in school, in your career, or in general? Who were they and how did they help? GS: During my days at LensCrafters Corporate Office, I oversaw the benefits programs for our associates and my mentor was our vice president of operations. His expectations were super high, but he had a sense of humor and sarcasm that resonated with me. He was known for fully preparing before every meeting, finding a tiny error in the middle of a hundred-page document, or questioning any statistic that seemed “fishy.” He taught me to bring my A game, anticipate questions, and be sure the problem I was solving was indeed the root cause and not a symptom.
we have a clear understanding of the role and skills necessary for a candidate to be successful. We have an excellent recruiter on staff who helps screen candidates for technical skills and culture fit. We look for colleagues who will be inspired by our purpose, vision, mission, and core values. We prioritize candidates who demonstrate their drive to collaborate, show care for others, and drive results for our clients and communities. We also recently updated all our roles and job descriptions to reflect our updated purpose and values. TZL: What are you most excited about in terms of the future of the firm’s HR? Why? GS: When I started, HEAPY had just transitioned from a practice-centered structure to a formal C-suite, and I was hired as the first chief people officer. This demonstrated to our colleagues that they are our most valuable asset, which warranted a “seat at the table” to advance our colleague- first vision. Just one month after I started in my new role, we all went home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was interesting to be in a colleague-centered role and not be able to physically meet and interact with our people! But we found ways to foster the culture and a feeling of belonging, even though we weren’t together for more than a year. Our CEO, Mark Brumfield, is incredibly visionary and I’m driven by his passion for building a sustainable, well, and more resilient society. My focus is helping colleagues understand how they align with that purpose and vision, giving everyone a reason to get out of bed in the morning: A paycheck is not enough! “It was interesting to be in a colleague-centered role and not be able to physically meet and interact with our people! But we found ways to foster the culture and a feeling of belonging, even though we weren’t together for more than a year.” TZL: Howmuch time do you spend working “in the business” rather than “on the business?” GS: You might find it unusual that an HR See COLLEAGUES FIRST , page 8
HEADQUARTERS: Dayton, OH NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 202 YEAR FOUNDED: 1945 OFFICE LOCATIONS: 5 MARKETS: ■ ■ Healthcare ■ ■ Education ■ ■ Corporate/ commercial ■ ■ Industrial/ ■ ■ Government ■ ■ Science and technology ■ ■ Cultural/arts ■ ■ Mission critical SERVICES: ■ ■ Mechanical ■ ■ Electrical and plumbing design ■ ■ Fire and life safety design manufacturing technology design ■ ■ Building optimization/ commissioning ■ ■ Sustainability and resiliency ■ ■ Engineer-led design build construction ■ ■ Master planning/ facility condition assessment ■ ■ Lighting design ■ ■ Information and communication
“Our culture is unique. Part of our vision is to provide meaningful work that also fosters
TZL: How has COVID-19 permanently impacted your firm’s policy on telecommuting? GS: I was amazed at how quickly HEAPY was able to pivot and transition to fully remote work when the pandemic hit. You don’t want to waste a crisis, and we used the pandemic as an opportunity to develop a nimbler workforce and accelerate our adoption of new technology and workflows. It also allowed us to look at our workforce in a more flexible way and foster our colleague-first culture. In this tough labor market, we’re all looking for ways to recruit and retain the best. We have found that we have a mix of colleagues who want to work in the office, some at home, and others hybrid. Right now, we’re maintaining flexibility and letting colleagues lead the way. Honestly, we’re trying to figure out how to keep our unique culture fully woven into who we are as a company. There’s nothing like the interaction of in-person connections, especially when you have a mentoring/ learning environment such as ours, but flexibility and work-life balance are equally important. TZL: What are some key traits needed to fit into the culture at HEAPY? How do you work to ensure that your new hires will be the right fit? GS: Before we ever post a job opening, we meet with our leadership team to ensure enduring relationships – for colleagues, our clients, and the surrounding community.”
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PRIL 18, 2022, ISSUE 1437
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