Kennon Products started in 1984 in a small rented garage in Temple City, Calif. Its flagship product, the Kennon Sun Shield, quickly became a best-seller and continues to be a favorite of pilots today. In 1989, Ron Kensey relocated the business to Sheridan, Wyo., where the company continues to introduce innovative products to the aviation world and beyond.
Transformation at the Top – Kennon’s founder, Ron Kensey, leads by example. He believes in taking care of customers, doing whatever it takes to fix a problem and never deviating from the company’s core values: be real, communicate, dare, deliver quality, fun, integrity, safety, talent and urgency.
Reinforce and Build – When it comes to hiring, Kensey says, “We believe in hiring exceptional people who can add value in their own way, not in a predetermined way through a job description.” He regularly conveys his personal code of ethics to employees, vendors and customers through everyday dealings. Top managers host mandatory daily meetings that cover upcoming events, health and safety training, finances and the meaning of “quality.”
Unite the Team – Kennon recognizes employees for ethical behavior and overall job performance with such items as gift cards or by verbal recognition during daily staff meetings. Birthday cards are signed by all employees and thoughtful consideration is given to each employee on his or her birthday. To keep things fun and to reduce stress, employees can participate in March Madness, Super Bowl and World Series challenges as a way to bond outside of regular work activities.
Steer Performance – Kennon is committed to helping employees perform at their highest levels. The company communicates information and performance to all employees. In rare instances when an employee needs to be held accountable for poor performance, the company will provide additional training or move the person to a position that better fits his/her skill set.
Treasure People – During the last recession when job orders slowed down, rather than lay off employees, the company started its Capacity to Care program to keep staff busy and to avoid potential layoffs. The program provides a 50 percent discount to nonprofits.
! Enthusiastically Reinvest – In 2009, Kennon developed the Soft Suicide Prevention Door for the Sheridan VA Medical Center that is now widely used in psychiatric units in the United States and abroad. The door has a soft texture and is held up by magnets, thereby eliminating anchor points, and preventing suicide attempts that may occur with traditional doors. Kennon supports charities and causes that are important to employees, including the Adopt-a-Park program and annual Thanksgiving food drive.