Nurturing company culture in a post-pandemic world is challenging. From safety considerations for team members, to creating opportunities to interact, along with shifting approaches in working for our clients to keep everyone as safe as possible. In addition to these challenges, the labor market has been flipped upside down, creating options for employees that have put them in the driver’s seat in being able to choose a company and culture that aligns with their values.
At Evercor, we understand that building company culture takes an ongoing and ever-evolving approach. Culture in the workplace is intentional and purposeful and as a company grows and as the world changes, so should its dedication, effort, and focus on building an even better environment for its employees to grow along with it. We believe this is the core reason we have retained employees; some for nearly 20 years and have won “Best Places to Work in Snow & Ice” from SIMA (Snow & Ice Management Association) consecutively in 2020 and 2021.
We recently caught up with several of Evercor’s staff to talk about their journey in the organization and how they feel about Evercor’s current company culture. Additionally, our HR Director documents our plans, defined by our President’s and COO’s vision, for expanding our employee-focused programs to further improve employee retention and attract top talent as we grow.
Developing Top Talent
“In the course of 26 years, I have been very fortunate to see this business grow and take on a life of its own. I am so humbled and proud of the company’s success, as well as how it has allowed us to create jobs and promote community stewardship. Throughout this whole experience, there is one thing I’ve learned that has remained true: Growth does not come easily and cannot be attributed to one person. Rather, a company’s success depends solely on its team.
Evercor was started by a handful of full-time employees who put their trust in my business; some of whom are still here today. Over the years I have watched these individuals, and others who have joined us along the way, grow professionally and become role models for their colleagues and managers. Because of their strong leadership and faith in our company, we have been able to grow our workforce into a team of dedicated, hard-working, and knowledgeable professionals.” – Patrick Kane, President.
A Foundation Built on Employee Initiative and Leadership
“In joining Evercor, I was completely drawn to the strong foundation of existing talent. To be able to grow a company over a period of 26 years to the size it is today and still maintain a culture committed to developing their teams and giving back to the community, was impressive. With that said, the past 2 years have been nothing short of a test to employers and employees alike living in a pandemic world.
Challenges to balancing at home life and work, continue to be on the forefront of employers’ list to find solutions that break down barriers of entry to the workplace. I am looking forward to building on the strong foundation of Evercor’s company culture and passionate about the responsibility in creating an environment where employees want to come to work where they feel heard, supported and encouraged to do their best work.” – Gabrielle Ditchey, Chief Operations Officer.
Voted Best Places To Work | Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) | 2021
Want a new career? One where you can grow with the company? Evercor Facility Management has been nationally recognized by SIMA as the best place to work in snow, consecutively. If you feel like you want a career with a company where your hard work, skills, and talent can be noticed - reach out to us today!
We were first able to sit down with Joe Define, who is Evercor’s General Manager for our Allentown Branch. Joe’s journey through our organization is a true ground-up story. His hard work and determination were able to propel him from general laborer to branch manager in a relatively short amount of time.
Joe, can you give us a brief background on how you started with Evercor?
I started with Evercor, oh, I want to say 2015, coming out as a temporary employee for the snow season running heavy equipment. I was in between jobs at the time and initially only hired for that snow season. They offered me a full-time position at the end of the season. It was an entry-level role as a construction laborer. I needed a job. They needed a full-time employee. That’s kind of where our relationship started.
This was my first real construction job. I had previous experience with running heavy equipment and doing things like mining and jobs like that but never any kind of paving or concrete work. So I spent about two years in the construction division. Within those two years, I was traveling to Allentown in the wintertime for the snow season to run equipment.
Eventually, they put me on a site. I managed the site. Then a need came up for an assistant general manager in Allentown, and I figured since I was already traveling to the area, I knew the area. So, I applied for the job.
They interviewed me and one of the stipulations was you had to live in Allentown to take this role. So being that I felt that the company was growing I could see the ladder of opportunity. I knew it was a great company to work for and I knew that at that time, that I was willing to pick up my life and move an hour and a half away for the job, especially for this company.
A little while later, the general manager at the time ended up leaving. If it wasn’t for Pat’s faith in me as an individual and as an employee, I don’t think I would be where I am with the company today.
So I think that his ability to take care of his own people, which you don’t see every day, definitely played a role in my advancement through the company.
If you’re somebody that’s looking to advance in a company with a great work environment, with good people, it’s pretty easy to do with Evercor.
What do you like most about working for Evercor?
I would say my favorite thing about working for Evercor is the trust that goes on between myself and the rest of upper management and the freedom that comes with that.
If you trust somebody that they’re going to do their job and they’re going to do it right, you don’t need to micromanage them. You don’t need to be constantly checking in on things. And I think that, because we have that kind of relationship, it allows me to do my job efficiently and in the amount of time that I’m comfortable with.
It’s not like you’re punching a time clock every day. They make their judgment calls based on the outcome of what’s produced out of my branch in Allentown.
How Part-Time Snow Work Turned Full-Time Employment
Jason Crandall, who is one of our crew leaders on Evercor’s snow team and now a full-time employee for Turfcor Lawn & Tree Care (An Evercor Company,) is a great example of a part-time employee who came on as a seasonal snow laborer that eventually transitioned into a full-time position with one of our companies.
Can you tell us how you got started with Evercor?
I got started in the winter of 2017. I used to work for a large lawn care service and that is only a seasonal job so I needed something over the winter, and it just so happened that Evercor was looking for sidewalk crews to shovel the sidewalk. I contacted them to let them know I was interested. They gave me a shot and four and a half to five years later, I’m still loving what I do and I would like to say I’m pretty good at it!
What do you think about working for Evercor up to this point?
What I like most is probably the fact that they let you do your own thing. When I first started, I was a laborer, so the crew leader who ran the sidewalk crew would say, “We have these amount of stops to do” And you know, the work is face-paced, but there’s not someone directly over you barking at you saying, “Hey, you missed this or missed that.”
You’re also rewarded if they see people who show initiative, as I have, pretty quickly. I went from just a shoveler to assistant crew leader to actual crew leader in a short amount of time. When they see potential in people they use those people because they know that they get the job done as it should be done.
Being an organization that delivers on a promise of exceptional quality requires attracting a workforce that doesn’t compromise on integrity or the commitment needed to perform demanding work.
A rising trend amongst many corporate companies, the 4-day work week still requires that employees complete a 40-week, but allows them to work in 10-12 hour shifts with an extra day off reserved for family time, errands, or just to rest and recharge. We have seen great success in this program with our Operations teams and look to continue this into 2022.
In addition to flexible schedules during the warmer months, employees who provide snow removal services for Evercor are eligible to earn extra money through premium hourly rates and overtime. This is particularly beneficial when compared to some landscaping and construction companies that are forced to lay off employees during winter months when the demand for work slows or the weather makes it difficult to complete certain projects. The opportunity for consistent and reliable income, in addition to the opportunity to increase income over the winter months, is an extremely attractive benefit for many individuals working in the landscaping or construction industries.
Employee perks can go a long way for improving morale, but perhaps more important is recognizing and acknowledging employees’ individual contributions. Closing out 2021, we really made an effort in recognizing our team’s efforts through spot recognition, holiday bonuses, new winter jackets and apparel as well as holiday time off.
Maria Amenta has recently joined the Evercor Team as Director of Human Resources:
Maria brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience from the human resources sector. She is committed, both personally and professionally, to work culture, employee safety, employee engagement, and promoting and developing people from within the company.
“We’re all about 2022,” she said. “We are coming out with very good programs for employees that will benefit them and we are also committed to putting more programs in place that we’ve never had before. We really want to do a lot of recognition for employees.”
Maria also mentioned that, given the nature of some of the services like snow management, people that are brought on as temporary employees have high potential to be brought on full-time. “ We’re committed to bringing people on with Evercor so they get these great benefits and can grow with us. If they’re good workers; we’re going to hire them. There’s lots of job opportunities with us.”
“Most companies don’t invest in their employees and we’re willing to do that, especially if that person has a good work ethic and we see potential.” she adds. “ If you’re a hard worker and get the job done, we’ll invest in you.” “ We are looking at tools for 2022 to be utilized in receiving feedback from our employees for further improvement, creating performance reviews with consistent value and programs that will be leveraged for retention and attraction strategies to be the employee’s first choice in this market.”
She also commented on the current benefits that are already in place. “We already have a great benefits package that we are enhancing even more. I’ve done benefits for a long time and I also know what other companies in the area offer. I knew this needed to be highlighted better because it is HUGE!”
She also highlighted, “ We’re definitely trying to structure this correctly so we can grow as a company and we’re investing now more than ever in our employees. We value them. We’re going to do everything we can to make a company where people are lining up at the door that want to work for us. In order to grow, you have to invest in your employees.”