While many firms may laser-focus on one of these areas, we’ve found that our balanced approach, while more difficult, is much more rewarding. By doing more than just paying lip service to each of these areas, we’ve been rewarded with a culture of inclusivity, connectivity, and excellence that’s truly unique. From day one, through our recruiting/ onboarding process, our employees know that they are welcome and supported. Our continuous improvement plan, provision of a life coach, and consistent feedback gives employees the support and professional development they need. Our in-house activities and community service programs allow employees to take a break and develop a strong sense of community. And our open-book project reporting, quarterly newsletter, and quarterly all- hands underscores our transparency, giving employees solid information about what’s going on with the firm and their role in our success. We consistently hear from our employees who come to us from a different company that they’ve never experienced anything like MWM. We’re proud of the intentional work we’ve done to achieve this level of success with our culture. “I wish I knew earlier in my career the importance of taking care of oneself, truly listening to others, and being intentional. When I focus on these three things, I’m able to bring my best self to my job, help others, and advance the firm’s goals.” TZL: How do you anticipate COVID-19 permanently impacting your firm’s policy on telecommuting? JH: We already had a flexible policy on telecommuting and quite a few people took advantage of that opportunity. Having all office staff work from home for more than a year has given everyone a chance to experience what it’s like to work and manage remotely even if they were initially reluctant. We’ve been able to evaluate the impact of how, when, and where we work on effectiveness, collaboration, and culture. We’re now in the process of re-imagining our office space to optimize collaboration and connection while taking advantage of remote work to accomplish focused tasks. I want people to look at their schedules and see what works best for them based on what they’re working on at the time. I’m
willing to try different models and pilot programs and look forward to getting data from the team about what’s important to them. “From day one, through our recruiting/onboarding process, our employees know that they are welcome and supported.” TZL: Trust is essential. How do you earn the trust of your clients? JH: Trust is key to our business. I believe it starts with ensuring there’s trust within our firm by aligning our actions with our values. Everyone at the firm knows we have each other’s back. I think that the true test of someone’s character is how they handle a mistake. Managers and client-facing staff never “throw anyone under the bus.” We all own up to mistakes and make it right. We’re quick to take personal responsibility for mis-steps and to acknowledge others’ contributions for accolades. TZL: What skills are required to run a successful practice? What do you wish you knew starting out that you know now? JH: When I started out, I thought it was all about being right. I honestly thought that working harder and striving for perfection at all cost was the answer. I wish I knew earlier in my career the importance of taking care of oneself, truly listening to others, and being intentional. When I focus on these three things, I’m able to bring my best self to my job, help others, and advance the firm’s goals. TZL: What type of leader do you consider yourself to be? JH: I believe that being a servant leader is important. I come to work each day with the understanding that I’m here to serve all of our staff. They are who I report to. As a leader, setting the example is important – “going first,” being willing to do anything I ask of others, holding myself accountable, showing empathy, and striving for continuous improvement are important cornerstones of my leadership style. TZL: What benefits does your firm offer that your people get most excited about? JH: We’ve hired an independent life/career coach for the firm. Our coach meets with all employees and supports our emphasis on continuous improvement for the firm See GOING FIRST, page 8
HEADQUARTERS: Austin, TX
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 50
YEAR FOUNDED: 1980
NUMBER OF OFFICE LOCATIONS: 1
❚ ❚ Civil engineering
❚ ❚ Surveying
❚ ❚ Architecture
❚ ❚ Landscape architecture
❚ ❚ Permitting
HISTORY: Originally Martinez and Wright Engineers, MWM Design Group was founded in Austin, Texas in 1980 by Roberto Martinez and Michael Wright to provide civil engineering and land surveying services to both public and private clients throughout Texas.
❚ ❚ Through genuine teamwork, consistently exceed client expectations. ❚ ❚ Treat every employee and every client like family. ❚ ❚ Serve the community’s best interests, both professionally and personally.
© Copyright 2021. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.
OBER 25, 2021, ISSUE 1414
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