TZL 1182

Overhead rate, including bonus T R E N D L I N E S W W W . T H E Z W E I G L E T T E R . C O M J a n u a r y 9 , 2 0 1 7 , I s s u e 1 1 8 2

Making your firm a truly great place to work

According to Zweig Group’s 2016 Financial Performance Survey , fast- growth firms find a way to keep their overhead costs down. The overhead rate, including bonuses, for fast- growth firms was 1.69. Compare that to declining-growth firms, with an overhead rate of 2.61. When taking into account the bonus portion of this calculation, declining firms only had 5 percent of bonus-related compensation, whereas other growth categories had 20 to 30 percent. Interestingly, stable firms generated more revenue and profit per employee than any other growth category. (Special discount to TZL subscribers: Use code SRVY35off to order surveys at 35 percent off at zweiggroup. myshopify.com/collections/frontpage) F I R M I N D E X Anchor Engineering.................................2 Arconic Inc............................................ 10 CobbFendley . ......................................... 5 Foresite Group........................................ 6 Kephart Architects. .................................2 LJA....................................................... 12 O’Connell Robertson ...............................4 Pennoni. ............................................... 11 Prescient.................................................2 Shears Adkins Rockmore ........................2 Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. ................ 12

W e just opened up our Best Firms to Work For award entries and it got me thinking. Making your firm a truly great place to work isn’t easy. There’s always someone out there trying to entice your best people to leave and join their firm. Not to mention the fact it’s pretty easy to start a professional service firm. These days it really takes little beyond a smart phone and a laptop computer – two things most people in your business already have. But just because it’s hard to keep your people doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. In fact, it’s essential to your very survival. You simply cannot take your people for granted. They are too critical to your success and have too many other options. Here are some things I would recommend you seriously consider IF you want to be a great place to work: 1)Focus more on purpose and less on B.S. “Purpose” means giving your people a better reason to be there other than just pay and benefits. “B.S.” is stuff like employee-of-the- quarter programs, service awards based on longevity, and special parking places. 2)Make a distinction between high perform- ers and everyone else. Just like everyone doesn’t deserve a medal for effort, not every- one deserves a raise, either. When times are tough there will still be people you have to take care of. But you cannot take care of them if your goal is to take care of everyone. 3)Make damn sure your leaders are setting

“Making your firm a truly great place to work isn’t easy. There’s always someone out there trying to entice your best people to leave and join their firm.”

Mark Zweig

MORE COLUMNS xz GUEST SPEAKERS: Hiring for keeps Page 3 xz BEST PRACTICES : Burnout. Can you avoid it? Page 9 xz GUEST SPEAKER: Big and nimble Page 11 Page 5 Make it right

See MARK ZWEIG, page 2

Give aminute, don’t ask for one

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