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The Psychologically Healthy Workplace 

M. Dyer & Sons, Inc. 
2005 Award Winner: Small Business Category

This past summer, there were a lot of military families moving and at their peak, they were moving 40-50 families each day. In a four-month period, over 5 million pounds were moved when a typical year might regularly see only 8 million pounds moved. Because of the healthy workplace, when the need arises, employees are willing and able to pitch to make miracles occur. Masu and Medford Dyer founded M. Dyer and Sons in 1968 with a truck and the idea to help families move with less hassle. Since then, the company has expanded to 73 employees and helps families and organizations move everywhere in the world. Not only does the company provide moving services, but confidential document storage for professionals and long-term storage for customers.

Most people might think of the company as a bunch of big guys who move heavy things. In truth, M. Dyer and Sons succeeds because of their stress on customer satisfaction, service and teamwork.

They work to meet the needs of both the customer and the employees at every step. To keep all this flowing smoothly, communication is key. From the shipping floor to the packers to the president and accounting, communication flow is constant and consistent so that everyone knows what's going on with every customer and every employee. "Communication is the lifeblood of our industry. We may move things, but it's really about the people," says Rebecca Parker, company president. People move because they are undergoing a transition in their live due to loss, change or problems. We need to be sensitive to their needs and keeping in communication with them makes all the difference. All trucks have GPS units with mobile communication systems. From day one, everyone learns of the special needs and wishes of customers so that everyone can work together to meet them. In order to improve performance, customers are asked to complete survey forms evaluating employees and recognition is given quarterly to those employees with superior scores. Evaluations are performed regularly with bonuses, raises being based on the evaluations.

Aside from extensive training in proper lifting and hazard avoidance, employees receive driver training, communication techniques, first aid and CPR training, falling hazard training and many others. Since moving is difficult work filled with many possible injuries and injuries impact everyone in the company, all employees are members of safety incentive teams designed to promote well-being and health. $30,000 is budgeted each year to directly reward safe behavior with winning teams receiving payments each quarter. To keep things fresh, teams are reshuffled each quarter. When an injury does occur, the whole family is enlisted to help the healing process with the president and hr contacting the spouse once per week. As soon as possible and in coordination with the health care provider, employees are given duties they are able to perform. During this time, employees are given all benefits and paid for the hours they are able to work. As a result, morale has improved, and the number of days away from work reduced.

In 1996, through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, with employee ownership, everyone is motivated to not only see the business succeed, but to do so in a manner that supports the needs of the employees and their families.

Hawaii Psychological Association
P.O. Box 833
Honolulu, Hawaii 96808
ph: (808) 521-8995

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