209 - TZL - John Wheaton

way things were in ‘97. In ’97 it was, hey, you sit at your desk, sit at your computer, put your head down and don't smoke until spoken to. And we'll let you know when we're ready to do this or that or we'll let you know when evaluations are coming up. And I've been doing so much studying lately on the process of motivation and how important it is to really have a system in place about how you motivate your employees and to deal with motivation haphazardly in your organization is almost a death sentence. Because people want to work and follow and adhere to a system that has a goal in place that has an outcome that they can you know, I like to say taste, see, and touch. And I'd be curious to know how you've changed since the pandemic in terms of the flexibility in your work environment. Are you doing anything unique that you have discovered over the past couple of years that has really helped and afforded you the opportunity to give everybody in your organization the freedom and flexibility that they need to be the best version of themselves while at Wheaton Sprague? I know that's a mouthful, but I think you have a keen answer for this. John Wheaton [35:28] So, boy, that is such a good question. Let me try to focus on the empowerment part of this question first, the staff question. COVID and the acceleration of how we work in a remote hybrid or our hybrid office environment, it's empowered people in an accelerated fashion. Frankly, the jury's still out on whether it's all good or not. There's a lot of industry chatter behind the door, as to, are we remote working ourselves into oblivion? You know, is it really, really good for people or not? But my clients don't care where we work from, what clothes we wear, what our office space looks like. They care about results and value, period, end of story. Are you time constraining the deliverable and are you getting me the work product I need? So the thing that's changed substantially for us partly through attrition and partly through choice is we closed a brick and mortar office in North Carolina and a brick and mortar office in Minnesota. Partly that was through a couple of resignations of key people, one who moved on to a pretty significant position with a client as a director of engineering and another one who moved out of the industry, partly because he got bumped from leadership, partly because he just wanted to make other choices. Fantastic, man. And then we just decided, well, we had one person left up there, and one person left in North Carolina, one person in Minnesota, so we closed two offices. So what we really did was we said, we're a national firm, with an office in Connecticut, and a headquarters in Northeast Ohio, and you are attached to either the Connecticut location or you're attached to the Ohio location in our national work. So we hired a guy, a senior engineer PE who lives in Columbus. He doesn't have to come into the office. We hired a consultant from Chicago that moved here over a year ago, who lives 30 minutes away, and she's been in her office two or three times she works out of her home, partly because of the nature of her work. Anyway, let me pull back and not ramble as much. So it's really changed the tone of our business. It's opened us up to a national recruiting pool. In some

Made with FlippingBook Annual report