Team members in Haskell’s St. Louis office broke into teams by engineering discipline recently for a shuffleboard competition in their new breakroom.

February 8, 2023

Haskell’s Workforce Engagement More Than Twice Industry Average

As its workforce has doubled in the past five years, Haskell has invested significantly in maintaining a strong connection with team members.


Recruiting, developing, and retaining team members is the foundation of talent management for any organization, but engagement is the firmament beneath the foundation. Understanding the importance of an engaged workforce, Haskell strives to create a culture focused on each team members’ success, future, wellbeing and connection to the organization.

As its workforce doubled to nearly 2,200 in the past five years, Haskell’s executive leadership recognized the need for a significant and intentional effort to maintain a strong connection with team members. Formation of the Learning, Development & Engagement (LD&E) team was a direct response to this need.

The company’s expansion aligned directly with its strategic roadmap, titled Haskell 2025, which calls for meaningful and profitable growth. So, too, does the development of its engagement efforts, which aim directly at the plan’s first strategic pillar, “Provide team members with the best job of their lives.”

“Team member engagement affects every aspect of the business from creating a strong company culture to delivering a top tier client experience,” said Barbara Cotes, Manager of Team Member Engagement, “We are laser focused on addressing the first pillar of Haskell 2025 and ensuring our team members are able to do quality work and contribute to Haskell’s overall success.”

Members of the engagement team have dedicated themselves to creating programming in direct response to team member feedback, including paths for team members to provide ideas and receive timely responses and resources that equip leaders to ensure their teams’ success. Current engagement survey feedback indicates that the approach is on the right track.

Measurement Informs Action

Using Gallup’s highly acclaimed Q12 Survey, Haskell measures team member engagement annually. Ensuring that the survey remains anonymous and that results are transparent to the company is a top priority. The LD&E team immediately releases the companywide data set and briefs leaders individually on their results. Haskell’s engagement rate of 9:1 means it has nine engaged employees for each disengaged one. The industry average is 4:1. These results reflect intentional and focused approach to promoting a healthy workplace environment where employees feel trusted and seen.

The engagement effort is rooted in Haskell’s Core Values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust. In accordance with the value of serving, Haskell team members logged more than 45,000 volunteer hours for more than 300 organizations in the past year. Over that same period, nearly 200 team members have received promotions. The Engagement Team also oversees Haskell’s Best Places to Work Committees, which comprise representatives across more than 20 offices worldwide who recommend ideas and support activities to enhance the workplace experience through appreciation, communication, advocacy and camaraderie.

The Gallup surveys do more than keep score. They inform action. Directors and managers interpret the data, acknowledge the answers received and create Action Plans that address areas needing improvement.

Travis Taylor, Director of Construction and Salt Lake City Regional Operations Center Leader, has experienced the benefits of strategic Action Plans in his team and appreciates Haskell’s effort to help team member development.

“The first step is to find where we are missing the mark and where opportunities differ for team members,” Taylor said. “The scores we’ve seen are good, but one of the lowest we saw was about receiving feedback from managers, so now we have created a guideline for our managers to deliberately touch base with employees every three months or so. This process allows us to keep ahead of the curve and better connect with those around us.”

Team, Excellence, Service and Trust

Haskell’s Core Values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust are central to its engagement. Each quarter, it bestows three Living the Values Awards to team members nominated by their peers for their positive influences on their families, coworkers, company and communities.

Team members are encouraged to volunteer in their communities and have four paid hours per month for donating their time. Further, each of Haskell’s 25-plus offices organizes community service opportunities.

“Through service as a team, we can extend a feeling of who we are and create togetherness,” said Jim O’Leary, Chairman, CEO and President. “The Core Value of Service brings people together. Team members who may not work together, who may not even know each other, come together to do something meaningful.”

The example comes from the top. By the numbers, Haskell’s directors are the most engaged team members, and O’Leary and his Executive Leadership Team are regular participants.

The engagement team has implemented several programs and resources to ensure that standards are upheld companywide as it grows. The first step with engagement begins immediately with an accessible and interactive onboarding process and weekly sessions for new hires to meet each other and LD&E team members. Haskell’s New Hire Playbook ensures a consistent experience across all locations and provides a roadmap to ensure that the first 90 days go smoothly.

“Having grown so much in the past couple of years, it’s easy for the culture to go sideways,” Cotes said. “The way we onboard and have a roadmap set out for new hires, team members understand our commitment to their success here, and leaders can have meaningful conversations, which only further emphasizes our commitment to engagement.”

Haskell is hiring! Explore the many options available to join a growing company committed to offering the BEST job of your life.

Haskell delivers more than $1.5 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 2,000 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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