THE HEART OF DENTCO
Since 1977, DENTCO has provided exterior services management matched with unparallel customer service to clients across the country. Over 44 years, we’ve grown from 1,100 individual sites to nearly 10,000. As DENTCO grew, so did our team, becoming the favored workplace of 188 employees and thousands of Contractor Partners across the country. Our employees are at the core of everything we do and are the main reason behind our success. While excellent service will always be our focus, the heart of DENTCO are the employees who foster our culture.
We sat down with Shelly Guenther, Director of Human Resources, to learn more about DENTCO’s culture.
Interviewer (I)– Shelly, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you made your way to DENTCO.
Shelly (S)– I joined DENTCO just over a year ago, right before the COVID-19 pandemic began. It was an interesting time to join a new company, particularly as Director of HR. This year has forced everyone to become more creative when engaging with employees, which means that I have gotten to see firsthand DENTCO’s culture in action. From day one, DENTCO’s senior management team demonstrated how important it is to keep employees engaged with one another. I was drawn to DENTCO for the culture, and I think living it has been better than anything I could have imagined.
I- Culture is a word that is often easy to throw around but harder to define. How would you describe DENTCO’s culture to someone looking in from the outside?
S- In one word, unique. From the very first interview, we make it clear that every employee is directly responsible for the company’s success. No matter what role you fill, it becomes your responsibility to care for our clients and each other. At first, that may sound like a lot of responsibility, but in reality, that is precisely why the team is so close. We all march to the beat of the same drum, knowing that we know we were successful at the end of the day when our clients are successful. Also, when your executive leadership is not only leading but living the culture, your employees realize that this is the real deal. That is why many of our employees have been with us for 10, 15 or even 25 years.
I- The big question for most companies is how to foster culture. What do you think the DENTCO secret is?
S- Our team excels at learning and being open to new ideas and suggestions. We know that culture is not something that you put in place and then leave. To continuously improve what we do, our team constantly checks in with employees to understand what is important to them. We want work to be a part of their lives without having to sacrifice their well-being. You can see that in how we are maintaining our office at the moment. We offer our headquarters-based team members the option to work from home, meaning that coming into our main office is voluntary. This practice first started because of the pandemic, but we quickly realized that some of our employees need the flexibility to care for their families. I am not sure what the future will look like, but I know that we actively learn what employees want and what they need to be successful.
I- You mentioned the pandemic, and of course, it is hard to avoid discussing how it has affected everyone. How has DENTCO maintained its culture while being separated?
S- It is an exciting challenge! Even though I joined the DENTCO team just a few weeks before going remote, I got to see how connected the team is. Once we went to fully remote, we knew we had to find ways to keep everyone engaged and connected. Programs like virtual yoga, a DENTCO book club, and our popular DENTCO “Travel Club” help employees take time out of their workday to do something fun with their colleagues. Our travel club, which invites employees to virtually visit a location through online media and personal stories from other employees, was requested by our team at the beginning of the pandemic. We have also worked to continue some of the activities many employees did while at the office. Lunch is a particular point since our employees regularly enjoyed taking their breaks with one another. To help recreate that, we started our Lunch & Learn program where employees can join a video conference on a particular topic while also socializing with their colleagues. We also have virtual coffee breaks.
I- So, Shelly, here is the big question. What do you think makes DENTCO stand out?
S- Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of working with some extraordinary companies. To me, DENTCO stands out because our culture is deeply loved and directly impacts everything we do. Our culture at DENTCO can be seen as our crowning achievement because it produces better quality, better structure, and a better product.
I- Sounds like culture might be considered the “heart” of DENTCO.
S- That is the best way to put it! DENTCO has a huge heart, and you can feel it anytime you interact with us. When I talk to people about where I work, the first reaction is always, “DENTCO sounds too good to be true!” I usually laugh and say I am very fortunate to be part of the DENTCO team.