Sure, companies excel when employees strive to provide 5-star experiences for customers. But don’t stop there. Cassie Pound believes that strategy should also extend from management to employees.
Pound is co-owner and vice president of Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Oklahoma. She runs a family-owned trade business that has more than quadrupled its employee base over the last decade.
The business success starts with customer satisfaction.
“Every day, we focus on meeting the customers where they’re at,” Pound says. “We focus on serving them in the moment because when people call us, something’s wrong, something’s broken and they’re stressed out.”
She’s also quick to remind everyone in her office that their job is to create two 5-star experiences—for customers and for employees.
For example, company parties are excellent bonding experiences, Pound says.
“Summers are long and hot for our team,” she says. “We have beginning, middle and end-of-summer parties. We do Foodie Friday every other week. We have season passes to baseball games.”
Pound has found that employee recognition has helped the company retain technicians—especially in a market dealing with labor shortages.
“Our techs have a one-on-one meeting every week,” she says. “When we were just 10 employees, it was easy for us to be super tight-knit. As we’ve grown, it gets harder. But I want to know our people, know their children’s names and what their life goals are, so I can help them achieve those goals.”
It’s no coincidence that that philosophy sounds maternal in nature. Pound and her husband/co-owner, Oscar, have six children. Four of them work at the company.
Unlike some other family-business owners, Pound says her clan doesn’t mind talking about work at home.
“We have separate roles in the office, and we’re not holding hands all day,” she says. “So, we’re going to download what happened throughout the day.”
Pound says she loves having her children work at the company, but she is careful not to favor them in the workplace.
“We have told our team, ‘This is not our kid right now—this is your apprentice and you are training them,’” she says. “Our kids get treated like everybody else. They have to prove themselves. They don’t get any slack.”
Pound says she and her husband agree on this, and most, policies.
“Oscar and I are a good team,” she says. “I’m the tornado, and he is the calm. He will let me take the lead. But he’ll also set me down and keep me rational. Together, we focus on creating an experience that’s different than every other truck in the city.”
Cassie Pound recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 5 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Pound’s thoughts on:
What it means to be family-owned.
Creating a competitive employee experience.
Working with your partner and your children.
Changing the narrative about trades to recruit women and young people.