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Culture Fulfillment Case Study: A-Action Pest Control

“I love our culture.
Pest control - that is not a touchy feely industry, necessarily, but it just goes to show that it doesn't matter what industry you're in.
What matters is the group of people together, all in alignment with their own personal core values aligning with the company and a common purpose.”
- Cheri Ring, Owner of A-Action Pest Control

A-Action Pest Control was built on the foundation of the love and support of family. In 1988, Douglas M. Duty started the business, his wife Jacqueline cheering him on from the sidelines. Their daughter Cheri took over as owner 19 years later, and for almost 30 years, they have been a one-stop-shop for homeowners in Illinois and Wisconsin, providing pest control, rodent control, termite inspections, and more.

The Culture Fix® had the pleasure of working with this dedicated team throughout the Culture Fulfillment process in 2022. They took on this transformative process to strengthen their core values, engage employees, and foster a sense of belonging and pride within the organization. The company's leadership team recognized the importance of creating a positive work environment that aligns with its mission and values while also driving growth.

Beginning the Culture Fulfillment Process

The turning point came when A-Action Owner, Cheri Ring, read Gina Whitman's book, "Traction," about six years ago, which inspired her to focus on defining and implementing core values. The leadership team, comprising of five individuals, began working on creating core values.

They got stuck when creating their accountability chart, and clearly defining the flow of responsibility. They also sought guidance in developing descriptive behaviors to enhance their cultural definition.

That’s when The Culture Fix® came in. Will Scott was recommended by Cheri’s EOS implementer, Beth Fahey, and after Cheri saw Will speak to FIM - Female Integrator Mastermind, they began their work together.

During Alive, Thrive, & Drive workshops, they identified star players in the company and analyzed the common traits that made them stand out. The implementation process began with involving the entire team in further defining the core values and creating meaningful descriptions for each value. This inclusivity ensured that everyone felt invested in the values and aligned with the company's mission.

“Everyone has buy-in, because they were all involved.”
- Owner, Cheri Ring

One of the most distinguishing traits of our Culture Fulfillment program, is our inclusive methodology, or as Cheri Ring put it: "Everyone has buy-in, because they were all involved.” This aspect sets our program apart from others. Right from the outset, we initiate surveys across the entire employee spectrum, conduct comprehensive interviews, and engage the complete staff in the process of nurturing and actualizing the company culture.

These workshops constituted a “Magic Moment” for A-Action. Attended by 100% of employees—perhaps even more, they witnessed the commitment and passion from their team as engagement soared, participants leaned in, and creativity flowed freely. The entire team was ideating, selecting songs that reflected their core values & mission, each member participating authentically. Owner Cheri Ring says the team still talk about this experience today, as it nurtured a sense of camaraderie and enthusiasm.

This exercise led to the formation of five core values: Five-Star Reputation, Fun, Help First, Compassionate, and Authentic. Their CoreChart™ is made in the image of a web, a nod to their industry.

Continuing through the article to assess their eNPS scores before and after implementing Culture Fulfillment, you'll observe how the company effectively ingrained their core values into the fabric of the organization. This was achieved by involving every individual in the process, selecting core values that naturally resonate with their employees, and employing impactful imagery that leaves a lasting impression.

eNPS Scores & Cultivating a Thriving Culture

Prior to Culture Fulfillment, the owner had identified core values based on her own experiences and readings, there was a minor lack of shared understanding and buy-in from all team members. Moreover, as the company grew, they premeditated it could become increasingly challenging to communicate and reinforce these values consistently.

Take a look at these specific eNPS questions that illustrate the rising prominence of leading with values in the workplace.

Before Culture Fulfillment


After Culture Fulfillment

Before Culture Fulfillment


After Culture Fulfillment


Based on this survey data Culture Fulfillment Program, we can draw the following conclusions:

  • Familiarity with Core Values: Before implementing the Culture Fulfillment program, a significant portion of respondents (72%) reported being able to recite all of the core values. However, a notable percentage (28%) had varying degrees of partial familiarity with the core values. Our objective in assessing familiarity is to understand the extent to which the company has integrated Core Values into daily discussions, actions, and procedures. Familiarity is the first step.
  • Improved Memorability and Referability of Core Values: The vast majority (81.5%) of respondents believe that A-Action’s core values have become more memorable and referable after the implementation of the Culture Fulfillment program. This suggests that the program has been successful in enhancing the visibility and awareness of the core values among employees.
  • Communication of Core Values: A large majority (76%) of respondents indicated that the organization did talk about the core values enough. This suggests that, according to the perception of the respondents, there was a reasonable amount of communication about the core values before the Culture Fulfillment program was introduced.
  • Increased Usage of Core Values in Communication: A significant majority (81.5%) of respondents have noticed employees using the core values in meetings and everyday conversations. This indicates that the Culture Fulfillment program shifted the perception of how core values are integrated into the day-to-day operations of the company. Culture Fulfillment not only made the core values more memorable, but has also encouraged their practical application in the workplace.

Overall, the program seems to have effectively enhanced the understanding and practical use of core values within A-Action Pest Control.

The company initially held an impressive eNPS score of 88%, indicating a strong cultural foundation, even prior to beginning our work together. Following the implementation of our Culture Fulfillment program, they further elevated their score to an outstanding 92.6%. They set a new record as the highest eNPS score we have encountered, a testament to their wonderful culture!

Culture as an Ongoing Practice

To sustain and evolve the company's culture, the leadership team formed a "Culture Club," who meets monthly to brainstorm ideas and initiatives to reinforce the core values. The Culture Club takes charge of initiatives that bring the team closer to their values, purpose & eachother. This is especially imperative for A-Action, because a substantial portion of the team consists of field workers who operate outside the office. This separation could lead to communication gaps, or workers feeling disconnected, within the team.

One of the ways the Culture Club has addressed this is by creating and distributing a monthly interactive newsletter that celebrates the team's accomplishments, shared stories related to the core values, and provides updates about the company. The newsletter serves as a method for ensuring everyone feels in the loop on personal updates from fellow team members, in office or in the field.

Additionally, the company established a "Web Weaver's" program to recognize employees who demonstrated the core values in their daily work. This Notice & Nominate™ scheme enables team members to nominate each other for living the values, fostering a culture of appreciation and recognition. They created claims corresponding to each of the five core value icons. If a technician is chosen as the recipient of the monthly nomination, they proudly display these acknowledgments on their service trucks, and it hopefully sparks a conversation about A-Action’s values when they’re in the field. They’re also finding ways to acknowledge those who nominate, in addition to those who receive the nominations, as means to encourage those who celebrate & uplift their colleagues.

Appreciation has always been a big part of A-Action’s culture. Owner Cheri Ring said, “When we have our state of the company meetings, we’ve always saved time at the end, usually about 15 minutes, for any shoutouts in the company. It turns into a love fest. We've got technicians thanking office staff, and office staff thanking technicians and each other. The hands just keep going up and up. And next thing you know, we've built in 15 minutes, and it's 40 minutes. And they just keep going.”

Expansion Anchored in Core Purpose

The centerpiece of every culture is the Core Purpose. When A-Action was identifying their core purpose, they engaged in a series of probing questions—asking "why" repeatedly. During this exploration, a revelation surfaced from one of our field technicians: "So people love where they live. To create a safe haven" The resonance of this insight was clear as the team was in unanimous agreement, The essence of A-Action Pest Control’s endeavors is to help people feel safe in their home in a way that inspires gratitude for their home.

While cultural growth is exciting & inspiring, it can also bring concerns to the surface. With the prospect of expanding the team, owner Cheri Ring anticipated potential challenges on the horizon. Since Cheri & Adam Ring took over the company it has grown from $150k annual revenue to a multi-millions dollar revenue company. And it’s clear A-Action will only grow more in the upcoming years.

She expressed, “You know, I love our culture. But we have big, big goals.”

Will identified the concern, “So you’re looking to maintain the magic?”

In conclusion, this program has accomplished precisely that for A-Action Pest Control: a methodology to assist their team in maintaining their magic. And we believe it will continue to do so. As we proceed, we hold confidence that this team will reach our ambitious objectives through this approach, fostering a familial atmosphere and equipped with the essential tools. As the company continues to evolve, its strong culture will serve as the backbone of its growth and future achievements.


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