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Blog 11/09/2019

Workforce management tricks to hire and retain great architects

Office space in architecture practice

If you read our previous blog, then you will have a good understanding of how to attract the top architectural talent. You will appreciate the importance of arranging the working environment for optimum productivity and providing your architectural recruits with the best tools that money can buy.

However, you will still have to narrow down the selection and make the best employment decisions for your practice. The retention strategies highlighted in this article should help you to avoid the dreaded and expensive issue of employee churn.

 

Providing engaging work opportunities

You should show confidence in the capabilities of your architectural recruits by giving them the opportunity to work across a variety of challenging projects. Architects will ideally be provided with the chance to hone their skills across a range of architectural projects. There should be a natural progression in the acquirement of architectural skills, with work being carried out under supervision for the assurance of safety.

It will be important to carry out regular reviews of the work undertaken by your architectural employees. You should thoroughly investigate individual work contributions; taking the time to provide fair and honest feedback. Having said this, you should ensure that any criticisms are balanced with reflections on the positive aspects of completed work. The feedback should also be focused upon the application of professional skills, rather than personal characteristics.

You are encouraged to adopt these practices in the delivery of employee feedback:

  • Speak with the employee in a private and quiet area of the workplace
  • Maintain a professional tone, avoiding the use of emotional statements
  • Focus on the facts and results of the architect’s work
  • Use direct and straight-forward terms; without being condescending
  • Allow the opportunity to respond and listen carefully to what the architect has to say

 

Creating the ideal working environment

The importance of a positive working environment cannot be over-emphasised. It should be possible for employees to focus on projects without distraction. However, work-spaces should also be arranged for project collaboration. If you’re keen to harness the architectural talents, then you should take the stylistic lead of digital companies such as Google and Spotify. Each focus on the fun factor; incorporating vibrant décor, games areas, and gyms. You might even consider bringing your dog to work for added happiness and relaxation.

Other workplace design tips include:

  • Paint the walls in light and natural colours
  • Fit comfortable furniture and hardware
  • Make use of natural light where possible
  • Add fresh scents for a positive uplift in mood and productivity
  • Arrange break-out spaces for rest, refreshment, and socialisation

It will be important for your architectural employees to feel part of a community. Such workers should have a shared commitment to the achievement of professional goals. You should set achievable team goals while making the most of individual expertise. You can develop a strong and cohesive team through the regular arrangement of social activities.

 

Offering flexible working

It might be tempting to think of your architectural practice as being the centre of the employee’s world. However, architects are bound to have a variety of personal commitments and interests. Young architectural graduates are quite likely to be in relationships and have a passion for other creative pursuits. As an understanding and caring employer, you may provide such employees with the opportunity of flexible working. Employees may want to schedule time out to be with their families, pursue their hobbies, and further their personal growth.

 

Maintaining open lines of communication

There should be open lines of communication between employees at all levels of the architectural workforce. An open-door policy should be maintained, with directors and senior managers being fully prepared to engage with and address professional concerns. New recruits should be encouraged to share their perspectives during architectural practice meetings. Senior members of staff should demonstrate a willingness to listen and act upon all reasonable recommendations. Architectural workers should also be given recognition and praise for their good work.

 

Offering opportunities for professional development

There are a variety of in-house and external training methods which may be used for the development of theoretical understanding and practical skills. Architectural workers may be given the opportunity to study part-time through the RIBA studio or undertake apprenticeships. If you provide such opportunities, then there’s a fair chance that employees will stay with your practice for the duration of their architectural careers.

 

If you wish to discuss recruitment for your architecture practice, or are interested in receiving more blog posts like this please get in touch or submit your details below.

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Tags: Advice Architecture Thoughts

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