April 27, 2021

Haskell Oklahoma City and Tulsa offices rank high on The Oklahoman’s Annual Top Workplaces List

The honor is determined through team member survey results centered on overall work environment, culture and alignment with their company’s vision.

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“Providing team members with the best job of their lives is one of the most important things we do. Our group is quite literally nothing without its people.”

That’s the straightforward assessment of Tommy Willis, Design Director in the Government Design Division and leader of the Oklahoma City Office for Benham, a Haskell Company.

Haskell 2025, the company’s strategic plan for purposeful growth, sets the bar high with a vow to “Provide Team Members with the Best Job of Their Lives.” Earning recognition by The Oklahoman’s prestigious 2020 Top Workplaces in Oklahoma awards, based on employee feedback to the newspaper’s survey, affirms that the company is well on its way to meeting its goal.

The Oklahoman, the largest daily newspaper in the state, surveyed more than 34,000 employees across Oklahoma. Based on the combined entry of its Oklahoma City and Tulsa offices, Haskell ranked No. 4 in the mid-sized category, which ranged from 125 to 349 employees. In all, 76 companies received recognition.

The designation is especially rewarding for Haskell leadership. Honorees are determined through team member survey results centered around the overall work environment, culture and their alignment with their company’s vision.

Haskell 2025 recognizes that providing team members with the best job of their lives is critical to the company’s success in meeting clients’ needs.

“Our group provides architecture and engineering services. We don’t have a physical, tangible product to sell. We depend on smart people providing a service to others,” Willis said. “We have to ultimately deliver what we promise to the client, and for that, you have to employ the best.

“Haskell has cultivated a very open line of communication with feedback to and from employees to management. We’ve found this is critical, not only if you want people in the organization to grow, but to also let us know where the company and management need improvement from the employees’ point of view.”

The company uses feedback sessions to encourage employee engagement and understand what motivates each individual and keeps them excited about their work.

“It all starts during the interview and onboarding process for new employees,” said Nancy Rhoads, Office Manager and HR Partner in Tulsa. “We assign new team members a buddy who is there to help them navigate during the first few weeks and beyond and spend a lot of time during onboarding as well as the first 90 days of their employment making sure they have everything they need in order to succeed.

“During my many years in the workforce, I have never worked for a company whose leadership team was so accessible and easy to communicate with. They emulate our values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust in everything that they do, and they truly care about the wellbeing of each and every team member.”

The company also encourages teams to give back to the community and offers four hours of paid leave per month to do so. The Tulsa office supports numerous local charities, such as Night Light Tulsa for the homeless, Family and Children’s Services, The Food Bank of Tulsa, Make a Wish Foundation and ARF, a local animal shelter.

“Something I’ve heard many times over the years and experienced myself is that working at Haskell gives an individual a broad depth and knowledge compared to individuals with the same years of experience at other firms,” said Willis. Mentorship by experienced staff and exposing individuals to a broad range of projects and work enables people to grow as much as they want.

While the Haskell 2025 pillar provides a constant, Willis said, flexibility and collaboration are key to maintaining the best possible work environment. Given this approach, Haskell was in a strong position to continue serving clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We already had established a level of trust and freedom with all of our team members, and we rely heavily on performance markers and deadlines instead of when a person is working,” he said. “When the COVID lockdown hit, people’s lives or level of daily responsibility completely changed. Part of our culture is first and foremost to give team members the flexibility to take care of what’s important in their lives.”

Recognizing that work from home and flexible work schedules will continue after the COVID pandemic abates, Willis foresees opportunity for imaginative and flexible employers.

“With remote employees the new norm, we now have the potential to employee people in 50 states rather than just the geographical locations of our physical office locations,” he said. “We will be looking at some significant changes in how to keep people engaged remotely long term.”

Whatever the work mode, Haskell’s goal to be a Top Workplace will remain.

“Happy team members create a happy environment that ultimately creates a happy customer,” Rhoads said. “A happy team means that our team members are productive and working efficiently, providing great customer service and focusing on a safe workplace. Ultimately, it means our clients put their trust in us to provide them with the best service and the best final product in the industry, which creates repeat business.”

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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