CarolinaPower is known as a company that genuinely cares about its people. This is evidenced by an outstanding safety record – currently more than 650 days without an incident – as well as being named one of South Carolina’s Best Places to Work for five years in a row. At the heart of the Best Places to Work recognition process is an anonymous employee survey. Without “glowing” testimonies from its own people, a company cannot even be considered for this prestigious recognition.
“Clearly, company culture matters. This applies to current employees and job seekers alike. To cultivate and sustain a positive company culture takes a leadership team that ‘walks the walk.’ At CarolinaPower, we have that much-needed support from the top down,” says Crystal Burnett, office manager.
CarolinaPower’s employees are equally caring about each other as exemplified by the company’s internal Culture Committee, an employee-led group that exists to honor and celebrate employees; recognize individual and team achievements; strive to promote good communications and teamwork; and spread honesty, friendship and compassion, all while having a whole lot of fun.
Crystal Burnett, based in Greenville, and John Ramsey, project superintendent in Charleston, are both currently serving three-year terms on the Culture Committee. In this role, Burnett and Ramsey meet at least quarterly with colleagues from their larger, Georgia-based sister company, MetroPower. Together, representatives from each of these employee-owned companies collaborate on creative ideas to bring people together on a personal level – beyond day-to-day work activities.
The Culture Committee’s key task is determining how to appropriate funds throughout the year. Based on the “brother’s keeper” philosophy, funds are 100 percent generated by voluntary employee donations. The committee accepts and votes on benevolence requests and makes other determinations on how to best allocate resources – from family hardship situations to employee appreciation events, such as the Annual Family Picnic and Awards celebration. Once decisions are made, funds are sometimes matched or supplemented by one or both companies.
“When it comes to feeling valued, actions always speak louder than words,” said Burnett. “People like helping others. We have great participation, primarily through voluntary payroll deductions. Last year, we were able to offer funeral support to two families impacted by tragedies.”
John Ramsey added, “We are blessed to have leaders who empower and lift up those who work for them. The Culture Committee operates with full autonomy.”
Fostering employee engagement is another major focus for the committee. Fun initiatives spearheaded by the Culture Committee within the past 12 months include a Back-to-School Photo Contest, Pumpkin Carving Contest, Wacky Tacky Shirt/Sweater Christmas Contest, and Pet Birthday Photo Contest. All contests included monetary prizes for first, second and third-place winners.
The mission of the Culture Committee aligns perfectly with “The Power to Serve,” one of three foundational beliefs of the PPC Partners family of companies, of which CarolinaPower is a part.