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BUSINESS NEWS NEW IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ON THE AEC SURVEY Zweig Group has updated the Impacts of COVID-19 on the AEC Industry Survey for 2021, adding new questions about PPP funding, outlook and budget forecasting, and more.

After the initial success of Zweig Group’s Impacts of COVID-19 on the AEC Industry , launched in March 2020, Zweig Group has continued to iterate the survey and collect data needed to help inform the AEC industry of the pandemic’s effects on their firms and the industry.

All participants in the Impacts of COVID-19 on the AEC Industry Survey receive a free report of findings and continued updates as responses change throughout the year. Click here to participate in the survey or to learn more.

SERVING OTHERS, from page 7

MS: Employee career growth is an investment for both our employees and the future of our organization. Research shows that employee development programs increase job satisfaction, internal promotion opportunities and retention. At Lawrence Group, our leaders influence, motivate, communicate, and energize our employees to bring out the strengths of each individual. They are mentors and people to turn to when you have questions about your career path. We recognize that the investment put toward leadership training will return tenfold. Leaders are trained on a variety of topics from our talent development department and our PEO, Insperity. Through this, we’re able to build great leaders while also retaining top talent. 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? MS: One of the greatest traits of a leader is the ability to identify their replacement. During the early stages of an ownership transition, it’s important to identify and mentor the new leadership to put them in the best position to succeed. Communicating frequently, repeatedly, and as transparently as possible will make sure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals. Finding a way to align the interests of the new incoming leadership with those of the outgoing leadership will also ensure the organization is in a position to grow and succeed into the future while still maintaining its original values. TZL: I see that “fun” is a core value. Can you tell me about a recent fun activity that celebrated an individual or team success? MS: One company event that supports this is our annual retreat. Each year, we take a day to bring everyone together to celebrate anniversaries, promotions, and individual accomplishments. We still cover the traditional business updates, but the primary goal of these retreats is to further our culture by celebrating each other and sharing a day of fun. One of our recent retreats was a circus-themed celebration held under the Big Top in St. Louis. The day included employee recognitions, a keynote speaker, a dunking booth, and assembling bikes for the local Boys & Girls Club. TZL: They say failure is a great teacher. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve had to learn the hard way? MS: I’ve learned so many things the hard way it’s hard to choose one, but I’ve learned the ability to see the world through different perspectives other than my own. It can be challenging at times, but it’s rewarding to embrace those perspectives.

that has affected the firm’s performance – positive or negative? Please explain. MS: Of course, Lawrence Group has encountered some challenging times such as the 9/11 tragedy, overcoming the Great Recession, and navigating the current pandemic. One particular event that will have a lasting impact on the firm’s future was our first transition of leadership. Since its founding, our goal has always been to become a multi-generational organization. When the first of the firm’s original four founders retired in 2016, it marked the beginning of a new era. The last five years has been a critical time for our company to achieve that goal. The transition created opportunity for new leadership at many levels within the organization and, as with any change, came with risks – both business and cultural. Over the past five years, we’ve successfully made that transition, allowing Lawrence Group to continue its unique culture and service to clients. As we completed the transition to the second generation of leadership, we’ve also begun providing training and opportunities for the third generation to continue the organization into the future. “Each client is different and has their own individual needs, goals, and aspirations. We earn each client’s trust by listening to their challenges, providing great solutions, fulfilling our commitments, and following through.” TZL: Trust is crucial. How do you earn the trust of your clients? MS: Each client is different and has their own individual needs, goals, and aspirations. We earn each client’s trust by listening to their challenges, providing great solutions, fulfilling our commitments, and following through. It’s also important to connect on a personal level beyond business – asking about their families, interests, challenges they may be facing – to show we value them as an individual, not just a business partner. If you’re doing it right, your clients should feel like they are the only client you have because you’re so focused on them. TZL: It is often said that people leave managers, not companies. What are you doing to ensure that your line leadership are great people managers?

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