YEC employees from across our cooperative were recently asked to share their insights on how they view YEC’s strong culture model. To give our members a glimpse at how we approach our jobs, upholding our promise to look out for you, employees shared their feelings on what makes your co-op stand out above the rest. They were all asked three questions:
- What is your favorite pillar?
- How do you feel you make a positive impact serving our members?
- How do you see other employees representing our strong culture model?
Here are their responses.
Years of Service: 3
“My favorite pillar would be humility because everyone at YEC is focused on others instead of themselves, which isn’t a common theme in other workplaces.
I feel like I provide a positive impact to our members by reviewing bills before they are generated. I am able to see if someone has a spike in their usage before an entire month passes. Catching a problem early is key to communicating with the member so that they can fix the issue and plan for any unexpected expenses.
It’s easy to see all four pillars exemplified throughout the co-op. Employees are there for you if you have any hardships and everyone is willing to help members in need. We all check on each other, offering support, guidance or sometimes, just a listening ear.”
Years of Service: 14
“Humility is my favorite pillar. Staying humble helps keep me grounded to help serve our members the best that I can.
I feel I personally provide a positive impact when serving members by treating everyone with sensitivity, patience and assessing situations to offer help. I try to leave a positive impact with every member that I meet. I believe you make your own choice every morning on what kind of day you’re going to have and focusing on our four pillars keeps my focus strong and helpful.
I see other co-op employees represent our culture model through their work by approaching everything as a team. By helping each other balance workload and share responsibility, we all help each other do a better job serving our members.”
Area: Community Development
Years of Service: 3
“My entire life, I have enjoyed learning from people—how they interact with each other, their interests and how they support each other. The relational wisdom pillar of our culture model furthers my appreciation for human connection, realizing that we all have something good to offer if someone takes the time to learn and listen.
I studied fine art in college and have a love of visual storytelling. Helping share the cooperative difference, history and members-first mentality through photography and graphic design is fulfilling. With every creation, my intent is to honor others and make information easy to understand.
It’s more than just a job to YEC employees. Most folks stay at YEC for their entire career. The average 30-year stint is time well spent forging lasting relationships with coworkers and members, furthering their skillsets and giving back to our community.”
Area: Information Systems
Years of Service: 8
“Humility is my favorite pillar. I have seen the negative effect pride can have from previous experiences at other companies. Humility is present here at YEC and it creates the positive work ethic that I have come to expect in my eight years here. We help each other and band together to get the job done. Pride can destroy a workplace, whereas humility builds up morale and breaks down barriers.
Promptly answering an email, returning a phone call or troubleshooting a technical issue for my coworkers makes their jobs easier and supports them as they serve members. When employees have reliable technology, they are in a better position to help our members.
I see and hear YEC employees saying phrases like ‘Please,’ ‘Thank you’ and ‘I appreciate you.’ These words reflect a small part of each pillar, making a huge impact and can be credited as a big part of the success for any relationship.”
Years of Service: 5
“There is not one pillar that is more important than the others. Each pillar builds on one another to create a strong foundation for a good, healthy culture here at YEC.
Personally, I feel that I make a positive impact while serving members by going above and beyond while on-call and during normal work hours. Exceeding expectations is the normal work ethic among employees here.
The pride we have representing YEC’s strong culture is plain to see. We work together, learning from each other and doing all we can to serve the members. When storms hit, we are all hands-on deck. Everyone is ready to help do all we can to get the power back on as quickly and safely as possible. We not only treat each other like family, ensuring we all get home safely, but also our members. If they are in the dark, we know we have the team in place to get the lights back on.”
Area: Member Services
Years of Service: 5
“My favorite pillar in our strong culture model is family. At YEC, we truly care. We not only look out for our members, treating them with respect, but we also look out for each other.
I feel like I provide a positive impact while serving our members by making members’ needs my top priority. I also offer special assistance to our Spanish-speaking members, ensuring their service experience is easy and helpful.
I see other co-op employees represent our culture model by helping our community, looking for new learning opportunities and finding ways to serve. YEC employees think about others first.”
Years of Service: 2
“I think it’s important to stay humble in everything you do. Know what you know, know what you don’t know and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Helping others and seeing them learn and be recognized is equally as gratifying as doing it yourself. Each person here serves a purpose. We’re all focused on growing professionally and taking care of our members.
My team and I take pride in managing all cooperative finances. Although we are not as member-facing as some other roles at YEC, we are always serving by balancing funds to best serve the programs and services we offer members. My team and I are always working to ensure the integrity of our financials.
If you take a walk around the building through the different departments, you will see each pillar of our culture represented. I started working for the co-op during the height of COVID 19. Even though we were in the middle of a pandemic, it was clear to me that everyone here was a big family, ready to help with anything I needed. Every employee is eager to learn and support each other, so that we continue to head in the right direction, focusing on our number one priority—our members.”
Years of Service: 3
“All four culture pillars are important, but family and relational wisdom stand out most to me. Treating others like family makes relationships with community members and coworkers more meaningful. Wisdom provides practical advice on how to live wisely, cultivating those relationships. I am reminded of King Solomon from my favorite book, The Bible, who was given the choice of receiving anything— wealth, fame, strength or even courage—yet he chose wisdom. God was so pleased with his choice, he received everything he had not asked for and much more.
I feel I make a positive impact by striving to give more than is expected. I try to be aware of what is happening around me so I can exceed the expectations of our members and my coworkers. Even if I don’t know the answer to a question, I’ll go the extra mile and find the answer instead of saying, ‘I don’t know.’
I see positive attitudes and actions that make for a favorable work environment here. We have a team that fosters communication, collaboration and consistently positive interactions, which increases morale and improves work satisfaction.”
Years of Service: 2
“Out of everything that YEC represents, family is the most important. A lot of companies claim to have a family work culture, but I did not truly understand what that meant until I started working at YEC. It is easy to see that our employees take pride in not only treating coworkers as family, but also each member. Co-ops were built on neighbors and families working together as one, and I feel like YEC still honors that tradition.
I try to use our 4 pillars as a playbook when serving members to guarantee they have a positive experience. I know every time a member is requesting assistance from engineering, their job is very important to them. My goal is to show the member their job is just as important to me.
The engineering department has multiple employees with more than ten years of experience. Therefore, it is easy to recognize their knowledge, expertise and relational wisdom. No matter what situations arise, we support each other and offer assistance to get the job done. Knowing my teammates have my back provides me with extra confidence so I know I’m doing my best to serve members. All employees also exhibit a lot of hunger because we continue to look for ways we can improve instead of staying complacent.”
Area: Human Resources
Years of Service: 11
“Because I help with overseeing training and employee education, seeing employees succeed is one of my favorite parts of my job. This directly aligns with the hunger pillar. When employees strive to work hard, grow, learn and better serve our members, it makes me feel like I have helped them make a difference.
I help support our employees throughout their careers at YEC. From making sure they are paid and that their benefits are correct, to organizing retirement information and new hires, I’m with them every step of the way. Supporting our employees helps provide a sense of security, allowing them to better serve our members.
We’re one big family around YEC. Seeing long-time employees help new employees makes it clear that teamwork across our diverse skill levels and talents takes us to the next level for excellent service. Our commitment to treating each other with respect and kindness is reflected in our commitment to looking out for our members.”
Photos by Erin Powell