CLARITY OF VISION AND VALUES
THAT ARE ALIGNED” LEAD TO
GREATER EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT,
HIGHER JOB SATISFACTION AND
—TONI HARRIS, CPM
and Anne-Marie Niklaus, CPM, ARM, senior vice president of
Balfour Beatty Communities, AMO, based in Malvern, Penn.
USING THE RANKS TO RECRUIT
At Balfour Beatty, Niklaus has operational oversight for over
42,000 units at 55 Army, Navy and Air Force installations
across the United States and always has jobs to fill. “We have to
fight for every good person,” said Niklaus. Although the company formerly relied heavily on outside recruiters, which carried
with it a heavy price tag, the business more recently added a
full-time recruiter to its staff—saving money and in the process
cutting the time that jobs are open.
The company also recognizes that the best recruiters can be
the people who work at the company and find it to be a good
place to work. With this in mind, Balfour Beatty has expanded
its employee referral program and pays out a $2,000 referral fee
when a new employee starts. Other recruitment tactics include
a strong social media network and, in the case of maintenance
and building technician positions, “the old school ways—
newspaper ads and radio ads—work best,” noted Niklaus.
GETTING ON BOARD
Once hired, an intentional focus must be given to onboarding,
stressed both Niklaus and Harris. Done well, the onboarding
process is a win-win for both new employees and the company.
It helps make employees feel they have said yes to the right company for them. And it guards against the possibility that new
hires won’t settle in properly and wind up quitting after just a
For new managers at Balfour Beatty, this onboarding process
THE RELEVANCE OF CULTURE
starts immediately and it kicks off in Philadelphia, the compa-
ny’s home base, to reinforce the company’s culture. Training
new employees has to start “right out of the gate,” said Niklaus.
“That’s the only way to set them up for success.”
For millennials, the onboarding process takes on even great-
er importance, according to Harris. They are looking for jobs
where they can become part of the fabric of the business, and
they are eager to engage quickly so their impact will be felt
Harris also emphasized the role corporate culture plays, which
she defined as “how employees perform when you are out of
the room.” She stressed the importance of “empowering your
team to operate in alignment with the company’s culture,” and
regularly checking in to ensure alignment continues. “Clarity
of vision and values that are aligned” lead to greater employee
engagement, higher job satisfaction and stronger performance.
This doesn’t apply only to millennials, said Harris. “Working
with purpose and having shared values is what all generations
are looking for in the workplace.”
Nancye Kirk ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is chief strategy officer at IREM Headquarters in Chicago.