Builders Series: Bill Reicherter talks building a healthy company culture

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bill.reicherterI met Bill Reicherter, CEO of Priority 1 Signs, when he was a board member at the Parkland, FL YMCA, part of the YMCA of Broward County. Dedicated volunteers like Bill are the lifeblood of the YMCA, committed to making the organization the best it can be in service to our community.  I think Bill also likes to laugh and have fun at work as much as I do, so I loved when he’d stop by our office!

I had a chance to catch up with Bill last week in South Florida.  I love a great entrepreneur story, so really enjoyed hearing how he scrapped and hustled for 5 years to build his business before it really took off.  He’s now expanding to build offices throughout the country to keep pace with the demand for his products.  See a little factory tour & and see his work wherever you’re shopping!

As someone who is interested in health, I’m always looking for how workplaces are incorporating this as a company value.  I’m not only talking about your typical wellness offerings like serving healthy foods and encouraging exercise, but other key ingredients of health like sense of shared purpose and a culture of respect within an organization.

A couple of things really jumped out of our conversation that make me think Bill spends a lot of time thinking about this for his company.  The first was our discussion about front-line employees.  Every company will tell you that their front line is important, but few really execute on this belief.  Bill expanded on this, and of course the former University of Tennessee football player had to throw in a little gridiron analogy:

Bill:  “Front line employees are your business. They are the heart beat or pulse of
any organization. The people upfront in the suits have no idea of anything
real. They live in a space that affects maybe 25% of your business while
the other 75% is the frontline. If you relate it to football, the players
on the field have a better sense of what’s going on and why plays work and
don’t work, while the coaches (or the suits in this instance) are calling the
shots from the sideline. If things aren’t working and they aren’t smart
enough to ask the players why, then ultimately that team or business is
doomed to fail. So my theory is to listen and make time to hear and digest
what the most important people in your business have to say.” 

During the time we worked together, Bill also suffered a significant cardiac event and is fortunate to be with us today.  I asked how this event has changed his approach and what impact it has had on his business:

Bill:  “My health has become a big aspect of my life since this event. I call this
my second chance at life. Since the heart attack and open heart surgery, I
decided that I needed a lifestyle overhaul. This includes changing my
eating habits, incorporating daily exercise, sleep, and influencing others, especially my
co-workers, to be healthy. Personally I can see my energy, enthusiasm and
oddly enough our company’s success has all benefited from a healthier me.
It’s the change of mindset that I’ve decided I want to be great in all aspects of my life. Once you
change your thinking, your attitude aligns and the universe follows.”

*Notice his use of the term “co-workers”–thought that was interesting, since they’re technically his staff.  A subtle reinforcement of his overall approach.  It was a great afternoon and I’m so happy we were able to reconnect.

All the best to you Bill as you continue to build a healthy community within Priority 1 Signs.  I know big things are on the horizon for the remainder of 2015. I look forward to following your success in all aspects!

 

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