HNI Corporation

From the beginning, the founders chose to call those who worked for the corporation "members" rather than employees. To demonstrate that HNI Corporation's workers were more than just wage earners, the original leaders established a profit sharing program even before there were any dividends.

Today, that profit sharing plan still exists, and each member is a shareholder in the corporation. This creates a strong culture of ownership and a sense of shared responsibility for the success of HNI Corporation.

In HNI Corporation’s unique and powerful member-owner environment, every member has an opportunity to participate in making the business better. Everyone with at least a year’s service is rewarded for individual and collective performance through stock ownership, profit sharing and other compensation systems.

Our culture represents a strong system of beliefs:

A belief in pride without pretense.
A belief in spending less time talking about what we do well and more on examining what we can do better.
A belief that leaders serve and are accountable to every member.
A belief in constructive discontent—in always looking for a better way.
A belief in shared responsibility and a reward structure that engages all members in the business improvement process.
A belief in placing value on an individual based on his or her commitment and contributions, rather than on position, title or background.
A belief that treating shareholders, members, customers and suppliers with integrity will ultimately create differentiation and greater return.

Our culture is built around Rapid Continuous Improvement (RCI) and the notion that every member has something unique and valuable to contribute. We have found that when our people share their ideas, and management acts on those ideas, we achieve something powerful: 10,000-plus individuals working actively to make the corporation better.

At HNI Corporation, RCI processes are ingrained across the entire organization—part of the fabric of our culture—a tool not just for improvement, but also for engaging and empowering our people.

More recently we have intensified our focus on end users. We have been listening, searching, measuring—going beyond where people buy the product and from whom. Increasingly we are looking beyond the initial purchase to find out how end users feel about the overall experience, including the delivery and installation—six months, one year, two years after the transaction—and using information gained to drive changes in our processes.