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FOR MY FIRST THREE YEARS at Horner Equipment, now HornerXpress, I was a partner. But in 1975, I bought out the other partner and became the 100 percent business owner. When I first started here, we had three employees; right now, we have 430. It’s been 43 years. I’ve always believed in continuous improvement. If you continue to do better every year, setting aside things like the economy, you’re doing your best. I’ve also always believed in teamwork. Our mission statement is “working together, growing together, winning together.” We developed it the 1980s to denote how we wanted to live our lives together. That doesn’t include just the employees and myself. There are effectively five groups of stakeholders in every business: the customers, the employees, the suppliers, the industry and our communities. We grew through the years through internal growth and acquisitions. Philosophically, I’ve always tried to create a workplace environment where, each morning every employee jumps out of bed and says, “I can hardly wait to get to work today.” Those underpinnings led to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2015 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award. Through the years, we’ve brought in speakers who talked about topics from health to finance. Three years ago my wife, Kim, and I created a program called Color Me Healthy. It was focused on a personality profile program called True Colors, for which Kim is a certified facilitator. We agreed we would form employee committees throughout our company and let those committees decide what wellness and health programs they want. Those committees now drive the entire program, which led to the national award recognizing our psychologically healthy workplace. The APA award is a third-party recognition of something that’s been going on at HornerXpress for a long time. I wasn’t too excited about getting involved with the award process, but now that it’s over, I see the value. It’s a good tool with which to recruit employees, and it makes everyone here very proud of where they work. The Color Me Healthy program continues to provide the employees what they want — not what I want for them. The first thing they asked for three years ago, believe it or not, was a quiet room. Now we have a 10-by-10 room with music and a massage chair. People are allowed in whenever they want and can use it to cool down if they’re having a difficult day. There’s no magic formula for a program like this, or a happy workplace. You have to discover the character of your business, your own personality and understand where the company sits both financially and in terms of market position. We do have a psychologically happy workplace, which was always my goal. Everyone has his or her own capabilities and talents, and if they’re in the right position in the company and using their talent, the results will be the best possible results.

Continuous Improvement

How Color Me Healthy helped give my company a psychological boost

For my first three years at Horner Equipment, now HornerXpress, I was a partner. But in 1975, I bought out the other partner and became the 100 percent business owner. When I first started here, we had three employees; right now, we have 430. It’s been 43 years.

I’ve always believed in continuous improvement. If you continue to do better every year, setting aside things like the economy, you’re doing your best. I’ve also always believed in teamwork. Our mission statement is “working together, growing together, winning together.” We developed it the 1980s to denote how we wanted to live our lives together. That doesn’t include just the employees and myself. There are effectively five groups of stakeholders in every business: the customers, the employees, the suppliers, the industry and our communities. We grew through the years through internal growth and acquisitions.

Philosophically, I’ve always tried to create a workplace environment where, each morning every employee jumps out of bed and says, “I can hardly wait to get to work today.” Those underpinnings led to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2015 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award. Through the years, we’ve brought in speakers who talked about topics from health to finance.

Three years ago my wife, Kim, and I created a program called Color Me Healthy. It was focused on a personality profile program called True Colors, for which Kim is a certified facilitator. We agreed we would form employee committees throughout our company and let those committees decide what wellness and health programs they want. Those committees now drive the entire program, which led to the national award recognizing our psychologically healthy workplace.

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The APA award is a third-party recognition of something that’s been going on at HornerXpress for a long time. I wasn’t too excited about getting involved with the award process, but now that it’s over, I see the value. It’s a good tool with which to recruit employees, and it makes everyone here very proud of where they work.

The Color Me Healthy program continues to provide the employees what they want — not what I want for them. The first thing they asked for three years ago, believe it or not, was a quiet room. Now we have a 10-by-10 room with music and a massage chair. People are allowed in whenever they want and can use it to cool down if they’re having a difficult day.

There’s no magic formula for a program like this, or a happy workplace. You have to discover the character of your business, your own personality and understand where the company sits both financially and in terms of market position. We do have a psychologically happy workplace, which was always my goal. Everyone has his or her own capabilities and talents, and if they’re in the right position in the company and using their talent, the results will be the best possible results.

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