January is a time when many businesses set goals for the coming year and reflect on their accomplishments from the previous year, and so it is with Kenney Machinery. Recently, our President and CEO Mike Kenney took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about what Kenney Machinery Corporation hopes to accomplish in 2016. Here’s what Mike had to say:
What are some of Kenney Machinery’s goals for 2016?
Although we have several goals related to increasing sales and market share, our most important goal is about our purpose as a business, which is to help top performing Green Industry companies prosper in their efforts to make the world a better place. Essentially, that means helping our customers be more successful, and that is always our number one goal.
This year, as part of that goal we’re focusing on the personal growth and development of our team members. We’ve partnered with an Indianapolis-based non-profit organization called trueU, which provides a proven platform of programs, tools, resources, and relationships designed to help employees at companies like the Kenney Corporation become leaders at home, in the community, and at work.
How is Kenney Corporation’s partnership with trueU going to help with you accomplish your goals?
We have always believed that in order to have a great company we needed to have a team of individuals who invest in themselves and their own personal growth. What we have struggled with is how to put this belief into practice beyond just encouraging people to do this. TrueU is the solution to that problem. As a member of this organization we now have a comprehensive platform to not just encourage behavior but to facilitate it as well. By the end of 2016 every individual in our company will have completed a minimum of 4 personal development classes of their choosing along with being exposed to multiple community and charitable service opportunities.
Again, our purpose as a company is to help our customers prosper and this will be facilitated by our people prospering through individual growth. I think it is the most exciting thing we have done in the history of our 110-year-old company.
What are some of the main challenges you think the green industry will face in 2016, and specifically how do you think turf professionals in the region will be affected?
The Green industry, at least in the markets we serve, is very effected by seasonality and weather. When you combine that fact with the pressures of a slowly growing economy and a shrinking workforce, it requires exceptional efficiency in management and operations. There is little room for error and this is compounded by crazy weather patterns like we experienced last year. I think there will be some businesses that struggled last year and only this coming season realize the impact on their health.
Are there any new products being introduced to the market this year that you’re particularly excited about?
Yes- a number of products. One of the great things about being a distributor for the Toro company is that we can always count on innovative new products being developed. A new line of utility vehicles and new lightweight fairway mowers are two categories of products that will get significant attention in the coming months.
What accomplishment from 2015 are you most proud of?
In 2015 our company rallied all of our employees to choose a word for themselves that defined a personal theme for them for the year. We then solicited updates every week on how those individual themes were playing out. The stories were inspiring and, believe it or not, in many cases life-changing.
One example is an employee whose word was “compassion”. He used this personal theme to re-connect with his 7 siblings and reconcile with his adult children and begin the process of re-building loving relationships in his life. He shared this with our entire team at year end and there was not a dry eye in the house. So while I’m proud of the business accomplishments we’ve had I’m infinitely more proud of the people on our team who made personal life-altering changes and had the courage to share those changes with their coworkers.
To find out more about the personal development programs that Kenney Machinery employees will be participating in this year, visit trueU.com.