Living An Intentional Culture

Published by Bob Hance on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 in Community

I did a bit of a happy dance on Monday, April 19 – as much as a 65-year-old man can do a happy dance.

It was the day we brought all employees back to the office after our second transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. We first closed our lobbies and implemented remote work for employees who could effectively work from home on March 18, 2020 and resumed somewhat normal operations on June 8. As the second wave hit late in the year, we again implemented remote work procedures on November 23, and that continued for five long months until April 19.

We proved to be a strong and nimble organization over that 13-month period, implementing new norms and procedures to continue our critical work as an organization that provides energy and telecom solutions. I’m incredibly proud of our family of employees for rising to the occasion through adverse and unknown circumstances, maintaining the same commitment to providing first-in-class innovations and solutions through uncertain times.

It was important and good to be part of the pandemic solution, and we reinvented ourselves in a lot of ways to accommodate safe practices and remote work, but it just wasn’t the same. Part of what makes us so effective is the synergy that we create when working as a team, and synergy simply can’t thrive when we’re physically separated.

We’ve worked hard over the years to create an amazing corporate culture; a culture where we actively strive to achieve our audacious vision of creating vibrant, relevant and sustainable rural communities. Delivering first-in-class innovations and solutions where others won’t doesn’t happen by accident, but rather is a result of a dynamic family of employees committed to transforming the rural space and experience. 

I suspect most companies experience an “accidental culture” where employee behavior drives organizational norms. A strong corporate culture requires intention and strategy, and over recent years we’ve been very intentional about creating a culture in which employees are committed to our mission and vision and embrace our core values of integrity, community, innovation, and passion. In fact, during our hiring process we look not only for specific skillsets and experience, but also cultural fit. If you’re simply looking for a paycheck and benefits and are not interested in living out our vision and mission, then MEC is not the place for you.

We’re growing, and fast. Over the period of remote work through present, we’ve added over 20 new employees, some filling vacant roles and some new additions to accommodate our fiber growth. Once upon a time I knew all employees by name, and today as I walk the halls I see a lot of unfamiliar faces. Yet I rest in the knowledge that they are as committed to what we do and why as I am, because that’s the way we grow our family.

About The Author

Bob Hance

Bob Hance is the President/CEO of Midwest Energy & Communications, and a 45-year veteran of the electric cooperative industry. Within the industry he has earned a reputation as a leader and a trailblazer, and has been nationally recognized for his efforts to bridge the digital divide as a tir

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