Mark Hicken | Work Hard, Play Hard
Three dirt bikes, dusted red, sit in the garage as you walk into the office, a reminder of another fun weekend. Mark Hicken and his employees at Custom Installation & Design truly embody the common expression, “work hard, play hard.”
For Mark and his family, the goal was to first find a place where they could play hard and then find a way to work hard. With all that Southern Utah has to offer, it’s no surprise they made it their playground.
“If you have any interest in the outdoors, this is the perfect place to be,” Mark said. “It’s really the perfect environment.”
Snowmobiling at Cedar Mountain, hiking in Zion, and motorcycling during the winter are just a few activities Mark and his family enjoy.
“There’s just no negatives to being in Southern Utah,” Mark said. “Except, you’ve got to be able to make money.”
After finding a place suited to their desired lifestyle, Mark and his wife needed to find a way to financially support themselves. Growing up with a strong interest and natural talent for electronics, Mark decided at a young age that he wanted to work for himself in that field. It was from his experience working at a friend’s electronic store that he decided what the culture of his own company would be. Mark’s business has thrived over the years and he attributes part of that success to three culturally unique aspects of his business. Mark leans back in his large, comfortable office chair and lists them off.
“Number one, you have to have a killer Christmas party,” Mark said. “People will stay with you if you have a nice party.”
His company spares no expense to make sure everyone has an enjoyable experience at this event, especially the employee’s spouses. He said many times if the spouse has a scheduling conflict with the party the spouse will drop the other plans to come to the Christmas party because it’s so fun.
The second aspect is Mark doesn’t have his employees use a time clock. Personally, Mark dislikes them and gives his employees a little more flexibility with their time.
“If they’re in town working and need to go take care of something in their personal life, they need to feel comfortable doing that,” Mark said. “These people need to be trusted.”
The third and probably the most unique aspect of his business is the long weekend his employees enjoy every week. Mark and his employees don’t work on Fridays because he believes the weekend is the time to play hard after a week of working hard.
“Working on Saturday is like a sin to me,” Mark said. “That’s when your family’s available and you can be around them.”
When a holiday falls on a Monday, his employees can take Thursday off and have a five-day weekend at no expense to their time-off or to the company. Having their Fridays off requires the employees to work harder during the work week. The employees also understand that they will have to assist customers over the weekend as needed.
These three aspects Mark created are all working toward one purpose.
“The whole goal was always to have a good time,” Mark said. “You spend 60 percent of your life at work, so you need to make the best of it. No one wants to work where it’s not very fun.”
Mark said he really appreciates his employees and that they reflect the quality of people living in Southern Utah.
“The people around here have hard work built into them, it’s who they are,” Mark said. “It’s nice to live around honest, nice, hardworking people.”