TZL 1374 (web)


DO: Prior to COVID-19, SEH offered the opportunity to telecommute, though few people were working remotely. As a result of the pandemic, we are nearly 100 percent working remotely. We’re successfully delivering projects. Our employees have the flexibility they need to manage work and home. And, we’ve improved our ability to be connected with each other and clients across geographic boundaries. In a pulse survey conducted after two months of our employees working remotely, more than 50 percent indicated they would like to continue working remotely post-pandemic. Given our team’s success, we are modifying our remote work policies to provide more guidance for supervisors to manage remote teams, improved technology to handle heavy design software, and more specific equipment/home office allocations for remote working. In addition, we’re carefully considering the cultural impacts of a large portion of the employees working at home, and putting in place measures for our teams to stay connected and engaged. TZL: How much time do you spend working “in the business” rather than “on the business?” DO: Working in the business allows me to strengthen connections with clients and stay abreast of growing or declining market or client sectors. This drives profit and growth. Working on the business is where I can guide the company to respond to future challenges and opportunities. It’s this delicate balance between in the business and on the business that moves our company forward. As CEO, I strive to spend the majority of my time “on the business,” but I prioritize one aspect of working “in the business,” which is development of staff. “We create an environment where our employees feel welcomed, believe they are valued, have the support they need, have opportunity, and know they make a difference in helping SEH achieve its goals.” TZL: Trust is crucial. How do you earn the trust of your clients? DO: Delivering what you promise and living our core values is how we earn and keep the trust of our clients. Some of our

clients have been with us for nearly 90 years. Many of our clients are responsible for the safety and well-being of their residents – safe roads and bridges, clean water, sound infrastructure, and improved quality of life. It’s paramount to their success that we uphold and deliver what they expect. They deserve our best every day. That’s how you build trust. “With established career tracks and a guide to gain the competencies to advance, our employees have access to multiple professional TZL: How often do you valuate your firm and what key metrics do you use in the process? Do you valuate using in-house staff or is it outsourced? DO: As an ESOP firm, SEH’s stock is professionally appraised by an outside firm each year to establish its fair market value. This outside valuation includes comparing SEH to other firms in the industry and uses multiple industry- standard methodologies to determine the fair market value of SEH. The opportunity to reward our employees annually through the valuation and the ESOP program is essential to employee retention, and for creating success and security for our employees. As a result of the ESOP, our employees are able to realize, on average, 97 percent of their annual income in retirement. TZL: SEH has been recognized many times as a best place to work. What are the main factors that account for this honor? DO: At SEH, people come first. When you meet an SEH employee, you’re meeting an owner of our company. Our welcoming culture is built around being an employee-owned firm – all of our employees are shareholders, and this builds a deep culture of pride and support. Our employee owners join together in a shared passion in furthering our core purpose: Building a Better World for All of Us®. Our daily work is reflective in the complexity of projects involving multiple SEH disciplines supporting our public and private clients with their See CREATING SUCCESS, page 8 development opportunities to gain skills and experiences.”

HEADQUARTERS: St. Paul, MN NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 800 YEAR FOUNDED: 1927 NUMBER OF OFFICE LOCATIONS: 31 offices in 8 states MARKETS SERVED: ❚ ❚ Public sector: Counties/ municipalities; federal agencies; public utilities; and state agencies. ❚ ❚ Private sector: Commercial; food and beverage; land developers; healthcare; hotels and hospitality; industrial/ manufacturing; mining; and oil and gas. SERVICES: Airport planning, design and construction; architecture building and design; bridge design and inspections; civil engineering; community development and project funding; community engagement; construction services; drinking water; drones; environmental services; flood risk mitigation; food and beverage; GIS; geotechnical engineering; highway design; land development; landscape architecture; mechanical and electrical engineering; planning and urban design; railroad design; street and road design; solid waste management; stormwater engineering; structural engineering; surveying; telecommunications and site development; traffic engineering; transportation planning; trenchless technology; utility design; visualization services; wastewater engineering and water resources.

© Copyright 2021. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

UARY 11, 2021, ISSUE 1374

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