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EUA among top Best Places to Work winners (100-249 employees)

Eppstein Uhen Architects is among the winners in the large category (100-249 employees) for the Milwaukee Business Journal's 2016 Best Places to Work awards.

Mortenson Construction, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School and Eppstein Uhen Architects are the three top winners in the large category (100-249 employees) for the Milwaukee Business Journal's 2016 Best Places to Work awards. See EUA's survey responses below.

333 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee

Score: 88.83

Describe your company culture in five words.
“Passionate, fun, respectful, creative, inclusive”

Describe specific ways you ensure all of your employees know they are valued.
“We keep our employees informed through frequent and open conversation. This includes transparency with our financials, as well as inviting and encouraging participation in key initiatives in the firm. We frequently ask our employees for their input, as well as listening and responding to employee interest in role and market changes. We reward hard and quality work with verbal and written praise, generous bonuses, and meaningful celebrations. We encourage all employees to recognize fellow employees, and have a recognition program on our intranet of #EUAElevates for this purpose. Employees express their gratitude, or recognize achievements of others by mentioning them with this hashtag. Every month there is a random drawing for a gift card of the nominees. We aim to give our employees a positive daily work experience, and to this accord we provide our employees with the latest in technology support and ergonomic workplace design. In 2015, EUA integrated enhanced workplace design, including increased collaboration spaces throughout the Milwaukee and Madison offices and sit-stand workstations for all employees. In 2016, the firm added a rooftop terrace focused on providing a centralized space for employees to engage, gather and communicate outside of the work floor setting.”

What concrete steps do your senior leaders
take to create a great work environment for
all employees?
“One of our firmwide vision statements
— “I Choose EUA” — focuses on the employee experience. We want individuals to want to come to and stay at EUA. To help accomplish this, our senior leadership group works together to ensure a positive, and meaningful work experience. An example involves the work our president and HR director do with a group of representative employees called the ‘Employee Experience’ team. This group meets regularly to discuss and plan upcoming events, to identify issues that should be addressed, and to consider how specific actions/initiatives may be perceived by employees. We have leaders whose primary role is to support, work with and mentor individuals in their primary areas of work: design, project management, project implementation and business development. Finally, our leaders are all part of our company philosophy of development. We strive to put people in their areas of strength and/or interest, and work together to create opportunities for this to happen.”

Give us some specific examples of how your company creates opportunities for individual development and career growth at all levels
of the company.
“EUA believes strongly in individual development. So much so, that we changed the name of our performance review process to the development review Process. Employees meet with two individuals closely involved with their work (including their supervisor). Then, as a group, they discuss how previous goals have been progressing, and set personal and professional goals for the upcoming year. Supervisors meet periodically with employees throughout the year to discuss progress, and adjust goals as necessary. In 2014, EUA introduced a firm training platform called EUA:U, or EUA University. Each quarter, employees are offered a selection of courses related to their development and area of expertise. These courses are based on requests, as well as operational needs, and are taught by internal staff, as well as external experts. The firm specifically budgets an average of 40-50 hours per employee toward training, and encourages employees to sign-up for and participate in courses specific to their role, and in areas of interest.”

How would you describe your company in 30 seconds to someone you meet at a cocktail party?
“EUA is a robust architecture and interior design firm with over 150 employees based mostly in Milwaukee and Madison. The company is organized around markets, with dedicated staff who provide in-depth expertise and in turn extra value to our clients; focusing on the areas of living, workplace, education, health care and science and technology. EUA has been involved in some of Milwaukee’s largest attractions — the Henry Maier Festival Park, Miller Park, the Intermodal Station and most recently the Milwaukee Bucks arena and practice facility. It’s a fantastic place to work with an environment that allows people to utilize their strengths and be part of a great culture. At EUA, we believe great architecture is about more than elevating the environment, we believe great architecture is about elevating people’s potential.”

What are the most popular perks you offer
to employees?
“Summer hours (ability to take Friday afternoons off from Memorial to Labor Day without using PTO); flexible working hours; outstanding technical capabilities and support, including nearly seamless work from home capabilities; company-wide celebrations — we find reasons and ways to celebrate as a group, for individuals projects and the firm as a whole; generous profit sharing and bonuses — when the firm is doing well, everyone benefits from a very generous sharing of the firm profits; workplace setting — all workstations have updated and modern finishes, access to light and sit/stand desks.”

How does being a Best Place to Work affect your bottom line?
“Clients and consultants understand what it means to be a Best Place to Work. Having this distinction attracts quality clients, consultants and partners. It definitely attracts high-quality potential employees as well. We don’t have specific metrics, but we know anecdotally that a Best Place to Work designation causes candidates to spend more time considering our firm. This results in more candidates from which to select, and a faster time-to-hire.”

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