APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

Rewards Plus Reinforcement Equals a Recipe for Rebuilding

Hawaii — At Otsuka’s Furniture & Appliances developing a work environment that feels like “home” is a central focus. However, this approach goes far beyond the products this Kauai-based retail business supplies to its customers.

Thanks to a comprehensive program of ongoing rewards and reinforcement and the owner’s own “home-cooked” management style, Otsuka’s Furniture & Appliances has grown to become an “extended family” for employees and customers alike.

The program first started when the store’s owner began to prepare home-cooked meals at the worksite in an effort to help rebuild employee morale after a series of blows from family deaths and Hurricane Iniki. The nurturing atmosphere created by sharing a meal can be viewed as the first step toward creating “Ohana,” the Hawaiian concept of family.

Reward and reinforcement has expanded beyond good food to now include monetary performance bonuses, increased pay packages and 401k and profit sharing programs. In addition, a greater emphasis has been placed on communication, as employees are strongly encouraged to share their views and concerns about the business.

The results have been significant. The warm environment has been credited for increases in three very important areas – employee morale, customer satisfaction and company revenues. All these factors are seen as key to the company’s bottom line.

There can be little doubt that Otsuka’s approach to reward and reinforcement is a success. Employees’ positive outlooks and attitudes have spread to customers, and Otsuka’s revenues now top $5 million.

"Many of our organizational values focus on employees, with a goal of maximizing quality service to our community. This award illustrates our level of commitment to providing our employees with a healthy workplace, both physically and mentally."

Ed Everett
City Manager
Redwood City, CA