Mike Kaeding: The Importance of Employee Experience in Building a Company Culture artwork
Science of CX

Mike Kaeding: The Importance of Employee Experience in Building a Company Culture

  • S4E189
  • 29:45
  • June 2nd 2023

Mike Kaeding is a residential real estate builder and developer. He’s the CEO of Norhart, and aims at transforming the way apartments are built and managed by incorporating technologies and efficiencies that have revolutionized other industries, and lead to high-quality, cost-effective projects. 

Mike’s parents started their family business. But just a few years after joining the business, his dad unexpectedly passed away. All of a sudden, Mike had what felt like the weight of the world on his shoulders. He had to lead this business. 

He had no preconceived notion of "the way things are done" in the industry. He was struggling to the point where the city briefly shut them down. This shattered Mike’s world. But he just naively started to solve problems. And that was the magic. 

Mike and his team began changing the way construction is done. Starting with an attractive culture unique to the construction industry they hired the best talent. 

Together they solved chronic construction inefficiencies, applied techniques from manufacturing, and integrated traditionally unaffiliated trades. This resulted in higher quality and lower cost projects. 

In this episode, we explore the current housing crisis and what can be done to address it. Mike and I discuss interesting techniques in developing apartment complexes and planning for the resident experience. 

We also chat about the importance of hiring the best people, the value of employee experience, and the benefits of in-house manufacturing. 

Additionally, we discuss introducing new technology to remove pain points and create a better overall experience for residents.

Listen in for an informative and eye-opening episode that offers insights into solving the affordable housing crisis in America.

Key Takeaways

  • The lack of affordable housing and rental properties in the country
  • Techniques in developing apartment complexes and planning for the resident experience
  • Strategies for attracting and retaining the best people
  • How Mike is building an efficient in-house construction team
  • Focusing on employee experience to improve the overall customer experience
  • Using technology to improve efficiency and remove pain points
  • Creating workspaces or co-working spaces within apartment buildings
  • Partnership with Toyota for manufacturing improvements


[00:00:39] "Exploring Real Estate CX with Norhart Construction"

[00:05:37] "DIY plumbing leads to innovative construction solutions"

[00:09:58] "Innovative Building Solutions: Kit of Parts Approach"

[00:10:51] "Rental Market Shortage Leaves Families Homeless"

[00:16:14] "Construction Company Creates Google-Like Culture for Employees"

[00:18:46] "Creating an Exceptional Employee Experience for Success"

[00:23:55] "Norhart's Innovative Plan to Solve Housing Affordability"


  • Creating a Culture of Excellence: "We have an entry-level, brand new general labor construction worker who gets unlimited paid time off. I don't know of any other company in our space that does that kind of thing."

  • Creating Google-like Spaces for an Optimal Employee Experience: "The employee experience has a very big impact on the company culture. If you find the best people and cultivate them, well, then it spills over."

  • Hiring the Best People: "The most important lesson that I've ever learned is to hire the very best people. What most business owners don't understand is that the best people outperform the average by five to ten times as much."

Connect with Mike

Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikekaeding/ 

Website - https://www.norhart.com/ 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/mikekaeding 

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