Changing the Plumbing Industry One Stereotype at a Time
How a Denver-based plumbing company is changing their industry, one uniform and charitable donation at time.
It’s rare for a child to aspire to be a plumber when they grow up. As a famous NFL player once told us, “Plumbing isn’t sexy.” There are many stereotypes that attribute to that train of thought. Whether it’s the idea of working in dirty sewage or the infamous plumber’s crack, young people aren’t enthusiastic about the idea of being a plumber during their adult years. That’s why as co-owner of High 5 Plumbing, my husband, Levi, and I had to take a step back and analyze what we were doing as a company.
Eliminating the negative stereotypes of the industry became one of our goals. We realized stepping away from the traditional way of operating in the industry would not only set us apart from the competition, but it would also make us more attractive to the younger generation by building a fun work atmosphere. This was the way we wanted to contribute to the plumbing and home service industries.
Altering the Dress Code
The first thing we decided to change was the way we dressed. When you think of plumbers, you think of the traditional branded button-up shirt. That was one of the first things to go. While watching a Colorado Rockies game, I decided that a High 5 baseball jersey would be an excellent choice. Now, our technicians have the option to wear the baseball jerseys that sport our logo. In addition, these jerseys have added length to eliminate the terrible plumber’s crack stereotype. This one change has since branched off into an entire High 5 Plumbing clothing line with the proceeds going to charity.
Building a Fun Atmosphere
We never wanted High 5 Plumbing to be a place that our employees dreaded coming to each day. The appearance of the building can play a large role in that. To stand apart, we outfitted our building with a playful design that includes anything from graffiti to a basketball court. We also created a brag board, where technicians who have taken a high five photo with customers can post it. We want our employees to be greeted with high energy and a fun atmosphere the moment they walk in the door.
A Culture of Giving
Giving back to the community is near and dear to the heart of our company. We wanted to build that into our culture. That’s one of the reasons we decided to create High 5 Cares, which is a program that spotlights nonprofits in the area. We wanted to come together to create a positive impact with not only our team but our clients and community as well. As part of this initiative, we donate a set amount of $500. In addition, the nonprofit receives $10 for every High 5 Club Membership that’s sold during the month and receives 100% of the proceeds from the company’s High 5 clothing line. Our technicians also hand out materials about the nonprofit during service calls. This helps get our technicians interacting with the community on a deeper level than just repairing issues. It’s all about creating that one-on-one relationship with your plumber, which many plumbing companies lack because they stick to the stereotype.
Changing the Industry
From changing our dress code to developing a culture that is different than many other home service companies, we work hard to break the stereotypes that haunt the plumbing industry. As a new generation is coming of age, it will be important for them to understand that the plumbing industry can be fun to work in. While working in dirty conditions is part of the job, it’s not the only aspect of the profession. You can have positive interactions with customers, wear awesome uniforms and play a major role in your community. Breaking those stereotypes is what will keep our industry thriving and moving forward.
Cassi Torres is the co-owner of High 5 Plumbing. High 5 Plumbing is a local, family-owned company serving residents in the greater Denver metropolitan area. With a professional team that has extensive experience and a commitment to service, High 5 Plumbing offers comprehensive plumbing, sewer and drain services.