I’m constantly amazed at what our talented group of people has done in such a short period of time. For the last two years running, this little operation that I started in my attic has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Small Businesses to Work For in Washington, by Seattle Business magazine.
That blows my mind.
This past week, we gathered up the team and headed down to the Washington State Convention Center to celebrate with more than a thousand other employees throughout the region. The usual big names were there, along with a lot of small technology companies offering ridiculous benefits funded by deep pockets.
And then there was us.
What makes me so proud of this honor is that we’ve hit this achievement the hard way. We don’t have deep pockets. There isn’t some angel investor pumping money into our account to fund totally amazing benefits. What we have done is build our business model around a few critical elements that have made all the difference.
- Go out of our way to recognize and support the talent of our staff, no matter their level of experience. Letting everyone feel empowered to do their best enables us to have a team truly determined to do great work for our clients.
- Build full transparency into our budgeting, so when we do make big decisions (like giving everyone four weeks of vacation), the staff understands the cost to the firm and buys into what is needed to make that happen.
- Always try to do the right thing. We often joke about the “if you see something, say something” motto that the government seems to love. But, jokes aside, it applies here at Board & Vellum in a positive way. It can be easy in a group of our size to fall into a pattern that ends up bothering or creating additional work for a few people. So, we are all committed to shaking ourselves out of any ruts as frequently as possible, and make sure we aren’t developing any habits that are either annoying to our coworkers, or that are creating future problems that we could prevent from escalating now.
As I sat back and looked at the sea of my co-workers’ faces at the event last week, I didn’t only feel great pride in what they have done in making this company such a great place to work. I also felt tremendous excitement about the field of architecture that I know they’re all going to change for the better in the years to come. Some of these people will head off on their own some day and hopefully take the values they learned here and keep the ball rolling. These are amazing times.
And, guess what else? We’re always looking for outstanding staff to join our team! If you want to be part of one of the top ten small businesses to work for in this state, we encourage you to send in your résumé, cover letter, examples of work, and a desire to kick some serious butt. We live in a fantastic city full of great companies that are on the forefront of treating their employees well. We’re excited to help lead the charge for the profession of architecture. If that sounds good to you, too, let’s see what we can build together!