Growth focused company, this creates opportunities for managers.
Has traditionally promoted from within
Has historically paid profit based bonuses to employees
Has become a corporation instead of a family buisness over the last 5 years
Changes about the company are not well comunicated
It is unclear if project manager bonuses have the potential to be as high as they have been in the past. There is a new bonus program but the details have not been comunicated to the project managers yet.
Advice to Management
Comunicate with the employees about the changes and show them why these changes are good for them. The current attidute appears to be take it or leave it. Realize your employees are your biggest asset and that there are other construction companies out there. Being the best construction company to work at should be one of the companies goals.
I worked at Sterling Construction full-time (More than 3 years)
Some nice people work here. The vision to take these smaller companies and make something larger and cohesive is admirable, but too many strong personalities at the tops of those companies want to keep their independence. They try and create a good work environment with Starbucks coffee machines and weekly food, but depending on what office you are in that can range from a cheerfully efficient atmosphere to absolutely dreary and dismal. The two brightest spots in the Sterling "Family" are J.Banicki Construction in Arizona and Ralph L. Wadsworth in Utah. If your position is in these office you'll be much happier than all of the other offices.
There is a very cowboy attitude and atmosphere at Sterling Construction. A do-it-yourself with duct tape and elbow grease in a very "Texas" sort of way, and it is a Texas Corporation. The plus is that there's dedicated people, but they don't necessarily do their job right and it doesn't build a good foundation for future work.
Sterling Construction has very poor benefits, and poor explanation of benefits. I never got any information on the vision I was paying for without prompting HR, and the health benefits are the bare minimum. I also had issues with Payroll, generally if anyone made any changes to direct deposit, tax withholding they could expect to not be correct the first time and it would take weeks if not months to correct. The IT department is also a wreck. You can't get anyone on the phone when you have a problem most of the time, and they seem to ignore work-stopping issues on people's computers. There is a lot of dysfunction in this place.
Nepotism runs rampant at Sterling Construction. I can count at least 5 hires that are directly related to Presidents or C-title employees that seemed to not even have to compete for their jobs. A program was put in place once all of these relatives were hired for these "Young Leaders" so that they could further pad their resumes. The only people in this program with the excepttion of one person were sons and daughters of the upper management. It was all very blatant and disgusting. I wouldn't want to be up for promotion against any of them.
On the actual construction end of things, Sterling Construction has 15 CPAs and 2 Engineers. It's absolutely backwards for a construction company and I honestly don't know how they build things with all those accountants.
Advice to Management
You say you want to attract the best employees? Prove it with real benefits. Quit hiring your kids, you're not helping them in the long term by allowing them to bypass job competition. Start rewarding people that create strong, repeatable processes that create a good foundation for your business. Get rid of those gunslingers that think that "It's always been done this way".
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