Did you know that more than 10 percent of our team members have been with Eastwood Homes for more than 10 years? And nearly one quarter of our team has been with Eastwood for five years or longer!
We are quite proud of those statistics! They are even more impressive when you consider that our team has been growing at a steady rate, and nearly 25 percent of our employees started with us within the past year.
So why do our folks stick around? There is a sense of loyalty here that stems from our culture of caring. Recently, when we asked both our customers and our employees what they liked about Eastwood, a common response was, “they care.” In fact, that is how the idea behind our Built With Care initiative originated.
Still, the best way to understand why our team members stick around as long as they do is to ask them. So, we emailed some of our employees who have been here the longest and asked them exactly that, and here’s what they had to say:
Dale Strickland, Builder, 19 years (pictured to the right)
In July of this year, I will have been with Eastwood for 20 years. Eastwood's commitment to maintaining a quality product while also adjusting to the ever changing atmosphere of new home sales helps keep the building of the homes fresh. Being a locally owned business is also a big deal. Seeing the owner involved weekly is encouraging to me as an employee. Support from the managerial staff helps getting answers to questions or direction toward resolving issues in the field quickly and that is a big plus.
Jeff Creighton, VP of Homebuilding for the Triad Division, 19 years (pictured to the left)
There are numerous things I like about working at Eastwood Homes, however, the top of my list would include:
A family atmosphere. There is no political infighting or backstabbing, but rather the opposite, there exists a comradery among employees, even across different divisions, and a willingness to contribute to the success of others.
Delegation of authority. Each employee is given a significant amount of latitude and authority to think about and solve issues on their own, without having to get permission first (within reason).
Pride in the work. Each employee has pride in the company and what it builds and provides to the customer. That can’t be said for all companies.
The company owners are a phone call away. Numerous large corporations have CEO’s and corporate officers too busy to take or return a call from most employees much less individual customers like the Stewarts.
Kevin Hutchins, CFO, 12 years (pictured, center, with Charlotte Division President Mike Conley, left, and Clark Stewart, owner)
I believe that at the core of the Eastwood family we strive every day to provide the best service to our customers across all of our divisions. At Walt Disney World, the park strives to bring the magic to the families who visit their park. In my mind, Eastwood strives to provide families with a lifetime of magic in their home. Over the years, I have met people who have lived in their home for 10 or 15 years and loved it and the community. To know that I was a small part of bringing 10 to 15 year of tangible enjoyment to someone’s life is rewarding.
The team and work environment at Eastwood is amazing and second to none. Many companies say they care about their employees but fall short of transferring that belief to the employee. It’s truly the small things, whether that is Clark asking about my children’s soccer games or Joe asking how my wife’s school year is going, they are truly interested and not just giving you lip service. There is a genuine nature about them.
The company has also been just as interested in my professional growth. They acknowledge hard work. Early on in my career here Mike Conley invited me to dinner. The whole two hours or so he was interested in what I wanted to make out of my career here at Eastwood. He wanted to do everything possible to make sure I had opportunities to prove my worth to Eastwood. Those are things that most people in his position would not have taken the time to care about.
Bryan DeGabrielle, VP of Sales and Marketing, 13 years (pictured to the left)
I choose to work here because the company allows me to have autonomy, decision making, pursue career goals, they trust me, they allow me to fail and, in the end, they always support me.
This company has many of the same traits and characteristics that a parent or family member has.
Heather Lambert, Administrative Manager, 11 years (pictured to the right)
There is work/life balance and family is always considered a priority and not a luxury. There is flexibility, generosity, and consistency. Your opinion matters and there is a willingness to hear all options and/or resolutions. They groom their employees for growth and there is an opportunity to advance and they generally promote from within. The owners knows most of the employees by name. I love waking up every morning excited to go to work.
Kelly Mula, Closing Coordinator, 10 years (pictured to the left)
True Story – an employee for another builder asked me if I ever saw “the owner of the company?” I said, “Well yes, pretty much every day!” They were surprised and said, “That never happens where they work…. Do they talk to you?” I know I had to of had the most bewildered look on my face!
We are a family here, when you can wake up and not “dread” going to work, that speaks volumes about the owners, processes, people you work with. Things as simple as being acknowledged yearly for Valentine’s Day, Administrative Appreciation Day (that one still cracks me up), or a simple soda machine, baby and wedding showers, etc., mean everything.
I am still here because Eastwood Homes is a great place to work, (and they have not kicked me out yet lol) we take our work very seriously, but still make time to laugh, play a joke or tease…. After all, everyone needs to take a breath every now and again.