15 Apr 2024

Importance of Strong Trade Company Culture (and How to Build It)

JBW Blog how to build a strong company culture

Now, more than ever, a strong company culture is a key supporting factor of a trade business’s brand image and long-term success. Employee retention and labor shortages have plagued trade businesses, namely HVAC and plumbing companies, for many years, encouraging owners and managers to enhance their current company culture and, in turn, their employee experiences.

However, it’s important to understand that strong cultures aren’t built on a few pay raises and pats on the back. Businesses must take the time to craft core values and implement internal practices that support their mission and employee satisfaction. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of a positive company culture, with tips on how to build a strong company culture. 

What is Company Culture?

Company culture encompasses a set of workplace values, behaviors, and practices. Also known as organizational culture or corporate culture, it is a collection of beliefs that forge a business's internal identity. Commitment to client satisfaction, reliability, and teamwork are just a few elements that create a strong organizational culture for HVAC and plumbing businesses. 

From its impact on employee well-being to its influence on customer satisfaction, a healthy company culture is the foundation of long-term business success and growth. With that being said, a healthy culture doesn’t always come naturally. Rather, business leaders are responsible for developing strategies that grow and support not only a strong company culture, but a positive one. 

Why Strong Company Culture is a Must for Trade Businesses

A positive culture can have a ripple effect for trade businesses. When company culture aligns with an employee’s goals and desires, workers are more likely to stick around longer and dedicate themselves to providing quality services. Research shows that disengaged employees are 2.8× more likely to leave their current organization for one offering a more positive company culture. 

Likewise, the industry's already limited talent pools and employee retention challenges make a strong company culture a must for HVAC and plumbing providers. Forging a positive culture helps attract employees who are a culture fit for your organization, alleviating hiring concerns over time by supporting day-to-day worker satisfaction and productivity and gradually boosting retention. 

With HVAC and plumbing techs facing heavy workloads, a positive culture can also help prevent burnout, which impacts 77% of employees. A strong workplace culture, where workers feel comfortable expressing themselves, helps identify and combat burnout concerns. Leveraging company culture to support employee well-being leads to higher productivity and, ultimately, higher customer satisfaction. 

How to Build a Strong Company Culture (and Maintain It) in 5 Steps


There’s no question that a positive culture is important for trade businesses. Yet, tons of tradesmen are asking how to build a strong company culture, particularly the men and women spearheading HVAC and plumbing teams. Here’s a look at how to build a strong company culture for your organization, complete with tips for forging a healthy culture that reflects your beliefs. 

1. Develop Core Values and Mission

As the fundamental building blocks for strong company culture, every business must establish core company values and mission statements. Core values are the overall beliefs and principles that will inform how your HVAC or plumbing company operates, including the caliber of people you hire and the public image you want to maintain. To help guide the development of core values, ask yourself questions like:

  • What are your personal values and how would you like them to reflect in your business?
  • What core qualities do you look for in an employee, such as honesty, hard-working, or team player?
  • What are your long-term goals, and what do you need from your team to get there?
  • What are your expectations when it comes to customer service and service delivery?

For instance, your core values could encompass honest service, teamwork, and your local community. There are various ways you can present these core values to your company, such as a simple pamphlet or a poster in the shared break room. You can then use these values to construct a mission statement. With the above values, your mission statement might take the shape of, “Honest technicians who work together to solve the problems of our customers and greater community.” 

2. Encourage Honest Feedback 

Company culture is expected to adapt as businesses grow, bring on new employees, and adjust to new industry expectations. Remaining aligned with workers amidst negative or positive changes relies heavily upon the use of honest feedback. Leaders who aren’t open to feedback will quickly encounter plummeting employee satisfaction, poor productivity, and ultimately, a loss of employees.

So, it’s vital that you avoid a stagnant company culture by encouraging honest feedback. To identify underlying concerns that could be impacting employee satisfaction or well-being, consider the use of anonymous satisfaction surveys that allow employees to share their feedback at any time. You can also issue surveys to new hires to gauge ongoing culture fit and seek feedback on internal operations. 

3. Maintain Transparent Communication

As with honest feedback, a positive company culture is also heavily reliant on the consistent use of transparent communication — as in, you and your employees speak your minds. A disconnect among leaders, technicians, and administrative staff due to poor communication or limited discussions will fast-track operational issues that impede employee productivity and satisfaction. 

Those looking to enhance communication in the workplace environment must provide staff with the means to do so. Holding monthly team meetings and routine 1-on-1s helps boost companywide transparency by keeping leaders and staff up to date on concerns, performance, and cultural changes. To help keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the field, be sure to also supply staff with field service management solutions that help streamline communication and productivity. 

4. Invest in Employee Happiness and Well-Being

A positive workplace culture is powered by positive employees. So, it’s no surprise that HVAC and plumbing companies who take the time to invest in their staff’s happiness generally see greater success. Nearly 9 in 10 employees say that feeling happy and engaged at work is a key driver of their productivity. Ensuring your workers can obtain a positive work-life balance through adequate scheduling, workloads, and vacation and sick time is a great first step in this direction. 

Outside of good benefits, it’s important to offer incentives to improve the overall working experience. In the trade space, continued learning opportunities are synonymous with a strong culture. With 76% of employees looking for opportunities to expand their careers, investing in continued education opportunities support continued employee engagement and satisfaction.

5. Celebrate Wins and Accomplishments

In an industry as heavily reliant on employee performance and customer satisfaction, celebrating team wins and accomplishments is a must for building a strong workplace culture in the trade space. Designating time to highlight glowing customer reviews, assigning an employee of the month, and offering incentives for positive performance, like salary or hourly pay increases, can help.

Looking for other ways to enhance employee experiences at your company? Equip technicians with the ability to sell extended warranties. Extended warranties allow technicians to practice valuable upselling skills while out in the field, and with plans like JB Warranties’ Extended Warranty Plans, still be compensated for their time and labor while servicing maintenance and repair requests. 

Contact JB Warranties to learn why our extended warranties are the best culture fit for trade companies!