Why We Are a “Best” Place to Work

By Karen Carpenter, COO

Every business owner I know – even many I don’t – are finding the current hiring climate challenging, to put it mildly. Visit a store, walk down the block, or peruse a company’s social media channel, and you’ll find a plethora of “help wanted” signs and ads, while news headlines broadcast the dreaded “Great Resignation.” And as consumers, we, too, are experiencing the fallout of this chronic short-handedness where store shelves go unstocked, favorite restaurants have limited hours and seating, and calls to request an appointment, whether it’s for lawn care, home improvement, or a doctor’s visit, go straight to voicemail, and those messages often go unreturned.

EPM is a growing company, and since we are relatively pandemic-proof (pests don’t care about COVID-19) we have continued to add great people to our team throughout this rough hiring period. We’ve been able to attract and onboard qualified, caring professionals at every level, and we’ve been able to do so swiftly. Consequently, the quality of our customer service and our ability to meet the demand for pest control services have never waned.

So, I’ve been thinking about why this is: what has enabled EPM to hire and retain solid employees when so many others are struggling? I think the answers lie in some of the deliberate choices we’ve made as an organization over the last several years. I thought I’d share them with you in case they may be helpful in your own business.

Stronger Management Structure

 Around the time EPM hired its 50th employee, Brandon and I realized we needed to reorganize the company. To that point, EPM had been a relatively flat organization. Brandon and I were each supervising over two dozen employees, and we were exhausting ourselves attempting to communicate and manage so many people with diverse roles and responsibilities. This flat structure wasn’t good for the employees either; our lack of time and direct guidance to devote to our people left some team members feeling lost and frustrated.

Our solution was to restructure our organization, which included creating mid-level manager positions. Each manager, including Brandon and me, now have no more than 10 direct reports. This new structure allows us to support every team member more effectively while providing a stronger foundation on which to operate the business. And In creating these additional management positions, we have been able to offer our best performers opportunities to take on more responsibility and to grow professionally.

Employees First

EPM has built a reputation for delivering excellent customer experiences, but we couldn’t have done this without our employees. With this in mind, we made an intentional decision many years ago to put our employees above all else.

We consider our employees first – even before our customers – in every decision. As our company grew, we eventually outgrew our office space. So last year, we moved into a bigger space that will allow us to add on as we add more employees. And we designed our new headquarters with comfort and productivity prioritized, including spaces to collaborate, spaces to work quietly, and spaces to relax.

And most importantly, we treat our employees the way we want them to treat our customers: with care, compassion and empathy. Even with our new management structure, I have quarterly touch base meetings with each employee where I can get feedback on how EPM is operating, how we could do better, and what we can do to assist that employee in their professional goals. It’s a moment for us to connect as individuals, which is extremely beneficial for both the employee and EPM.

Employees First

EPM has built a reputation for delivering excellent customer experiences, but we couldn’t have done this without our employees. With this in mind, we made an intentional decision many years ago to put our employees above all else.

We consider our employees first – even before our customers – in every decision. As our company grew, we eventually outgrew our office space. So last year, we moved into a bigger space that will allow us to add on as we add more employees. And we designed our new headquarters with comfort and productivity prioritized, including spaces to collaborate, spaces to work quietly, and spaces to relax.

And most importantly, we treat our employees the way we want them to treat our customers: with care, compassion and empathy. Even with our new management structure, I have quarterly touch base meetings with each employee where I can get feedback on how EPM is operating, how we could do better, and what we can do to assist that employee in their professional goals. It’s a moment for us to connect as individuals, which is extremely beneficial for both the employee and EPM.

Support the Whole Person

 EPM is a family-owned business, and we treat all our employees as family members. We want to know each of our employees as individuals, and support them professionally and personally. While we have grown a great deal, we are still small enough to know each other well, and offer personalized assistance when it’s needed.

We have team-building and appreciation programs that recognize and acknowledge that our employees – even though many of them work alone out in the field – are part of a much bigger team that’s here to make them successful.

When planning company events, we often include our employees’ family members and friends because we understand that those individuals must share their spouse or parent or friend or partner with EPM. We appreciate the sacrifices our employees’ most important people make so that each employee can show up for work each day ready to give our customers one hundred percent.

And we offer a world-class Employee Assistance Program that gives our employees confidential access to professional counseling services. Through this program, our employees and their family members can seek professional help – free of charge – in confronting issues of work-life balance, physical well-being, substance abuse, marital and family difficulties, and financial or legal troubles.

 Ranking Among the Best

In January, our employees voted EPM one of Columbus’s best places to work for the fourth year in a row. We are proud that this award reflects the unique culture and working environment we have created at EPM. This culture has enabled us to fill our open positions with excellent, qualified individuals in a challenging hiring market. Even more importantly, this award is a reflection of our team members, the bonds they have built with each other, and how they too have invested in our culture of empathy. I believe that’s what keeps them with EPM when they have many options to go elsewhere.

We are hiring again and looking for great people to add to our team. If you know of someone who would be a great fit, ask them to visit the careers page on our website for all the details and instructions for applying. 

And don’t to take my word for it; here’s what some of our employees have said about working at EPM:

Team Member Spotlight: Sarah Baughman

Team Member Spotlight: Brandon Miller

Team Member Spotlight: Michael McKibben

Team Member Spotlight: Julie Ruzicka

Team Member Spotlight: Jamie Reisinger

Team Member Spotlight: Brandon Carpenter

Team Member Spotlight: Kyle Phillips