Honeywell Arts & Entertainment shares how focusing on its employees has strengthened its mission

Throughout the past 15 years, Honeywell Arts and Entertainment has grown in more ways than one. They’ve introduced new programs, expanded their outreach programs, and now have educational offerings to more than 75 schools. Programs that used to be offered at only one venue are now available at 12 venues across the state of Indiana. Internally, they’ve added numerous positions to their team, more than doubling the number of full-time employees, and they’ve more than tripled their financial capacity. 

The Honeywell Center is located at 275 W Market St. in Wabash.As Kyle Dubois, Chief Operations Officer for Honeywell Arts and Entertainment will tell you, organizational expansion of this nature wouldn’t have been possible without the strong team they’ve built within. 

“It all begins and ends with the people that make this organization what it is,” says Dubois. “We believe in truly investing in the growth and individual development of our team, and maintaining the focus of how and why we do what we do.” 

Shelby McLaughlin, Guest Relations Associate, and Cody Lee, Guest Relations Supervisor, celebrate the season with a decorated box office and festive hats.So how has Honeywell maintained its dedication to its people and their individual growth throughout the years? 

Jessica Hein, Vice President of Human Resources, says it comes back to living out the core values, hiring, equipping, and investing in talented team members who align with the mission, focusing on the strengths that each individual brings to the organization and an overall commitment to engagement and retention. All of these combined have created a strong team and led to success for Honeywell. 
Jessica Hein, Vice President of Human Resources
When Hein was first brought onto the Honeywell team, one of her first projects was helping the executive team define its core values. 

“We wanted our existing team to be the primary voice of the rich culture that existed here but wasn’t fully defined,” she says. “We needed to define that culture, so we could hire to those same core values and ensure we were building on that strong foundation. We surveyed and talked with team members and collectively determined five primary core values that guide us as we accomplish our mission and vision.” 

They determined their core values to be: 

Teamwork – Combining our individual strengths, supporting each other, and working toward common goals through open and honest communication, 

Innovation – Displaying entrepreneurial spirit and creativity; enjoying fulfilling and exciting work 

Excellence – With initiative and determination, driving for exceptional results in all we do through our strong work ethic 

Service – Providing exemplary service in every internal and external interaction by truly caring about others’ needs; ensuring a guest for life through every experience 

Stewardship – Preserving our legacy, carrying on our mission in an ever-useful and fiscally responsible way that honors those who support us; contributing to the well-being of our community and beyond 

After defining its core values, the Honeywell team says it made a commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. It aligned with the United Front initiative, which has helped to foster conversations and ongoing education around race, equity, and inclusion in the region. 
Emily Shannon, Vice President of MarketingOne way Honeywell is applying its values is to strengthen its recruiting and onboarding process. Emily Shannon, who was recently hired as Honeywell’s Vice President of Marketing, got to witness its recruiting and onboarding process first-hand. She was able to learn about the company’s culture from the website, get a sense of what to expect from Honeywell as an employer, and learn about the workplace environment before applying. 

“Throughout the interview process, I was provided with the information I needed in order to determine if this was the right organization for me,” says Shannon. 

In addition to its recruitment and onboarding processes, Honeywell has also redesigned how it evaluates employee performance. Hein says it’s eliminated traditional performance reviews and instead uses an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for each employee. The IDP provides constant feedback and a two-way communication process that shows how each individual employee aligns with the strategic plan, and how their work helps accomplish the organization’s goals through their unique individual strengths. Honeywell utilizes CliftonStrengths, a Gallup program that provides individuals with their natural top five strengths out of 34 possibilities. 

Honeywell team members gather for coffee and donuts during Honeywell Values Week.“When team members work from a place of personal strength, there’s more excitement and engagement,” says Hein. “This is something that allows each of us to look at what another brings to the table as a unique strength and gain an appreciation for what each person contributes to Team Honeywell.” 
While highlighting the strengths of individual team members, Honeywell has also implemented initiatives to promote personal development. This includes leadership coaching, new manager/supervisor training, and a formal leadership development program, which is offered multiple times throughout the year. 
Cody Lee, Guest Relations Supervisor
“The dedication Honeywell gives to promoting individual growth is amazing,” says Guest Relations Supervisor Cody Flager-Lee. “I began as a volunteer over 10 years ago, then was brought onto the team in the box office. Over the years, the organization has encouraged me and given me the resources to grow my responsibilities, and I’ve been promoted three times.” 

Honeywell recently revamped their internal communication channels. This includes monthly team meetings to encourage regular communication about current projects and events. Hein says they also launched The Honeywell Happenings, a monthly newsletter that keeps everyone updated on important information and reminders and includes a Spotlight on Values section, where team members can nominate one another for living out Honeywell’s core values. 

Honeywell recognizes the importance of engaging as a team for fun throughout the year through team appreciation events and family-friendly outings. Throughout the year, events are planned that give the team an opportunity to connect and enjoy time together. This past year the team came together in Parkview Ballroom for their Annual Team Appreciation event and presentation of service awards, enjoyed a TinCaps baseball game, gathered for an impromptu lunch at the county fair, and enjoyed a pizza party and Halloween costume contest among other activities.  
Tod Minnich, President and CEO
Tod Minnich, President and CEO at Honeywell, says as they’ve grown as an organization, a continued commitment and acknowledgment that they can’t accomplish any of the important work ahead without each team member has been critical in setting the strategy for its human resources endeavors. 

“We can confidently say this focus on ensuring our team is happy, engaged in the important work that we do, and fulfilled in their own unique roles has had a tremendous, positive impact on our organization,” he says. 

Altogether this combination of well-defined core values, formalized recruitment and onboarding, team development and enrichment, and a commitment to constant,
 never-ending improvement has created a strong, productive culture at Honeywell. 

“Here at Honeywell, we begin and end with each team member and an appreciation for what they bring to the Foundation, says Hein. “We assume positive intent. We have honest conversations. We hold ourselves accountable and own up to our own mistakes. We take pride in the way we serve the community and don’t take for granted why we exist. We appreciate the generous support we receive from our incredible donors. We’re here to provide ‘Arts, education, and entertainment for all.’ Everything we do, we try to do to the best of our abilities and because each person is so critical to that mission–-having a focus on people-related initiatives is natural and should be the main focus for any growing organization.”
Honeywell team members gather for a photo at the annual Halloween Costume Party.
Wabash is the focus of a Partner City series in Input Fort Wayne underwritten by Visit Wabash County and Honeywell Arts & Entertainment. This series will capture the story of talent, creativity, investment, innovation, and emerging assets shaping the future of Wabash County, about an hour Southwest of Fort Wayne.
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Read more articles by Brittany Smith.

Brittany Smith is Input Fort Wayne's Managing Editor. Previously she served as Assistant Editor and participated in the College Input Program. She also volunteers for Northeast Indiana Public Radio.