Herman Miller.

Topics: Charles and Ray Eames, Profit, Incentive program Pages: 4 (886 words) Published: August 19, 2005
Herman Miller: Role Model in Employee and Environmental Relations

Case Summary and Questions for debate

•The company had been a model for almost 70 years – until the 1990's


•Used as example of superb employee relations in business text books like oA Passion for Excellence
oThe 100 Best Companies to Work For in America

•Interesting point of how the founder named the company after his father-in-law, giving honor to him who supported the business both in financial start-up and via family •The DuPree family maintained a paternalistic relationship with their employees •DuPree family brought their devout, faith influenced values to the company in various ways: oKind, gentle tones with employee communications

oProfit sharing and employee incentive programs (before they were popular) oParticipative management methods
oSilver parachutes for those who might lose their jobs
oConsidered the employees as vice presidents
oSalary of top executives were not more that 20 times the average wage of the line worker oEvaluations given to and by employees every six months

•Results and evidence of Excellent Employee Relations include oLoyal workforce
oDevelopment and movement from within the company
oGifted design teams
oCommitment to doing what was right (rather than what was best)


•Stopped using two species of trees for their rosewood signature piece "Eames chair" when it was discovered they came from vunerable rain forests •90% cut in trash hauled to landfills
•Built $11 million waste-to-energy heating and cooling plant resulting in $750,000 annual savings in fuel and landfill costs •Ceased use of Styrofoam cups and distributed 5,000 mugs to compensate o‘on spaceship earth there are no passengers . . only crew' •Exceeded Clean Air Act requirement with ‘ethically correct' machines built to incinerate 98% of the toxic solvents from the staining of wood Herman Miller Case Study...
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