Company Culture: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Audrey Hall, President of Eco Serve Pest Services, has cultivated a team that focuses on elevating company culture. Eco Serve strengthens their culture with two definitive goals: bonding their team and enhancing their business.
Company culture can mean something different to every company, and can evolve with time, sometimes changing when employees arrive or leave. When hiring, a company must be intentional and strategic to ensure new employees fit with their core values. Audrey said Eco Serve has five core values they consider when seeking new candidates—the acronym they use to remember these values is HEART:
In order to maintain a strong brand image, it is vital that Eco Serve hires team members who embrace these values. It’s also important their team continually adheres to and respects those values as HEART plays a crucial role in sustaining Eco Serve’s culture. In addition to Eco Serve’s HEART values, Audrey cited their five company goals, which she considers even more significant than HEART. Their five company goals emphasize company expectations:
· Know and follow standard operating procedures
· Pest control that’s personal
· Empathetic and educational
· Public image
· What is good for Eco Serve is good for everyone!
These company goals set the tone for what Eco Serve expects from their team, shaping their company image. Instilling these goals in their team keeps staff motivated to meet the set expectations and represent Eco Serve with pride, understanding that what they contribute plays a significant role in how Eco Serve is perceived by the public.
Audrey highlighted the family culture that Eco Serve maintains but made sure to emphasize that an element of Eco Serve’s success rides on their ability to preserve a family culture with boundaries. At the end of the day, they’re a business, so boundaries must be clear and well-defined. While their family culture holds them together as a team with shared values, and the boundaries underline the accountability expected of everyone—their customers ultimately come first. Eco Serve has fun and works hard. It’s safe to say the "work hard, play hard" saying rings true with their team!
When asked about the most meaningful lessons she’s learned as she built the culture of Eco Serve, Audrey recalled how the company once oversold and underdelivered. The expectations they set for themselves were not impossible to meet, but they were still growing and needed time to evolve. Setting substantial goals as a company is valuable when the right tools are put in place to meet these goals. Eco Serve had to reevaluate their approach to ensure they weren’t merely accomplishing what they promised their customers, but also exceeding expectations. This strategy would be instilled in new team members as they came on board.
Another lesson Audrey strongly emphasized was that the owner is not synonymous with the culture of the company. They are separate, and the culture must be strong enough to continue without the owner. A company’s culture should be flexible, evolving and changing as new members join the team—this flexibility puts the company in a positive light, as the company is seen as dynamic, not stagnant, responsive and aware of changes in the industry. What’s important to remember is that the core values and company goals remain at the heart of the culture, hence their memorable HEART values.
Audrey asserted that maintaining an effective culture requires strategy and focus. This statement has certainly proven to be true when observing Eco Serve’s successful company culture.
With many pest control companies struggling to define a company culture that delivers positive experiences for their customers, uniqueness can be an elusive quest. When asked what they do to set themselves apart as a company, Audrey spoke about the niche Eco Serve has found in their local community. They engage in community events throughout the year, allowing their team to participate in charitable activities that connect Eco Serve to the people they serve. These charitable activities don’t have to be work-focused—the point is to bring the team together, bond and give back to the community, which reminds Eco Serve of why they do what they do. It’s no secret that pest control can be an isolating job, so the community aspect at Eco Serve is critical. Giving back together as a team has helped them to build a foundation that connects everyone within the company, further strengthening company culture.
Listed below are just a few examples of community events Eco Serve participates in throughout the year:
· Autism Nature Trail (ANT) Fundraiser
· Operation Holiday Cheer (adopting a family at the holidays)
· Breast cancer fundraiser (in October, selling raffle tickets and wearing pink shirts, boot covers and gloves)
· Homeless kits (the team puts together bags filled with essentials and passes them out in downtown Buffalo to the homeless population)
· COVID front line workers meal (pizzas were donated to a nursing home for 200 of their staff during COVID)
Audrey stated that with culture, it’s about what works best for your company—there is no one-size-fits-all culture that can be adopted universally. It’s imperative that companies find what works best for them. She said, "Surround yourself with other people who have a culture that you like."
There’s immense value in sharing and learning. Eco Serve has proven to be an influential company in the pest control industry with morals, authenticity and hard work defining their company culture. There is no doubt they will continue to evolve and reach new milestones in this industry.