Despite the challenges of the current COVID-era pandemic, DCO Commercial Floors president Curtis Blanton was determined to host an in-person kick-off meeting to bring all their employees together, a chance to mark the achievements of the past, reflect on their current challenges and discuss how they could use those experiences to improve and shape the future.

“We do a lot of meetings either all or mostly virtual,” Blanton said. “This was an event where our entire team needed to be fully engaged as we reinforced our core purpose, our core values and top goals. This is where it all starts, everything else is lost without it.  My vision for the company, our core purpose, and our culture are only discussed in person in this company. Those conversations simply don’t happen on a web call. Important conversations happen in person. Many companies don’t realize that they risk losing their culture during this time of a virtual mindset. Going virtual just becomes the easy answer.”

The solution for a meeting with over 100 employees actually turned out to be quite simple: if restrictions and safety only allowed meetings of 25 people in person at a time, then they were determined to do the same meeting five times over. “There is always a way, and sometimes it is the simplest answer you do not think about. That’s part of how we continue to push ourselves and our limits,” Blanton said.

So DCO Commercial’s solution was to literally go big for this year’s event. The event was held at the Chateau Elan Conference Center in Braselton, Georgia, where the company rented out the 5,000-square-foot ballroom, normally capable of holding 400 people—pre-COVID-19—and used the space to social distance groups of 20-30 people at a time. The meetings were held over a two-week period and entertained participants with guest speakers, town halls sessions, workshops, post-event training sessions, and just as important, some social time. 

“Our employees also need time to connect and socialize with each other outside of work," said Preconstruction Director Summer Brittain. "That is an important and many times overlooked part of team building that maintains trust and relationships. We are a social group and that is part of our culture, part of what makes us unique. We haven’t come together like this in almost a year.”

Additional engineering controls and safety measures were put in place, including social distancing protocols, using well-ventilated and open ballrooms, and maintaining the direction of traffic flow. The company focused on risk assessments and mitigation, as well as personal responsibility and decision making to navigate through the pandemic.

Attendance was not mandatory, as employees were given the option to attend in person or to attend virtually, but the vast majority, in percentages similar to pre-COVID events, chose to attend in person. All the meeting sessions were live streamed for those not in attendance.

Going to Market as ONE, became the serendipitous result of the 2020 end of year sales push.

To make up for sluggish second half sales, DCO Commercial promoted a sales contest. The firm created and incentive that engaged all employees to achieve sales and revenue targets. Taking 120 employees with all parts working together, from sales to installation, we were able to turn the dial as one. The final push to collaborate as one team helped DCO to finish the year with positive momentum and an understanding of what they could do collectively.

While company revenues in 2020 slightly exceeded industry performance, 2021 revenues are expected to grow by 45%. The company doubled its backlog in 2020 and revenue projections for 2021, including all divisions, are more than $100M.

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