Informal, non-corporate culture (the owners bring their dogs to work!) that emphasizes using one's strengths to grow professionally thus focusing more on intrinsic than extrinsic motivation.
Solid, long-term relationships with clients due to focus on ethical practices and the belief that "relationships are everything."
Fun and friendship in the SDA family is encouraged with planned and random events that enable a positive rapport.
Leaders to a great job of keeping employees informed of important changes/announcements via monthly scheduled and ad hoc meetings. They also show real concern for the lives of their employees beyond their work contributions.
Bureaucracy and policy-making is kept to a minimum.
Salary and benefits are quite competitive.
The company and the owners have won awards for their class-leading work and for being an exemplary workplace.
This is not the place to work for people looking to climb a company ladder. The organization is flat and the work ethos is about teams made up of the right talent for the task not permanent hierarchical leadership.
The downside of being a boutique business is less than ubiquitous name recognition.
Advice to Management
Keep things going. Keep managing the company in a conservative manner - particularly as the economic situation continues to unfold. Though times are serious, don't let us become too serious. And Thanks.
I applied online. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Smith-Dahmer Associates, LLC (Saint Joseph, MI) in April 2010.
Two step process. Step one was a conference call phone interview with two people - focus on cultural fit.
Second step, face to face. I spent several hours at Smith Dahmer in the conference room (with a golden retriever sleeping beneath my feet), being interviewed by a broad cross-section of the company, people dropping in in groups of two or three. It was a long process, but actually a very pleasant day and they were very hospitable.
Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition –