Laulis’ sharp mind and uncanny instinct allows Cable One to flourish even in the toughest of times. She continues to be aggressive on the M&A front. Cable One recently purchased a 45% minority stake in Mega Broadband, the parent company of Vyve Broadband. And over the past year, it has agreed to acquire Kansas-based ValueNet Fiber, took a minority interest in Hargray Communications and made small investments in two fixed wireless companies. Through it all, Laulis has kept Cable One employees and the communities they serve top of mind. In April, Cable One donated $300,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts across its 21-state footprint. It also offered an internet plan to help low-income families and those most impacted by the pandemic. Laulis believes corporations need to continue to give their employees flexibility beyond the pandemic. “Simply put—know your people, trust them, be flexible in your work arrangements and measure so that you can improve for your associates and the company,” Laulis says.
What is one of your proudest moments during the pandemic? The immense caring and vulnerability Cable One associates have shown throughout the pandemic makes me proud, as it is a testament to our strong, community-centric culture and work environment.
Some research has suggested COVID-19 may set women in the workplace back half a decade. How can we ensure the progress made isn’t erased? The pandemic has proved to corporations that associates can be productive in a work from home or remote environment. Given that this productivity holds, it suggests an imperative for those same corporations to be flexible with associates (all associates, not just women) about the timing and way that work gets done, dependent on the roles. Connection with associates is another important factor. Knowledge of associates’ needs around work schedules leads to the conversations that lead to flexibility. Simply put – know your people, trust them, be flexible in your work arrangements and measure so that you can improve for your associates and the company.
If you were a teenager attending virtual classes right now, what advice would you give yourself? Times of crisis tend to be the times of greatest innovation. As a teen attending virtual classes during this pandemic, I would advocate for paying attention to what is working and what causes obstacles to learning from your (and your friends’ perspectives). YOU could be the person that invents that next app or tool that leads to enhanced virtual learning so that kids of the future actually CHOOSE to learn this way (vs being forced into it as the only option)