Author: Todd brown, Director of People and Culture at United Communications
As a telecommunications company with 75+ years in Middle Tennessee, United has built our company on the values instilled by the local communities we serve. We believe in following the golden rule and going the extra mile to help a friend or neighbor. In my opinion, not only does this mindset inform our approach to our customers, but it also describes the way we treat the people who make United such a great place to work: our employees.
One “United” Family
I joined United at the end of 2022. After spending most of my career working for various large Fortune 500 type companies, the first thing I noticed is that at United, you’re not just an employee—you are part of a family. Many other team members with experience working at larger internet providers have all said the same thing.
The culture we’ve created at United is the primary reason our employees (myself included) love working here. Some have been part of our team for 20, 30, or even 40 years. In fact, we recently had the opportunity to honor Randy Corley, who retired at the end of March after working at United for the past 44 years. It’s people like Randy—who support other team members and care about serving our community—who make United’s company culture so special.
An Inside Look into What Makes United a Great Place to Work
As United’s Director of People and Culture, I have the opportunity to support and interact with the hundreds of employees that are part of our family. Here are a few specific ways that United is committed to our team as we strive to become one of the best places to work in Middle Tennessee:
1. We believe that advocating for our employees creates better experiences for our customers.
We recognize that a company is only as great as the people that work there. That’s why we advocate for our employees’ success and well-being. Both the United team and I believe that happy and engaged employees are key to creating the exceptional customer experience that United is known for. Larger tech companies tend to view employees as cogs in a bigger machine. At United, I am proud that we believe that every single employee should be valued for the experience they bring and for their ideas. Each employee can help improve and impact the everyday lives of their coworkers or customers.
2. Our executive team and managers embrace a servant leadership model.
Every leader at United approaches their role with a mindset of supporting the folks they manage. Our leaders believe “How can I help you?” is one of the most important questions they can ask. This starts at the very top with our executive team. It’s not uncommon to see our C-level leaders walking around the office, addressing people by name, and asking about what’s going on in their lives. They truly care about our employees, and it shows every day.
3. We’ve established a robust professional development program for employees at every level.
We want our employees to get excited about their work and pursue their personal and professional growth. One of the most exciting parts of my job is managing the professional development program we’ve created. We care about supporting employees at every level—whether it’s helping new leaders learn in our “new manager boot camp” or supporting seasoned leaders with our upcoming leadership development series. We’ve also invested in professional development training for those looking to expand their areas of expertise. In the past year, we’ve increased our training and development budget by 70% in order to support the development of our employees.
4. We encourage our employees to get involved and give back to the communities we serve.
As a local internet service provider, giving back to the community is an important value for our company. We want our employees to get involved and support the causes that matter to them. That’s why we offer specific volunteer paid time off that employees can use throughout the year. Whether it’s taking a half day to serve lunch to veterans or spending the day packing food boxes for those in need, we’ve seen how energizing can be when employees are actively involved in serving our communities.
Looking Ahead to a Bright Future
United’s team has grown rapidly in recent years as we’ve expanded our service area, launched Project UNITE, earned the trust of more customers, and secured grant funding to make high-speed internet access for more Middle Tennesseans. In 2019, there were about 70 United employees. Today, I’m proud to say our family has grown to more than 170. As United continues to grow, I’m excited to build our incredible culture, invest in our employees, and make United the best place to work for our team.
To learn more about our company or explore our career opportunities, click here.
Director of People and Culture at United Communications
Todd Brown brings over 20 years of HR experience to his role as Director of People and Culture at United Communications. In this position, Todd helps drive United’s employee experience strategy. Todd’s expertise in leading teams and identifying process improvements allow him to make a tremendous difference in the lives of United employees. He also enhances United’s workplace environment by supporting our company’s DEI initiatives and retention efforts. Todd received his Bachelor’s in Management and Human Relations from Trevecca Nazarene University and has lived in Middle TN for more than 30 years.