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5 Workplace Trends in 2012

As the workplace continues to evolve, be sure to keep up with your competitors by considering the following new trends in the workplace! For most companies, these new trends have potential to evolve into growth of your company.

1. Movement from management to leadership values – Employees can determine when an organization’s walk doesn’t fit the talk, and they are getting impatient working for managers who are less self-aware than they are. Instead, individuals today must lead with values such as collaboration and shared purpose. By engaging the workforce in a compelling shared vision and engaging their hearts as well as their minds, leaders can reap the best results.

2. A focus on workplace culture as a means to grow the business – Dedicating time, energy, and resources into creating a sustainable culture can eliminate money spent on marketing (think Google, Panera). Customers patronize businesses that care about their employees, and will even pay more if they believe their values are shared by the company.

3. Diversity makes a comeback – Today, organizations have a renewed interest in diversity, and it has to do with the customer and shareholders. From a customer relations perspective, companies need people inside their organizations who are representative of the people they are trying to reach outside.

4. Rise of virtual work relations – Although they can make it seem like you’re connected to the workplace 24/7, sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn makes it easier to retain relationships with current and past co-workers. This allows for greater amounts of information and expertise to be shared and leveraged which is always a benefit!

5. Organizations are getting flatter – Instant access technology means that employees are not as dependent on the hierarchies of the past for information. With that being said, managers can expect a new definition of team work. Instead of playing your individual role in the team, it’s all about what everyone is chipping in to accomplish what is needed.

Supporting our Soldiers

During the month of February, Bruner employees came together to gather donations for Josh Hughes, a service technician for Bruner, and his unit currently serving in Afghanistan.
“The response from Bruner employees has been impressive,” said Renna Schafler who organized the effort, “and the encouragement I have received from the places I went to help make this happen was humbling.”

The thirty-seven soldiers will receive multiple boxes containing the following items and then some:

  • Baby wipes
  • Book lights (donated by Staples)
  • Safety glasses
  • Candy and gum
  • Plastic storage bags
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Body wash
  • Books (sold at a reduced rate by a local Half Price Books store owner)
  • Games
  • Fire-proof gloves (donated by Air Gas)
  • Coffee
  • Lotion
  • Pen and paper (donated by Staples)

This effort was so successful in part because of the generosity of Bruner employees, the great community support we received, and a few great coupon-clippers. Bruner employee’s Renna Schafler, Leslie Brungarth, LeeAnn Lynn, and Sarah Campbell combined efforts and used their coupon-savvy to turn an $85 donation into $300 worth of items to be sent overseas.

“The feeling of pride has washed over me countless times during this experience,” said Schafler. “To know we are supporting our troops and one of our own coworkers in the way we have is extraordinary.”

A huge thanks to all that contributed!

Employee Spotlight: Rocky Carr

Rocky Carr

Purchasing Manager Rocky Carr has been with Bruner Corporation for 12 years and has worked in the industry for 35 years! Day-to-day, Rocky’s role includes purchasing materials and equipment for our projects, as well as managing the warehouse operations here at Bruner.

When he’s not working, Rocky enjoys traveling, golfing, and spending time with his wife. Together, they take pleasure in traveling, with one of their favorite spots being Outer Banks, NC. Rocky also undoubtedly delights in traveling to see his three children who live in some of the United States’ most desirable vacation spots: New York, California, and Hawaii. Rocky’s son living in Hawaii is currently serving in the United States Army.

As one of Bruner’s most smiling faces, Rocky’s favorite part of his job is working with our people and key partners. “I truly enjoy working with people and finding solution to the challenges we encounter,” Rocky said.

If Rocky sounds like a person you’d love to work with, contact us! We’d love to do business with you.

Contractors: Learn How to Boost Productivity and Lower Expenditures

“Companies that manage their labor and their inventory effectively are among the most profitable,” says Ruth King (@RuthKing) in HVACR Business Magazine. King used her wealth of knowledge and 25+ years of experience in the HVACR industry to share with HVACR Business readers how the contracting business can increase profits without increasing prices. The solution: productively manage your labor force.

Here are ten ways to do so:

  • Lock up your warehouse and parts room
  • Make sure that charges for nitrogen use, silver solder, vacuum pump (and the oil change after each use), reclaim units, and leak testing are included in your flat-rate pricing or added to the invoice
  • Add a charge of $0.50/pound for refrigerant disposal
  • Say thank you to your installers and service technicians by bringing them a soda or hot drink on the job
  • Create a sheet and have the customer sign off that they understand how to use a programmable thermostat
  • Use tickler files
  • Say, “It’s time for your prepaid maintenance check” instead of spring/fall tune up
  • Keep the second call of the day open
  • Use the camera in your phone or keep a digital camera in your truck
  • Track productivity

For further explanation of these guidelines, visit

Building Good Business Relationships Begins with Internal Teamwork

Before we, as business leaders, can build lasting relationships with our customers, we must first nurture internal relationships based on mutual respect and trust. While this is a gradual process, the benefits of collaborating as a team are seen immediately.

Courtesy of Rhonda R. Savage, D.D.S. (@rhondasavage), and HVACR Business, here are some tips to foster teamwork within your organization as you strive to facilitate accountability and build trust among your team.

  1. Define duties with teamwork in mind.
  2. Be clear with prospective employees during the interview process
  3. Define your expectations in an office policy manual
  4. Determine time commitments and plan adequately for each task
  5. Don’t overload your staff with too many commitments or too many interruptions
  6. Follow through by putting a note on your calendar to check on progress of tasks
  7. Avoid showing favoritism toward specific team members
  8. Encourage your team members to stand up and lead
  9. Open the lines of communication by having an open-door policy
  10. Ask your team members to fully support one another

For further explanation of these guidelines, visit

Happy Retirement, Mark!

During Bruner’s annual Holiday Party this past Saturday, we congratulated President Mark Wenger on his retirement. Mark was with the Bruner Corporation for over 25 years. During his time here, Mark added value to the company by building strong relationships with our clients.

Bruner employees sent Mark off with the video below, telling him just how much we truly appreciated him.

Giving Thanks… the Bruner Way

The time that stretches from Thanksgiving to New Years is by far my favorite time of the year. It reminds me of all of the wonderful people I have in my life and how lucky I am to be the person I am and live the life I live.

This year, I am thankful to have come as far as I have; to be working for a company that values my professional development, as well as my personal well-being; to be surrounded on a daily basis by intelligent, caring, passionate individuals; to have the opportunity to use the skills I have acquired in a professional setting.

Here’s what some other Bruner employees are thankful for this year:

  • Lowell McElroy is thankful for gravy. “Where would this world be without GRAVY!? Gravy makes every food taste like home.”
  • Renna Schafler is thankful to have been blessed to have a job that helps ensure all of her needs and some of her wants.
  • Leslie Brungarth is thankful for good health amongst her family.
  • Dan Spurgeon is thankful for the great people in Bruner’s marketing department! (We’re thankful for you, too, Dan!)
  • Andrea Scott is thankful for making it through a very difficult year – still standing.
  • Paula Gayness is thankful that her entire family and close friends (including cats and dogs) are still alive and holding their health.
  • Zane Liston is thankful for many things this year. “My family is healthy, my job is rewarding, and I have made many new friends who have helped me understand the value of life.”
  • Eric Bailey is thankful for his new job at Bruner and the great people he gets to work with!

From everyone here at Bruner, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and ask, what you are thankful for this year?

Bruner Gate: Behind the Scenes

Every home game, Bruner employees and customers cheer on the Ohio State Buckeyes with beverages, brats, and a whole lot of OSU spirit. It’s a tailgate tradition that employees and customers alike have enjoyed since the early 90s.

But what goes into making each of those Saturday games a successful festivity?

  • 1 generously donated van, courtesy of Tom Alan at Byers
  • More than 720 canned beverages from Canardo Wine & Cheese
  • 144 Johnsonville Brats and 32 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs
  • 176 packages of buns
  • 1 large veggie tray
  • 1 large fruit tray
  • 6 bags of assorted chips
  • 2 large coolers
  • 6 bags of ice
  • 10’ x 20’ red tent
  • 2 six-foot tables
  • Grill
  • Generator
  • 2 trash cans
  • Flag pole with Bruner and OSU flags
  • 3 Bag-O-Chairs
  • Corn hole set and bags
  • And so much more…

Thanks to several employees that go above and beyond the call of duty, Bruner manages to retain the same spot each home game by arriving at St. John’s Arena at 5:30 AM – no matter what time the game starts!

There’s only one more chance to see it all come together this season. Come out and join us for the last OSU home game versus Penn State on Saturday, November 19. Stop by to enjoy a beverage, a brat, and the Buckeyes!

Wendy Albright Joins the Service Department

New-hire Wendy Albright brings a wealth of industry experience to Bruner’s Service department. As the Service Coordinator, Wendy dispatches field technicians to service calls and ensures that all preventative maintenance is up-to-date.

“I love the interaction with the technicians and the closeness I have with them,” Wendy said. “It is nice to be able to talk or hang out outside of work with people you get along with inside the work place.”

Wendy most recently worked for Limbach in a similar role, which made her transition to Bruner smooth and easy. Prior to her work for Limbach, Wendy worked on the residential side of HVAC at Armstrong Air Conditioning.

When she’s not dispatching technicians or providing insight to the Service department, Wendy enjoys playing volleyball, as well as coaching high school freshmen girls volleyball at Central Crossing in Grove City. Her favorite foods to eat are chicken alfredo and cheesecake, and she is a huge OSU Football fan – which means she fits in well here at Bruner.

Wendy is also a single mother of two boys: Max, 9; and Alex, 6.

Welcome to the Bruner team, Wendy!

Promoting a Culture of Servant Leadership

As Bruner strives to grow as a business, we have adopted several practices to help propel us toward an employee’s first, customer-driven culture. One of those practices is the notion of Servant Leadership.

What is Servant Leadership, you ask? It’s a culture of serving those you lead; it’s a distribution of power and responsibility to allow employees to make their own decisions; it’s seeing things through the eyes of those you lead; it’s putting yourself in others’ shoes; and it’s keeping the well-being of fellow employees in mind.

Servant Leadership is not just a practice – it’s a culture of leading by example, which can be applied to both personal and professional lives. By embracing the role of a Servant Leader, you are choosing to uphold and embody the Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership. You seek lasting change, create authentic relationships, persevere with a non-anxious presence, invest in motivated people, and focus less on doing things the “right” way and more on doing what is right.

By empowering people and creating a positive work environment first, profits and success will follow.