One of the most important practices in business is to recognize your employees for the job they do. Give them credit when they deserve it. I could find a lot of well-researched arguments about the psychological and performance benefits of doing so, but that’s not where I’m headed. It’s just the right thing to do, and when you find the right guy, you just can’t help it.
That guy is Keith Hall. After 43 years of service to Franklin Electric, Keith is retiring from his position as training manager and field service engineer, and I will feel his loss deeply.
Many people probably think Keith has always been part of Franklin’s field service organization. In fact, that’s not the case. Keith is living proof that you sometimes find your best people in the most unlikely places. He actually came to our field service organization after working for over 30 years at our 4-inch motor manufacturing facility in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. He had worked his way up to operations supervisor, insuring that over 1 million motors a year were manufactured with exacting adherence to Franklin Electric’s Key Factors of Quality, Availability, Service, Innovation, and Value.
As part of that job, Keith would conduct our plant tours during our FranklinTECH classes. Somewhere along the line, people started to notice that this unassuming guy who knew his stuff blindfolded also had a way with people. In 2004, someone suggested, “You know, Keith Hall does a great job with the plant tours. He’s really good at talking to our contractor guests. They like him, and he seems to enjoy them as well. Wonder if he might want to join field service?”
As they say, the rest is history, and I don’t think we’ve ever made a better choice. Covering a field service territory while also serving as our training manager, Keith has taught literally thousands of contractors about our products and how to use them. On top of it all, he’s just a great guy who’s easy to be around. People like him.
Keith’s contribution has had a significant impact on the success of Franklin’s training program; he leaves some pretty big shoes to fill. The good news is that we’ve managed to talk him into continuing to teach FranklinTECH classes part-time at our Wilburton, Oklahoma, campus. I’m very sure this arrangement will benefit Franklin Electric (and me) more than it will Keith, but that’s just another testament to his character. We are lucky to have him in any capacity.
Keith, I hope you enjoy your retirement as much as I’ve enjoyed having you in my organization. Thanks for everything you’ve done for us.