An Exercise in Gratitude: What do employees value most?
Walt Vernon, PE, LEED AP, EDAC, FASHE
Principal, Chief Executive Officer
Yesterday, I took a United flight from San Francisco to Indianapolis. I was in coach, and did not choose to run my card through the slot, so I was graced with three hours of United ads. This could have been rather painful (do you think they intend it to be??) but for one thing. One of the advertisers was called elementofgratitude.org. (Look it up – its wonderful!) You can watch a short, animated video about the power of gratitude–the power that gratitude has to make us happier, healthier, and more well as people and as teams and as cultures. I loved it.
And so, I wanted to share with you the results of something I have been doing for a number of years at Mazzetti. Every year, at Thanksgiving, I ask people of Mazzetti to write me a personal email. I ask them to tell me three things they are thankful for at Mazzetti (so we can do more of them) and three things they would be thankful to have changed. We then use the things that need to be changed to help us with our business plan, so we are constantly working to make things better. The thing that literally brings tears to my eyes are the things for which people tell me they are grateful.
I am so proud of these people and what they are doing; I just had to share this. This is only a small sampling, because I don’t want to occupy too much space.
I am grateful to all of you, inside and outside of Mazzetti, who have become our colleagues and who have taught me so much, and who continue to teach me, and all of us aiming to make the world a better place. Without further ado, here are the people of Mazzetti:
I am most thankful for the amazing people that I work with at Mazzetti. I can honestly say I look forward to coming into the office, because I enjoy the energy of every single person in our office. The atmosphere is fun and incredibly supportive – such a gift!
Some of the things that drew me to Mazzetti are the willingness to be bold, to try things that others many shy from, and the desire to really make a difference. I hope that as the company grows, these things remain central to who we are. I am really excited about our energy services and the push to be more global.
The amount of communication on Mint and email about the tough decision regarding health insurance. Receiving this information in advance helps me understand better why the changes are necessary.
The flexibility and independence to constantly learn new skills on a daily basis; this makes me want to come back to work
I’m thankful to be part of a firm that is dedicated to sharing the ownership and profits of the firm with its employees. Just in my time here, this has gone from concept to reality.
I am thankful for our culture of bringing in young people at the beginning of their career. They brighten my day and they make fun of me – which I probably deserve.
The flexibility to work remotely a couple of days each month.
The thing that I am most thankful for is the fact that I work for a company that makes a useful contribution to the world. Building hospitals is something that I find very gratifying. I am thankful that I am able to get paid while doing something that I am proud of rather than prisons or refineries which, in my humble opinion, the world certainly does NOT need more of.
Mechanical Discipline Group, good leadership by Norm and important discussions that are helpful to all in the group.
Ability to relocate. I was able to go through a big move and not have the stress of a new job or new job search. I am very thankful for that.
Our people – This company truly feels like my second family, and I genuinely love the people who make up our growing networks across the country (and soon the world).
I was glad to see us take a comprehensive look at our employee benefits this year.
Workplace culture: I am very happy I found Mazzetti and have been given an opportunity to work with a company that appreciates it’s employees so much. I am thankful for this quality of Mazzetti having experienced it from the other end of the spectrum at a company that does not value it’s employees as much.
Being part of a Benefit corporation.
Working for a company that is pursuing better, greener, smarter building strategies.
Being given responsibility based on abilities, not just position/seniority
Our wonderful TA! Even though her plate is very, very full, she maintains a wonderful can-do attitude and never turns any one away when they need assistance. She is a master at prioritizing!
Updated technology, software, and tools that help us do our jobs well and with efficiencies and the IT group that cheerfully helps when needed.
Coworkers who know how to say/express “Thanks!”
I’ve met great people in the office who I feel will be my friends for life.
Mentors that are passionate and patient about teaching.
I am thankful for a work environment that promotes learning and a healthy and fulfilled life style. I have learned a lot from the mindfulness training and have benefited from the results. I had always cared about keeping my body healthy, but I never thought about how a peaceful mind could help with the process.
I am very thankful that I work for a company that is trying to make a positive impact on the world. This includes both the charitable work that Mazzetti conducts and the knowledge that the work we do helps create environments that are designed to benefit people’s lives. I was able to attend one of the Grid builds in Oakland. It was a very fulfilling experience for me.
For working with my best friends and people I really like and admire.
For the investment that Mazzetti has made in me.
Every Mazzetti person I have asked for info or help has gotten back to me quickly and with value.
I am thankful for Mazzetti because we not only design, but we strive to influence the way in which the entire industry designs, through policy and leadership. We aren’t only concerned with our projects, but the quality of all projects in our field.
I am thankful each and every day for all the people I get to work with at Mazzetti on a daily basis. Many have made me laugh, some have made me cry, but each one has taught me something valuable along the way and made me a better person.
I am thankful for my team leader and proud of his contributions to the company and our team. I have learned so much from him over the years, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to work for… he’s funny too!
When I accepted the position of Team Administrator, I did not think I would be as involved in project setup and management… But I have been, and because of this, I feel trusted, appreciated, respected and utilized by my team.
Bonuses –It is a great surprise, whether it be quarterly or the end of year. It’s nice to get extra money that you aren’t counting on.
The transparency of company decisions as shown through the communication that our team leaders hand down to us each week (relaying Monday morning management meeting info) and through blogs on Mint.
To work at a company that values talent and seems to be selective in their hiring process to make sure we only have the best engineers.
To work at a company that is expanding its reach into facilities management. It’s crazy how disconnected we can become from our work if we don’t see how these buildings are really operated.
I am thankful to have started my career out of college here at Mazzetti. If you would have asked me two years ago what industry I would have started out in, HVAC/MEP would not be near the top of the list. But Zach, Jon Inman, and John Karmiris convinced me that Mazzetti is passionate about their work and making an impact, not just going for a profit or creating the next big piece of technology.
I am thankful that Mazzetti features fun employees. There is a time for work and be serious, but I am thankful that the people here are actually people (as opposed to some companies’ employees that I meet).
Wellness and EAC programs, my family and friends are dumbfounded that our company has these.
I am very thankful that I work for a firm that still has the same values that I have to take care of the clients!
I am thankful that I own a small sliver of our company. Yes, I only hold a few shares, but it does make me a part-owner. I am proud of this fact and feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to become an owner for our firm. And I guess, this same fact is also a blessing that it is only a small part so I don’t have to manage the accounts receivable; if I did, I would go nuts!!!
I am thankful for my new colleagues who repeatedly demonstrate they are experts in their field. Their great work ethic also helps to motivated others to “step up their game.
The once a month company meeting–the overall workplace atmosphere is very professional.
I am thankful to be working for a company that has such a great reputation. It feels good to walk onto a jobsite and be introduced to someone and see their reaction when they hear that I work for Mazzetti. There is an instant respect (and a high expectation).
I am thankful to be working for a large, far-flung company that operates as if we are all under one roof. I know people in every office, and we share work freely among offices. There’s none of the territorialism that would turn us into ten little individual offices, instead of one large firm.
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