In a time when companies are outsourcing
abroad, Habitat International, a Tennessee-based carpet manufacturer, has
managed to achieve superior levels of productivity at home, often two to three
times greater than its competition. Habitat’s business has grown enormously,
with much of its new business coming from work outsourced to them by competitors
who could not come close to matching its productivity.
Habitat’s secret: they hire the people no
one else will.
At Habitat three of every four workers have
a physical or mental disability. They earn normal wages and are cross-trained on
every job. They work harder, with less supervision, lower turnover and an
unparalleled level of loyalty.
The challenges have been significant; the
This is Habitat’s story. It’s a powerful and
moving tale of personal courage, deep commitment and challenging expectations.
It’s a story of success and personal triumph. It’ll changes the way you think
about business … and the people around you.
An Able Workforce - Eavesdrop on an extraordinary workplace where
employees matter more than money.
The Test - The owners of a Georgia grass-turf company dare to take
on an unusual challenge.
“Why can’t We Hire More People Like This?” - A social-services
enclave of eight defies stereotypes about people with mental disabilities.
Bucking the System - David and his new plant manager fight the
bureaucracy that labels people and hold them back.
Terry: The Love Builder – A special-education graduate with Down
Syndrome soars when given a chance to work.
What Were We Thinking? – The Habitat managers persevere as their
patience is tested time and again.
Martin: Mr. Determined – A young man with cerebral palsy refuses
to accept the word “can’t”.
We Are Family – The workers with disabilities draw the Habitat
family closer together.
Lonnie: The Encourager – A sweet-natured poet with schizophrenia
shows that “distractions” aren’t all that bad.
David and the Goliaths – Habitat loses a major account because of
its disabled workers – and gains another for the same reason.
Daniel: Man Of Courage – A horrific car accident steals a young
man’s carefree lifestyle but gives him the power to teach others a lesson about
Doing Well By Doing Good – Habitat lands a major account, grows by
leaps and bounds, and shares its message of hope and acceptance across the U. S.
Sharon: Cinderella – An employee with mental retardation helps
train the newcomers – and gives them a run for their money.
Leading By Example – The Habitat managers are forever changed by
the people they hire.
Carl: The Company Grandpa – A man at the peak of his career has a
stroke and starts all over again.
Love Is Contagious – Business leaders and other Habitat “fans”
share what they have learned from this caring place.
The Habitat Advantage: Why The Unconventional Workers Outproduce The
Competition – The facts prove it – Habitat’s employees are more productive
than conventional workforces. Here’s how they do it.
You Can Do This Too – David Morris and his management team offer
straight-shooting advice for entrepreneurs, human resources personnel, and
anyone else interested in helping people with disabilities.
book is about gutsy entrepreneurs who opened their minds and hearts by taking a
chance hiring people with disabilities, even when the odds were against them… At
this remarkable company, people with disabilities have proven, time and again,
that they belong in the workplace, just like everyone else. In the long run they
pose no more challenges than do people without disabilities, and they often
outpace their co-workers. In fact, they’re often the best employees on the
- From the Preface