Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Monday, August 02, 2010 @ 6:00:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

In business, everyone talks about Return on Investment (ROI) and it is an important topic, but at The Hignell Companies we also talk about Return on Lives (ROL). Balancing the importance of ROI vs. ROL is an ongoing challenge for any business committed to the Kingdom of God. As a company we believe that people have eternal value and should be our primary focus as evidenced by our purpose statement "Creating Caring Communities that Transform Lives”. It is a constant struggle, especially in our current economy, to keep a focus on people while at the same time remaining profitable with a good ROI, knowing that without profits the company will not continue to survive long term.


Because we have yet to reach break-even this year we recently had to focus on expense reduction. Our goal was to reduce annual expenses by $250,000 while keeping as many of our approximately 180 people employed as possible. This required our placing all our in-office, non-billable employees on a one day per month furlough which in effect reduced their salary and our salary costs for these individuals by 5%. In addition we eliminated 1 full time and 3 part time positions. Here are some of the steps we took to minimize the impact on people as much as possible:

*We applied the 5% salary reduction to all executives as well treating everybody the same

*My wife and I own our office and facilities. We voluntarily reduced the rent to the company by 5%

*The first position we eliminated was a ½ time property manager position held by my wife Kaylinn

*Several employees were cut back 20% but our HR Director was able to help them enroll in a Government Work Share Program to make up a significant portion of the reduction

*We met in small department groups to explain the reasons behind the furloughs and asked for other cost saving ideas.

*We did not eliminate our employee focused activities such as our company breakfast every other month or our Dream Chaser program, though we did reduce some expenses in these programs

Throughout this process we have been able to maintain our people focused culture. The necessary changes have been well received and an optimistic spirit still remains. People vs. Profits: this may be the hardest challenge we face as a company dedicated to people and relationships. But this is a challenge God has called us to.

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