in your office?

%d bloggers like this: