D&H Distributing

D&H Distributing

Harrisburg, PA

www.dandh.com

Grade: A

Summary: A well-respected employee-owned tech company, great training, incredible employee longevity, solid medical a focus on work/life balance, charitable causes and more.

Intro: D&H is one of the largest employers in its region, as well as one of the few ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program) organizations in Central Pennsylvania, wherein employees own 36% of the company. The ESOP has become the foundational culture at D&H, encouraging co-owners to embrace not just THE company, but THEIR company.

Additional perks include Healthcare and Daycare Flexible Spending Accounts, an employee loan program, tuition reimbursement, 401K percentage matching, reimbursement program for co-owner expenditures such as weight loss programs and gym memberships, a wellness program which provides healthcare cost savings based on participation level, a D&H Cares employee-run charity organization, and seasonal discounts throughout the year. See below.

Impact statements: 

  • In our sales organization, we bring in vendors on a daily/weekly basis to continue to provide in depth training on the wide range of products we offer to our customers.
  • D&H offers reimbursement for health club memberships and smoking cessation programs.
  • The company recently upgraded offerings to options for adult orthodontia, plus healthcare and daycare Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • The company offers “D&H University” training opportunities to familiarize the staff with collaboration and other workplace tools. These sessions are overseen by the company’s IT staff, providing a schedule of ongoing course offerings.
  • In addition to a standard medical plan, D&H offers reimbursement for health club memberships and smoking cessation programs.  The company recently upgraded offerings to options for adult orthodontia, plus healthcare and daycare Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • Accommodations are made at all levels. Employees are offered special compensation for implementing more ergonomic work environments, such as standing desks.
  • A recently launched program provides employees/co-owners the opportunity to donate their paid time off days to colleagues who need more than the standard amount, due to personal or family health issues or life crisis.
  • D&H believes its co-owners are a powerful source for positive change in communities, and provides a means by which to foster this effort through work with local and national charitable organizations.
  • The company offers Summer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery of fresh vegetables and fruit.
  • A variety of spontaneous contests and prizes during ESOP month each year (October).
  • Initially scheduled in 2010 as an exploratory replacement to the company’s annual “First Quarter Company Overview,” D&H established its Town Hall format, which quickly became embraced by co-owners as a permanent part of the company’s annual meetings. Divided into 10 different departmental groups, each meeting consists of a brief PowerPoint presentation by D&H co-presidents and officers. This is an opportunity for co-owners to voice their concerns, suggestions, and questions in an informal, interactive and respectful environment.
  • Book Dedication: Dedicated to all D&H Co-owners who have contributed to the company’s growth and success. It is the combination of commitment, passion and talent of each and every individual that has shaped the culture and enabled the longevity of D&H today and well into the future.
  • The average D&H co-owner tenure is 10 years; combined tenure of our seven top executives exceeds 210 years.

Training opportunities:

D&H provides ongoing lecture sessions on “life topics” such as balanced eating, stress management, and financial planning; plus preventative efforts such as company-subsidized smoking cessation courses, annual flu shots, and gym membership reimbursements.

Its annual “How My ESOP Works” presentation was first presented in 2011 and has become a staple in the company’s portfolio of educational trainings. This meeting reviews what an ESOP is, how vesting is calculated, participation guidelines, payout structure, and more. It’s a valuable tool for co-owners who are new to the ESOP concept, or those who are nearing retirement and have questions on how their ESOP dollars will be dispersed.

  • In our sales organization, we bring in vendors on a daily/weekly basis to continue to provide in depth training on the wide range of products we offer to our customers. This develops the sales reps knowledge and skills so they can help drive increased sales for a vendor partners.
  • We provide supervisory training for new or first time supervisors and are piloting a mentor program for our high-potential co-owners.
  • We are ready to implement a new cross-departmental training program where newer employees between 90 days and six months tenure can reach out to contacts in other departments and schedule a one-on-one session to learn more about what they do. We believe this will provide employees with a much broader understanding of D&H and it will also help them understand how their role fits into the overall organization. This is a voluntary program but for those that take advantage of it there are prizes along the way (casual day coupons, payroll dollars and extra time off with pay).
  • The company offers “D&H University” training opportunities to familiarize the staff with collaboration and other workplace tools. These sessions are overseen by the company’s IT staff, providing a schedule of ongoing course offerings.

Medical benefits:

In addition to a standard medical plan, D&H offers reimbursement for health club memberships and smoking cessation programs.The company recently upgraded offerings to options for adult orthodontia, plus healthcare and daycare Flexible Spending Accounts.

In collaboration with the company’s benefits administrator, D&H introduced its Wellness Program in March 2012. The program lets co-owners take control of their health benefits, both personally and financially, through setting and achieving individual health goals. From March 1 through February 28, co-owners accumulate “wellness points” that count towards placement in one of four different point levels of membership. At the conclusion of the 12-month program, each individual co-owner receives a weekly discount on their health insurance premium cost according to their level in the program, which takes effect starting the next plan year.

The program allows co-owners to earn points in five different categories:

  • Preventative (dental, annual physicals, flu shot)
  • Non-tobacco user
  • Screenings (blood pressure, glucose, BMI)
  • Personal profile
  • Exercise

Special accommodations:

Accommodations are made at all levels. Employees are offered special compensation for implementing more ergonomic work environments, such as standing desks. A recently launched program provides employees/co-owners the opportunity to donate their paid time off days to colleagues who need more than the standard amount, due to personal or family health issues or life crisis. The company increased its percentage match for its employees’ 401K plans back during the 2008 recession in order to help make up for financial losses during the dip in the market and it continues to stay true to that promise. Telecommuting has also recently become a company focus as more qualified co-owners joined D&H from different parts of the region. Other accommodations include education assistance, a service award program where co-owners are recognized and gifted at the one-, three-, five-, 10- and 15-year mark, and of course the company’s loan program, to assist co-owners in times of personal hardship.

Community service/charitable causes:

D&H Distributing announced the formation of “D&H Cares” in July of 2008, an organization that continues to provide co-owners with an outlet to not only contribute and volunteer, but to choose the company’s charitable endeavors themselves. D&H Cares also supports the co-owners who form the coalition, providing monetary and material donations in times of need (e.g., in the case of a house fire or emergency).

D&H believes its co-owners are a powerful source for positive change in communities, and provides a means by which to foster this effort through work with local and national charitable organizations. Whether it's a financial donation or time investment, D&H co-owners illustrate what the collective power of generosity and desire can generate.

Measuring satisfaction:

D&H conducts annual performance reviews for each co-owner within the organization. Standard review components include employee productivity and ongoing goal-setting, however, it also provides the co-owner with an opportunity to let their supervisor know their current state of contentment, which includes discussion of their satisfaction with the company itself. An additional component of D&H’s review and feedback processes is its annual “Town Hall” meeting, where co-owners can discuss their concerns directly with a high-level executive.The company also encourages its co-owners to submit ideas via an email alias at suggestions@dandh.com. Suggestion boxes are also located in the corporate office main cafeteria and in break rooms at each of the company’s distribution centers.

Work/Life balance:

D&H is a third generation, family-owned company, and the management works to foster a family atmosphere throughout the company. Co-Presidents Michael Schwab and Dan Schwab (brothers) have stressed that if you’re going to spend as much time together as D&H’s team does, the team should enjoy each other’s company and support each other. Some family-friendly extracurricular activities that the company offers:

  • D&H Family Picnic: Co-owners are invited to participate in the largest corporate and distribution center events of the year. These events are never short of entertainment, be it music, bingo, moon bounces, face painting, etc.
  • Summer Softball Slam: Co-owners and their families signed up to play a friendly game of softball on the Harrisburg Senator’s Stadium in City Island. This event was a tremendous success, and has evolved to include sports such as kickball as well.
  • D&H Cares Golf Tournament: This 12-year tradition always sells out! The tournament was branded a “ D&H Cares” event in 2009, and all proceeds are now distributed to the families of charities that D&H Cares supports:

American Cancer Society

Toys for Tots

Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

Ronald McDonald House Charities

St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital

March of Dimes March for Babies

Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute

Habitat for Humanity

Arthritis Foundation

Catilin’s Smiles

Autism Society of America

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Rejoice! Inc.

American Red Cross

PinnacleHealth Foundation

Bethesda Mission

Special Olympics

 

  • Bring Your Kid to Work Day: D&H has also been a supporter of this annual event, but only until recently have we had a tremendous influx of participation. The company’s largest ever, had a total of 78 children participating in the “Animal Adventures” theme. Activities included: a corporate tour, animal masks arts & crafts, bean bag toss, bingo, and a kids buffet lunch. The highlight was a special visit from ZooAmerica, featuring a snake, small alligator, barn owl, skunk, and rat. The kids also spent time with their parents at their work areas learning about the different functions of D&H.
  • Halloween Party: Co-owners enjoy this annual tradition of live music, food, co-owner camaraderie, and of course a costume contest.
  • Annual Evening with Santa: Co-owners and their family members enjoy food, balloon animals, and a visit from Santa.
  • Family Movie Night: Complete with refreshments, D&H Cares sponsors these events to not only contribute to the charitable organization, but give D&H’s families quality time together.

D&H continues to develop opportunities that will enhance a co-owners overall lifestyle, and what better way than saving them a few bucks!  The D&H HR department has negotiated with local businesses one behalf of co-owners, including dry cleaning, cellular phone plans, gym memberships, guidance resources, pet insurance, banking, and home improvements.

Creative meeting places:

  • D&H holds its annual trade shows, including development sessions and training with customers, at The Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, part of The Hershey Park Resort, plus events in California and Boston.
  • Departmental, off-site meetings are not atypical for fiscal planning purposes.
  • The covered picnic bench area in D&H’s wellness park is often utilized for work purposes on weather appropriate days.
  • D&H has an inspirational conference room in its corporate office called “The Think Tank,” where the company holds “greenlight” sessions on immediate topics.
  • During Vendor Summit meetings (mostly in California and Nevada), D&H’s teams have been known to do some of their best strategy planning around the pool!

Perks/Fun:

The company offers Summer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery of fresh vegetables and fruit.

Dry cleaning pickup and delivery to the corporate office.

Health club membership reimbursements.

An Employee Referral Program that provides co-owners up to $500 in incentive money when they offer a quality, new-hire recommendation.

Birthday cakes for major co-owner anniversaries for all 600+ personnel at the Harrisburg headquarters.

“Surprise” offerings throughout the year.

Surprise casual days for holidays, sporting events, disease awareness.

An extra surprise day off during the Christmas season.

Free coffee and tea on random days throughout the year.

A variety of spontaneous contests and prizes during ESOP month each year (October).

Surprise giveaways, e.g., holiday gifts, flowers for valentines, etc.

“D&H Cares” surprise campaigns to raise money for charity, which includes offering prizes to reward co-owners (basket raffles, casual day coupon books, etc.).

How corporate vision is communicated:

  • Initially scheduled in 2010 as an exploratory replacement to the company’s annual “First Quarter Company Overview,” D&H established its Town Hall format, which quickly became embraced by co-owners as a permanent part of the company’s annual meetings. Divided into 10 different departmental groups, each meeting consists of a brief PowerPoint presentation by D&H co-presidents and officers. This is an opportunity for co-owners to voice their concerns, suggestions, and questions in an informal, interactive and respectful environment.
  • Held annually the Fiscal Year End meeting is a more high level, less interactive meeting, focusing more on goals and strategy.
  • D&H co-owners attend a three-day annual ESOP assembly, presented by the company’s top five officers. Over a two day period and close to half a dozen meetings, co-owners are educated on the state of the company, state of the industry, the current and future economic outlook, and of course in-depth education on how an ESOP works and how the account is fairing. And although co-owners are routinely kept abreast on company events and strategies throughout the year, the ESOP meeting really allows them a bird’s eye view of where the company is at present, as well as where our leaders plan to take us in the future.
  • Within the first few days of employment HR presents a short presentation to new employees outlining the details of D&H Distributing – who we are, what our function is as a distributor, what makes us different, overview of org charts and delivering explanations on departmental functions. Although the concept of ESOP isn’t mentioned in these meetings (employees aren’t eligible for ESOP participation until their 90th day of employment), it’s important that they feel a sense of worth and belonging right from the start.
  • After 90-days of employment at D&H, an employee is upgraded to ‘co-owner’ status and employees officially become part of the D&H Employee Stock Ownership Program. Co-presidents, Dan Schwab and Michael Schwab address all 90-day employees and introduce them to the program elements including eligibility, vesting, and a multi-year savings scenario.  D&H believes its most important asset in business is people. Every possible opportunity to engage co-owners is an opportunity to make the business more successful. Nurturing the development and skill set of co-owners is D&H’s top priority.

2013 marked the year-long celebration of D&H’s 95th Anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, D&H published the following:

Looking Around the Corner: A Century of Innovation, Evolution & Transformation, and to commemorate the hardest working co-owners ever, we dedicate this book to them:

Book Dedication: Dedicated to all D&H Co-owners who have contributed to the company’s growth and success. It is the combination of commitment, passion and talent of each and every individual that has shaped the culture and enabled the longevity of D&H today and well into the future.

Empowering employees:

May 2009 marked the inception of D&H’s internal P.E.O.P.L.E. initiative. A widespread launch within the company, P.E.O.P.L.E. highlights the core competencies that link the functions, processes, and operations of the company and its co-owners. The acronym is representative of the co-owners that make such goals achievable.

P.E.O.P.L.E. presents co-owners with defined focus areas and expectations, creating a blueprint for less down time and greater output. It is a catalyst for communication across all departments, and an aspiration to perform smarter and better.

Ensuring well-being:

D&H’s most important investment remains its people. True investment can’t be found within a stock portfolio or an online trading index. Ensuring the overall wellness and health of those employees has become the primary motivation of the creation of the D&H Wellness Program.

During the inception of the D&H Cares foundation in 2008, D&H considered creating an extension to the charitable component and apply the D&H Cares concept as an umbrella brand to both the D&H Wellness Program and its Go Green initiative.

The company’s Wellness Committee invites co-owners to utilize the D&H Heartbeat Card. Every time a co-owner participates in a company-wide wellness initiative they become one punch closer to earning incentives. May 2010 also marked the inaugural Wellness Fair. Leading healthcare-related organizations from the Harrisburg area gave health and wellness presentations, including from The American Cancer Society, Highmark, JCC Fitness Center, Holy Spirit Hospital, Mazzitti & Sullivan Counseling, United Concordia Dental, Chiropractor Loren Barish, and M&T Bank. Activities included a free Zumba exercise demo class, massage tables, health screenings, healthy “fair” foods, raffles, “Speed Pitch” games, a basketball shot competition, and more. The fair was located in the company’s most recently renovated outdoor space , The Wellness Park, which give co-owners the opportunity to exercise and practice healthy habits during work hours.  These include a one-tenth mile walking track incorporating exercise equipment for chin-ups, sit-ups and more; a half-court basketball hoop; and a covered picnic pavilion.                                                                      

To contribute to the preservation of the planet, D&H implemented its “Go Green” initiative, promoting sustainable materials and strategies to conserve energy and reduce waste.  This includes a comprehensive on-site and off-site recycling plan encompassing cardboard, plastic, paper and aluminum materials; widespread replacement of standard lighting products with energy-efficient versions across all U.S .warehouses; reduced distribution of internal paper reports, and more.

Longevity:

The average D&H co-owner tenure is 10 years; combined tenure of our seven top executives exceeds 210 years.

Commitment and dedication mark the two most prominent attributes of D&H co-owners. Therefore, when a tenured milestone is celebrated, the company is thrilled to announce it to everyone. After one-year of employment, co-owners receive a framed photo of themselves being congratulated by co-presidents, Dan Schwab and Michael Schwab. These photos are then put into a collage and hung around the corporate office for everyone to enjoy.

The annual posting of co-owner milestones in the corporate lobby starts at the 10-year mark and is recognized every five years thereafter. D&H’s motto is “It Pays to Stay.”  At the 25, 30, 35, 40, etc. year mark, each milestone is recognized with a company-wide casual day and cake celebration (flavor selected by the co-owner). The email announcement also includes a brief Q&A with the co-owner. Such questions include:

  • What has been your greatest accomplishment at D&H?
  • What is your fondest D&H memory?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Co-owner tenures are also posted on digital signage displays in the main cafeteria and lobby. It’s important to the company that these individuals are publicly acknowledged not only among other co-owners but also the vendor partners that visit its facilities. This documents what most tenured employees already know, hard work and a sense of pride are valued, rewarded and contribute to our level of service.

Closing company statements: We have a simple philosophy at D&H: Work hard, but have fun doing it. All employees at D&H are co-owners of the company — employees co-own more than one-third of the company — which is why everyone treats that business like it is their own — because it truly is. And we all work hard, so we try to have fun. We feel that as team members, you spend more time at work than you do with your family, so you better like what you are doing and who you are working with.

Back to the entire list of TMCnet 2016 Tech Culture Award winners.

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