Renovation Rejuvenates Employees At Harrison Energy Partners

Harrison Energy Partners is the kind of business where employees don’t mind taking their work home with them.

When the heating and air provider renovated its Little Rock headquarters, most of the wood left over was taken by employees back to their homes. What used to be the walls and framework of their old offices live on as storage buildings, furniture or hunting blinds at deer and duck camps.

It was the kind of wrinkle that makes Harrison Energy Partners an honoree in Arkansas Business’ 2013 Best Places to Work.

The renovation made for a more comfortable work atmosphere. The employees removing the wood themselves helped cut company disposal costs. Recycling the materials into items that made their home lives better helped the environment.

It’s one example of what company founder and CEO Bill Harrison sees as a chain of events that helps everybody in the short-term and long-term, a selling point for the HVAC dealer which not only sells equipment to businesses and residences, but also continues to service the systems long after they’ve been installed.

“When our folks are at home building those sheds, they’re thinking the same way,” says Harrison. “It’s a way to really inspire them to be more sustainable in their lifestyles and to inspire them to greater efforts with our clients.”

The health of employees, whether servicing those clients or at home, is a top priority at Harrison.

“The most important thing about a good job is that you have a job that’s safe, that promotes good health, and you have a workplace that’s healthy,” says Harrison.

In addition to regular benefits, workers are offered cash rewards for tobacco cessation and weight loss programs. Free voluntary health screenings that offer confidential results to the employees are conducted on a routine basis. And an on-site fitness center was installed with the renovations (see below).

Also included in the renovations was a large-scale conference center made for meetings, company receptions and office parties. A theater-sized screen nearly takes up all of one wall.

And then there’s one more company perk, a small one, but very important: Do employees get to touch the thermostat?

“If you know how to use the computer and there’s probably only a dozen people here who do,” Harrison says of the building’s state-of-the-art automation system, “then you get to mess with the thermostat.”

Gym Dandy

When employees of Harrison Energy Partners were asked what they’d like to see in a LEED-certified renovation in their headquarters, one of the most popular requests was for an on-site fitness center.

We know we need to work out. I know I need to work out,” says Harrison president Mike McClellan. “It’s there, it’s available, and folks that need it want to use it.”

After signing an insurance waiver, associates are given a key to a miniature gym that features weight lifting, treadmills and stationary bicycles.

Employees also have stereos for workout music and flatscreen televisions on the wall.

“They don’t have to drive a half hour in rush hour traffic to go to a gym that costs them a lot more money,” says McClellan.