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For Springfield-based Environmental Works Inc., consistently bettering the company culture is key to longevity as the business prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary in September.
It’s an ideal that goes back to the teachings of founder Robin Melton, who died in 2012, and it continues today under the leadership of CEO Jamie Sivils.
“You can’t ever replace a person like Robin, so you just have to create a company culture where you get out of everybody’s way,” Sivils says. “We call it GSD: Get stuff done. We became very entrepreneurial, very low bureaucracy.”
The company has launched what it calls GSD University, and in January, the inaugural GSDU Summit was held. The three-day companywide event helps educate employees on profit and loss statements, environmental contracting procedures and other business services, and provide them with opportunities for growth.
Environmental Works’ emphasis on culture came even more into focus during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We learned that if you give people the freedom to make their own choices about where they work or how they work, that’s a much better way than to dictate what people do,” Sivils says.
Environmental Works has implemented an unlimited paid-time off policy as a result.
“Take all the vacation you want if you can get all your work done,” Sivils says. “Our approach is mostly just trusting our people.”
Employee perks also include a 401(k) contribution match, gym membership reimbursements and a program that rewards staff for good mental and physical health decisions. Financial wellness and veterinary expenses also are provided, and the company provides eight days of paid company time per year for employees to give back to the community through charitable causes.
Additionally, Sivils says Environmental Works has made it a mission to become a “deliberately developmental organization.” Intentional personal development of team members is a top company priority.
“We have seen them really blossom, and that makes the whole company better,” Sivils says.
Environmental Works’ culture-centric focus appears to be paying dividends.
Since 2013, the company has grown to nearly 300 employees companywide from 52, with 542% revenue growth during that time. The company was recognized on the Inc. 5000 private firm fast-growth list in 2019 and 2021, and by Engineering News-Record magazine as one of the nation’s top 200 environmental firms in 2020.
Moving forward, Sivils sees environmental drilling as a continued area of growth for the company. Talent recruitment is another focus.
“Bad cultures in other companies help us attract good people,” Sivils says.
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