Maintaining Tilson's Company Culture During COVID-19


When COVID-19 hit in March of 2020, Tilson’s safety team quickly shifted all office employees to working from home and implemented additional safety measures and PPE for front-line essential workers.

After we settled into a “new normal”, teams then faced another challenge: how do we maintain Tilson’s company culture and stay connected?

Fortunately, this is not a new challenge for Tilson’s workforce; our teams are spread out across 42 states in a variety of different work environments including at home, on site, and on the road. Many online tools and practices were already in place to keep employees feeling together and connected even when physically apart.

In this article, team members share what has worked for them in keeping Tilson’s company culture alive and well during COVID-19.

The Importance of “Watercooler Talk”

Without casual desk conversations or grabbing lunch with coworkers, teams have found other creative ways to build and maintain connections.

“We have a team virtual lunch every week – we book a half hour and have lunch and the rule is no work talk!” says Karen Simonds, HR Manager.

Although it’s less spontaneous, setting aside time for informal conversations about hobbies, family, or favorite TV shows goes a long way in building camaraderie and trust that extends into working hours. Other ideas from our teams include:

  • Virtual happy hours
  • Photo sharing sessions
  • Holiday-themed competitions
  • Virtual pet show and tell
  • Building playlists
  • Trivia night

Transparency and Empathy

To say that life during COVID-19 has been difficult would be a huge understatement. During this challenging time, welcoming transparency and extending empathy to coworkers goes a long way towards building understanding and support.

“We have open conversations about what it feels like to be isolated in a pandemic and how we can support each other,” says Ben Cleveland, Architecture & Engineering Manager. “We have created a culture where we can share our emotions freely with each other and they are validated, and we work together on solutions to make us feel less isolated or lonely during lockdown.”

“We need to expand our patience and empathy with our fellow team members,” says Richard Evans, Director of Wireless Construction. “Just remembering and acknowledging that to my team is something I am committed to doing.”

Whether the current situation has meant juggling at-home schooling, isolation, or taking care of loved ones, Tilson recognizes the strains the pandemic has had on our team members and are proud to offer comprehensive benefits to support employees and their families during difficult times including our EAP program and caretaker leave benefits.

Steadfast Values, Steadfast Mission

Many things have changed due to COVID-19, but Tilson’s core values (safety, composure, respect, accountability, professionalism, and integrity) have remained the same. These core values provide steadfast guideposts at the forefront of everything we do.

“Tilson’s values have not only provided a solid foundation for the company’s success as a whole, but they have also acted as a basis for navigating the extraordinary aspects of a global pandemic,” says Heather Carlisle, Senior Counsel. “I am so incredibly grateful to be working for Tilson during such an unprecedented time.”

Tilson’s mission to build America’s information infrastructure has also remained unchanged during this time. As keeping our communities connected is now more important than ever, we are proud to build and maintain the information infrastructure necessary to support telehealth, remote learning, business, and public safety.  

“We have a huge impact on our larger community and a huge responsibility to keep people connected,” says Dan Vaught, Construction Manager in Spanish Fort. “We have to continue our mission not only to keep families connected but for first responders as well. Without keeping the towers serviced and upgraded, first responders would not have the communication required to help those in need.”

Joining Team Tilson

Tilson is hiring motivated, team-oriented professionals nationwide to join us on our mission to build America’s information infrastructure. If you are interested in joining our team, apply online or visit our careers page to learn more about our team.

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