Every Time a Bell Rings . . .
. . . McAfee Heating and Air Conditioning Makes a Sale
By Joe Cogliano II
The bell rings, the crowd cheers.
It's something you might hear after a big touchdown, a winning basket or a sale at McAfee Heating and Air Conditioning in Kettering.
Owner Greg McAfee said anyone who makes a sale -- whether it be $200 or $10,000 -- can ring the bell, which brings cheers from the rest of the office. And for those who spend much of their time out of the office, McAfee uses a two-way radio so they can hear the ruckus.
It's a way to let everyone know a sale was made," he said. "And we needed it today."
[caption id="attachment_417" align="alignright" width="179" caption="McAfee was also awarded "Best Places To Work" by the Dayton Business Journal in 2007"]
That relaxed, but fun atmosphere helped McAfee Heating and Air Conditioning land a spot on the Dayton Business Journal list of Best Places to Work.
McAfee Heating specializes in furnace and air conditioning sales and service as well as indoor air quality services, including air-duct cleaning, filtration systems, and mold testing. He started the company in 1990 and now has 20 employees.
Inspired by places he didn't enjoy working, McAfee tried to create an upbeat atmosphere in the midst of busy days and hard work.
"We have to spend more time with each other than most people spend with their families, so it's got to be fun," he said. "In general, you've gotta have fun where you work and it's gotta be a place you enjoy getting up and going to."
McAfee regularly takes employees out to lunch by department, holds an annual company picnic complete with inflatable jumping houses -- like the ones you would find at a carnival. At Christmas, he takes workers and their spouses out for a special treat. Last year, the group went to Dave & Busters for dinner and games and the year before they played laser tag.
"We rented out the whole place and it was a blast," he said.
Office manager Patty Heilman joined McAfee six years ago and looks forward to work.
Whether it's exchanging ideas at monthly meetings or bonding at lunches and picnics, she feels like her boss and coworkers care about each other.
"It's like a family," she said.
Heilman recalls an incident when customers were attending a party at the office and someone made a sale. A bell and a cacophony of cheers erupted.
"They were amazed and didn't know what to make of it and I said 'that's because we just got a sale and everybody needs to know,'" she said. "We're always happy. We're happy for the people who make the sale and we're happy for our company. And we all buy into that."
Amy Cooney joined McAfee two years ago as an administrative assistant.
At the first company meeting, Cooney knew it was going to be a good place to work.
"There was no negative talk in the meeting, it was all good, positive talk," she said.
In addition to the fun times, McAfee offers workers professional and personal development seminars on topics such as staying motivated and customer service. He also buys books for the group to read and discuss such as "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and "Who Moved My Cheese?"
"We have more people classes than we do just technical classes," McAfee said. "I'm constantly encouraging my people."