Videon Guest Blogger Spot
Joan Potter, Director of HR
|Tuesday, December 4, 2012|
Making the right choices for a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but our company has found ways to make it fun. Videon Central provides a culture of health for our employees by offering numerous on-site conveniences including a workout room, yoga classes, massage therapy, health screenings, flu shots, lunch & learn guest speakers, and chef-prepared healthy lunches. Encouraging regular exercise is the real challenge. Everyone knows they should do it, but finding the time and motivation is tough.
We know that our employees will be healthier, happier, and more productive if they exercise regularly, so we’ve created motivational exercise programs. We encourage employees to try cycling by offering $500 towards the purchase of a new bicycle for a commitment to ride at least 3 times a week for a season (May-Oct). We encourage running and walking by purchasing athletic shoes for the same commitment. Flexible work schedules allow extra time for employees to go out for a mid-day ride or walk, and group outings over lunch are popular. We are fortunate to be located within a short distance of many woodland trails, community bike paths, and the beautiful PSU campus.
In addition to the anticipated weight loss/control and strength gained by participating employees, other benefits reported include increased ability to focus, better sleep, higher self-confidence, being more relaxed and happier, pride in their accomplishments, stronger family connections, and just having fun! Shortly after we implemented the programs, there was a noticeable increase in enthusiasm and energy levels. Our production levels actually increased. And we realized an unexpected benefit: camaraderie between employees from different departments grew significantly as they joined in these activities.
We are now in our second year of the biking and walking programs, and the employee response has been higher than we ever imagined: 49 of 79 employees currently participate in one or both programs! Many employees have gained enough confidence to participate in races and fund-raising events, which has provided positive community awareness of our company. To top it off, last fall we were proud to be designated a “Bicycle Friendly Business” by the League of American Bicyclists, and we were recognized as the first business in our community to receive such an award.
Our most recent effort to encourage a healthy lifestyle is a financial incentive through a shift in health premium cost-sharing. The “Smart Steps” program requires an employee (and their spouse if on our health plan) to meet five basic health goals (BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and no tobacco use). If they meet the goals, the company will shift from an 80/20 premium cost split to 90/10. And for those who don’t meet the goals or are not willing to take the necessary steps towards reaching the goals, the split will now be 70/30. We are in the early stages of the program but we feel strongly about rewarding employees for taking good care of their health.
From a financial standpoint, we have no doubt that the benefits from our total wellness program outweigh the costs. From every point of view, the culture of health we promote at Videon is a success!
Be the Person You Dream of Being
Todd Erdley, CEO
|Friday, September 28, 2012|
In a previous post, I wrote about the pillars that form the foundation of my life and the basis of my work at Videon: family, friends, health, and moral tenets. One of my greatest passions, cycling, serves as an excellent example of how these pillars can come together to keep my mind and body engaged in my work day as well as my family time. The lessons I’ve learned from cycling have increased not only my physical health, but also my understanding of hard work and ambitious goals.
As a cyclist, I like to challenge myself. Hills are my favorite type of challenge. The longer and the steeper the hill, the happier I am. My good friend Tom introduced me to the hills of France several years ago. That was fun! Then he introduced me to hill climb races in the Northeast. That too was fun. But then he laid down the biggest challenge: if you think you are a hill climber, go participate in the Mount Washington Auto Road Bike Race. Mount Washington is rated as the sixth hardest climb in the world: an extreme challenge for both mind and body.
A month ago, I took Tom’s dare and raced up Mt. Washington. It was grueling, physically and mentally. The biggest challenge of the race was to dig into the mental strength to continue pushing myself past my point of endurance. I went into the race convinced I could achieve my goals. I knew I could push myself to reach the top. I knew nothing was going to stop me even if I encountered obstacles along the way. When I pushed across the finish line, a wave of euphoria came over me that was indescribable, making all of the suffering suddenly worth it.
In many ways, our work life is no different than the race up Mt. Washington. When people come to Videon, I encourage them to be the people they dream of being, not the people they are assigned to be. I encourage them to set goals, be willing to sacrifice, and to reach as far as they possibly can towards those goals. I achieved my goals for Mt Washington because I was deeply committed and had people that helped me train−and when fatigue set in, I knew to look deeper in myself to find reserves of energy and strength to reach my goal. At Videon, people can achieve their goals not only because they are deeply committed, but also because they can rely on support from their colleagues.
Setting a big goal is important, even if it seems out of reach. When you have the right co-workers or training partners, almost anything is possible. I am proud of what we have achieved at Videon. Over the course of our history, we have met some big goals. And we continue to set even larger goals. The vital point is that our culture fosters an atmosphere that encourages each of us to explore our abilities and boundaries. It gives us the chance, individually and collectively, to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.
Family, Friends, Health and Moral Tenets
Todd Erdley, CEO
|Monday, July 30, 2012|
Videon. Whenever I say that word I become very passionate. Videon is an awesome company of amazing individuals that work each day to advance the industry and satisfy the needs of our customers. But Videon is way more than that. To me, Videon is also about my co-workers and their families. Videon is about creating a healthy environment where people can work and “play” amongst a dedicated group of people. Videon is most importantly about people making good decisions grounded in logical principles. Why is this important? Simple! The four most important things in my life are family, friends, health and moral tenets. As such, the business of Videon is “behind” these points in my ranking of life values. That makes me a bit different than many CEO′s and candidly, I am okay with that.
The adage is over used but I will bring it forth again: “Much is expected from those to whom much has been given.” Hard work and good fortune over the past 15 years have given Videon much and with that comes great responsibility. I feel a great responsibility to make decisions that are morally grounded and in concert with my core values. Sadly, there are leaders that allow power to blur their sense of responsibility and impair their judgment. They lose sight of their true responsibilities and make decisions that, in some cases, have unimaginable consequences. As a very proud alumnus of Penn State University, I have and am seeing firsthand how the process of flawed decision-making can have a profoundly negative impact. This experience is a strong reminder for me to hold true to my moral compass and core values.
As Videon continues to grow, ensuring tight coupling of core principles to daily activity and decision making becomes more challenging. However, measuring those decisions as to whether they advance core values like family, friends, health and moral tenets is one of the most important things I do each day. Focusing on these values while also charting a strong strategic vision, will allow Videon to continue to be a great place to work and play. To me, that is very exciting and worth much hard work.
Where There is Chaos, There is Opportunity
Todd Erdley, CEO
|Saturday, June 30, 2012|
Videon is celebrating 15 years in business come November. Over that time we have been in the midst of a fascinating and ever-changing consumer electronics industry that was based on technology giants and standards bodies defining how consumers would access premium content. Videon has been an integral part of this value chain by providing software IP and engineering design services that have enabled tens of millions of DVD and Blu-ray Disc players. While both of these standards continue to be extremely relevant and profitable, times are changing and so too is the power pendulum. The power has shifted to consumers who have options to select from a myriad of content offerings each representing a slight twist on the delivery process. As this has played out over the last few years, a certain level of chaos has ensued for companies like Videon. While some entities look at chaos with dread, we have embraced the chaos by creating our aVia Media Player solution. When aVia was launched, we had no idea how it would be received. After hundreds of thousands of downloads, we know that once again, we are in the midst of enabling the consumer to access and enjoy their content no matter where it resides.
Technology is a great thing. It is always changing and encouraging new, innovative and disruptive ideas. If you are going to be a technology company, you need to embrace this fact and be willing to take risks. Otherwise, staying relevant is difficult. For Videon, we enjoyed and continue to enjoy great success with Blu-ray Disc and DVD technology. But that is only part of who we are as we are now firmly entrenched with the consumer as we become part of the ecosystem of streaming media, interactive content and personal devices. When Videon celebrates our 20th year in business, I will be writing about yet another technology shift that might be several generations beyond where we are now. The reason I know that is simple: where there is chaos, there is opportunity.