Kodiak Mountain Stone

HR Superstar

Location Cardston Owner Jeff Heggie
Employees 11 Founded 2005

★ The Business

Jeff Heggie, the CEO of Kodiak Mountain Stone, believes in the power of positive thinking. So much so, in fact, that he asks the employees at his Cardston-based stone manufacturing business to read up on it on company time. It all started, Heggie says, with a desire to lead by example. He liked to come in early and get his reading done before his employees showed up, because “I didn’t want them to see me not working. But why should we feel guilty about educating ourselves, or our employees educating themselves?” Inspired in part by Google’s 20 per cent time initiative, one that allows its employees to dedicate 20 per cent of their time to special projects, Heggie decided that he’d give his employees the same opportunity.

★ The Case

Employees at Kodiak Mountain Stone can read just about anything they want – the company library includes books like Good to Great by Jim Collins, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – provided they report back to the rest of the company on what they learned. The biggest problem, Heggie says, is that people don’t always take the time they’re offered. “I wish I could force them to use that work time,” he says, “because I know a lot of time the staff get busy and they don’t take that time. I wish they’d take it regardless, but I do have a very committed staff and if there’s a job to do they’ll do it. It’s a catch-22 there.”

There might not be any obvious financial payoff in this for Heggie, but he thinks in the end a happy team is a strong team. “If there are things in your personal life that this can help, that means there will be less stress in your work life as well,” he says. “We’re a tight team, and we’ve got everyone else’s best interests at heart.”

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