“We publish what we’re working on, problems we’re trying to solve,” he says. “When you’re forced into a situation, as we were with COVID, it teaches you to learn different ways to do things, and sometimes they’re things you maybe should have been doing all along.”
A key takeaway Ollis took from lockdown was how much remote work could increase both productivity and employee satisfaction.
“Our staff performed so well,” he says. “Productivity was up, employee satisfaction was up, and we learned how to hold meetings remotely.” As a result, Ollis/Akers/Arney now offers a 50/50 hybrid work environment for anyone who prefers to work from home.
“What I thought would be a negative turned into a super positive, and frankly now has become part of our culture and how we operate as an organization,” he says. “I’m a convert.”
This combination of flexibility, trust, and communication has led to soaring levels of employee satisfaction and turnover of less than 5%. Ollis expects that the company will only continue to grow stronger.
“We just want to keep communicating to our employees that they matter, that their voices count, and that every decision is keeping their success in mind,” he says. “They’ve been knocking it out of the park, and I give them so many kudos.”