Establishing a Positive and Cohesive Culture

Posted in Insights -

With workplace trends shifting toward hybrid and remote experiences, creating and maintaining a strong company culture can be challenging. Nevertheless, culture is vital in the workplace today. Firms with a supportive culture tend to have higher employee retention rates and productivity and lower turnover, as team members feel personally vested in the company’s success. 

OTL has always placed a high priority on our company culture. This philosophy emanates from the top down and is practiced by leadership – the hallmark of a healthy business. We are proud of how we have remained galvanized over the years, especially in the face of recent events like the pandemic and economic uncertainty. Here are the elements we believe are integral to achieving a positive and cohesive workplace culture.  


One of the reasons OTL’s company culture is so special is the way everyone treats each other as respected equals when collaborating on a project. Whether working in the office or in the field, there is a sense on every level of the company that we are all in this together and that everyone’s contribution matters, even those who are brand new to the team. 

That sense of shared purpose and openness comes directly from our CEO, J. Wickham Zimmerman. Wick never seems to be too busy for anyone else on the team or makes employees go through a “chain of command” before they speak to him. He is directly involved with every aspect of the company on a daily basis, and he is genuinely interested in getting to know the people who work at OTL. 

Many upper-level executives say that they have an open-door policy, but the ones who actually follow through on that are quite rare. Our leadership team really means it – they excel at listening to employees and incorporating their feedback, whether it comes from the executive team or from our frontline employees.  

Respect from the leaders of the company sets the tone for all of OTL’s team members. It helps everyone feel that their contributions to the firm are valuable. 

Pride in Our Work 

In addition to enabling team members to feel heard and respected, OTL instills in its employees a powerful sense of pride and accomplishment in what the company does. This originates from being involved in the creation of unique and beautiful water features that serve as vital community touchpoints all over the country. Each of our team members plays a critical role in that creation, which generates pride in what we do throughout our workforce and inspires us to reach for the stars. 

For example, when owners of the EpicCentral mixed-use development in Grand Prairie, Texas (in conjunction with the City itself) wanted to build a spectacular show fountain with 60-foot water jets, coordinated light and music shows, and innovative projection effects, our leadership team spurred the company to reach heights we had never achieved before. They accomplished this by sharing their excitement for what the water feature could be and challenging our design team to create something spectacular and truly one-of-a-kind.  

The Illuvia fountain, as this project is now called, exceeded our client’s expectations. Launched in June 2023, this unique water feature has been featured in numerous publications and broadcast news reports and attracts over 30,000 visitors per week to EpicCentral to view its mesmerizing displays. This could not have been accomplished without the powerful bond we share as a team. We work hard, we have fun, and the pride we have in our work propels us to achieve increasingly higher goals. 


The last few years have reinforced the need for flexibility in many areas of business, and this quality is reflected in company culture.  

Recognizing the importance of flexibility, OTL’s leadership has allowed team members to choose an in-person schedule that works best for them, whether it be a hybrid scenario or coming into the office every day. Having this choice has engendered team loyalty and deepened collaborative partnerships throughout the firm. 

Another key aspect to flexibility is enabling employees to spend plenty of quality time with loved ones outside of work. OTL not only encourages team members to take advantage of this opportunity, but also helps them make time to be with those who mean the most to them. The philosophy is that a healthy personal life dovetails with work performance and promotes happy individuals both in the workplace and outside of it. 

Although actively fostering a positive and cohesive culture is not always easy in today’s business world, the rewards of focusing on culture can be exponential to the time invested. By instilling respect, pride in what we do, and flexibility into employee relations, companies can create a culture that leads to long-term growth and satisfaction for everyone on their team.