TZL 1440 (web)


AWORK FAMILY , from page 7

TC: Recently, we were asked to help a healthcare client address an ongoing issue in their operating rooms. There were control failures with the humidifiers in the air handling units. During our evaluation, we discovered control valve failures, existing humidifiers that were oversized, and the use of direct injected steam from the central plant which released boiler chemicals into the supply air stream. Campos customized a solution that involved resizing the humidifiers to prevent relative humidity over-runs in the operating rooms, and also selected “clean steam” humidifiers using plant steam as the heat source. This eliminated the boiler steam from the plant from introducing chemicals into the air being supplied to the ORs. TZL: What benefits does your firm offer that your people get most excited about? TC: We survey our team annually to get feedback on all of our major initiatives and strategies. Historically, there are two benefits that always get high marks. The first is our 9-80 flexible schedule and the second is our PTO program. The 9-80 flexible schedule works to provide every other Friday as an optional workday for the entire team. If projects are going out on time and things are going smoothly, most of our team takes the day off to spend time with their families or relaxing. If there are challenges that can’t be taken care of during the normal schedule, those Fridays can be used to catch up when the office is quiet. Post-COVID, we learned that many of our team were burned out and didn’t use their vacation or sick time effectively to reset and relax. There was a perception that this time should be accrued as a sort of bank account that ultimately was never spent. It was a vicious cycle. To address this, we revamped our PTO policy to increase the total amount of time available and to increase the flexibility to use the time. Instead of accruing PTO over the year, PTO is allocated on February 1 and every teammate receives four weeks of PTO; teammates with five years of service receive five weeks; teammates with 10 years receive six weeks. This pool is replenished each February 1, so they never lose any PTO. “People don’t need to think like me to get things done. In fact, when people are more empowered to think on their own, they feel more vested. I learned a powerful tool in leadership when I learned to help others take ownership of great ideas.” TZL: Ownership transition can be tricky, to say the least. What’s the key to ensuring a smooth passing of the baton? What’s the biggest pitfall to avoid? TC: Don’t wait until you’re 65 to start transitioning ownership. Make it part of your regular strategic planning. When you review key metrics, discipline yourself to look at what would happen if you were to die, leave, or retire. If you can’t put your finger on exact folks to run the company with a clear set of

Campos Engineering staff enjoying time together.

expectations and necessary skills and a funding mechanism to make it all work, then you’re going to have a bad time. After my business partner and I bought the firm from the founder in 2020, we immediately began an intentional program to identify and train future firm owners. We also scheduled a target date for our retirement so that there was an end zone. Finally, we put into place a funding mechanism so the future shareholders could actually afford to buy us out. With this strategy in place, if something unfortunate were to happen to one of us before we retire, the firm will be fine. If we can make it to the target retirement date, everyone will win and the firm will be in great hands. TZL: Being proactive in recruitment is important to Campos. What’s the process like? TC: We try to recruit 100 percent of our team from local colleges and universities to create a never-ending supply of great teammates. We attend career fairs and generally hire 10 interns each summer and sometimes over winter break. The goal is to get students familiar with what MEP engineering, commissioning, and test and balance are since most engineering programs don’t focus much on what we do. Interns who succeed are invited back the next summer or winter and our hope is that by the end of their degree program, they come to work for us. We get top notch candidates who know our culture and have six months’ experience. It’s fantastic. TZL: Howmany years of experience or large enough book of business is enough to become a principal in your firm? Are you naming principals in their 20s or 30s? TC: We have a program with a clearly defined set of desired behaviors rather than experience or book of work. We look for people who can meet the desired behaviors with a consistent track record of delivering on key metrics like quality, selling, competency, training and mentoring others, reputation in the industry and in the firm, and solving problems. We focus on traits like honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness. We believe this approach garners a wider pool of candidates to include non-technical folks too. This is important because it means a high performer in marketing could be in the C-suite someday. It levels the playing field and makes for a better leadership team. TZL: In one word or phrase, what do you describe as your

number one job responsibility? TC: To love and care for my team.

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