Happy employees do better work. It’s a simple concept. But what does it take to make employees truly happy? Spoiler alert – It’s about more than money!
For 8 years, AMB Architects has ranked in the top 10 on the Houston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list. Listed in the small company category (10-49 employees), AMB earned the #5 spot this year. Winners were determined based on their employees’ responses to the Best Places to Work Survey. Questions addressed a variety of topics such as family time, internal leadership, advancement opportunities, recognition and compensation, and the company’s climate for embracing innovation and ideas.
AMB founder Alyse Makarewicz started AMB Architects in 2005 specifically to create a different kind of workplace. She wanted to bust the myth that success in architecture required all-nighters and burning the candle at both ends.
So, what does a happy workplace look like in practice? At AMB, employees have autonomy to schedule project meetings, deadlines and personal commitments. We focus on team member strengths for sharing of work within the team. There are monthly employee socials, in and out of the office. The firm encourages lifelong learning and provides ongoing technical and human skills training based on the team’s requests. All employees take the DISC assessment to determine their personality profile and interaction traits, and they receive continual training on how to apply this skill for effective teamwork with co-workers and clients. Remote working has always been a part of the AMB culture and has evolved during the pandemic. Employees all have unique skillsets, whether a new graduate or seasoned professional, and all are encouraged to share with others in the office to learn new skills and see them in practice. We have an environment of trust where mistakes can happen, get solved, and be a learning opportunity.
Perhaps the simplest benefit AMB offers is an office leader who routinely asks employees their professional and personal goals, and then helps make it happen.