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Structurally Sound

May 2, 2023

Why Culture Matters, even with structural design engineering firms

When you think of an engineer (and come on, you know you do!) you may not picture a team.  You picture one person, alone, at a desk, in front of drawings, deep in thought. The engineering field can be seen as an individual workspace and not so much as a team effort.

However, in the best firms, a team culture is fostered.  In the best situations, professional engineers rely on each other for advice, feedback, innovative ideas, and support. 

That’s why culture matters.  An engineering firm has multiple employees just like any other business, and they rely on each other to produce better results, every time.  Working together, as a team in a fun and fulfilling environment is Win/Win for everyone, and that’s the kind of company you should want to work for or do business with.  

Here are four things to remember about culture:

A strong culture starts from ownership.  You’ve got to have a mission, something you stand for, and something you can ask your employees to buy into.   In this way, employees know exactly how to respond at any time to problems or opportunities.  At TTR Engineers, for instance, a structural design engineering firm in Akron Ohio, owner Brian Rostedt has created a culture promoting Extreme Ownership (click to the page about values).  Every member of the firm has the freedom to make decisions at the ground level, based on their understanding of what is best for the company and the client. 

When the culture is right, people want to join in.  Engineers, especially the best and brightest, are in demand.  Setting the right culture in the workspace can attract people to your team who fit your style and workplace culture.  Better yet, if your employees fit well and thrive, odds are they will want to stay for the long term. TTR Engineers is always hiring  but only the best and brightest who value what we do.

Your customers can feel your culture.  When the quotes are in and the ideas are pitched, sometimes it’s a gut feeling that will lead organizations to sign on with you.  Organizations that value your culture likely have a good one themselves, and these are mutually beneficial projects to gain, and relationships to build. 

Culture impacts your community.  It is contagious. Those around you will want it.  Imagine a culture in your workplace that leaks out and transforms your community. But be careful.  It works both ways.

When all is said and done, it’s expert engineering that will impact the bottom line.  In the structural design engineering business, nothing trumps expertise, planning, skill, and implementation. You can ask your engineers to sit at their desks and do great work on their own and build great things.

But for true organizational success, customer satisfaction, and an experience that values and retains the best and brightest employees, it pays to focus on culture.


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