Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

How did you perform in your Annual Review?

January 24th, 2014

The annual review is a chance for all engineers to take stock of their performance in the previous year; set some goals for the following 12 months, and making some longer-term plans for professional, and potentially educational, growth. Those who simply look at the review as a chance to get a raise aren’t taking full advantage of everything an annual performance review brings to the career development equation.

Let’s take a look at some ways for you (and your career) to make the most out of your annual performance review.

Don’t Prepare for your Review at the Last Minute

Rushing at the last minute to put together some notes for your performance review is not a good idea. Make it a point to keep a project diary throughout the year detailing the challenges you faced, any innovative solutions, and your quantifiable successes. Having this at the ready should make the review a simpler and more effective process.

In short, treat your review materials as a recurring documentation project. Few engineers like to do documentation, but get over any prejudices. Spending the time now will help your career in the long run.

Set Realistic Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Performance review time is perfect for managing short-term and long-term goals. This involves looking at last year’s goals to see if they were met, as well as spending the effort developing a new set of clearly-stated goals for the upcoming 12 months. Yearly goals should reflect tangible accomplishments that provide positive impact to your company’s bottom line.

Take the time to analyze your progress towards longer-term career goals. In fact, the scope for your long-term career hopes may go beyond your current employer. Any time spent on career reflection is worthy.

Ultimately, be positive during the review and thank your manager for the opportunity to help the company grow.

If you need any additional advice on career development in the world of engineering, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As they are one of the leading engineering staffing agencies in the Seattle area, they have the talent to ensure your career stays on the right path. Schedule some time with them today! If you are looking for engineering jobs in Washington, contact us today.


Company Culture | Top Engineering Firms

December 14th, 2012

Engineering prospects are looking for much more than just a competitive salary in their place of work. It has been proven that when employees are happy, the work quality and output is better. And who doesn’t want to be excited to go to work?

Many of the top firms consider other benefits and options for employees including:

  • A sense of team or family
  • Reasonable health care insurance and retirement benefits
  • Bonus programs
  • Professional development
  • Mentoring
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Wellness programs
  • Honest and open environment for dealing with challenging issues

There are several top engineering firms that have been identified as innovators in company culture and as a best place to work. Each has its own characteristics to make the workplace better.

Bowers + Kubota Consulting, based in Waipahu, Hawaii, is committed to a continuous improvement philosophy. Since 1980 the civil engineering firm has focused on construction programs and project management as well as civil site and architectural design, and aviation planning.

The firm likes to focus on health and wellness to make it’s 120 employees better. The company pays 100 percent of employee premiums as well as holds a health fair, provides quarterly and annual awards, sponsors company sports teams. They also provide  a $200 wellness reimbursement for gym memberships,, exercise equipment, sneakers or other fitness-related items.

Another important aspect for the company is employee retention, and they feel the best way to do that is provide proper training and career development. Employees work on goals during the year and are given tools to meet them.

CRW Engineering Group in Anchorage, Alaska provides civil engineering design services for transportation, water treatment/distribution, wastewater collection/treatment, bulk fuel, and hydrologic/hydraulic projects. The firm is 31-years-old and has 50 employees.

CRW prides itself on small business values, doing everything they can for employees to function like a family. It’s key cultural term is named “CReW,” bringing all employees together.

CRW works to provide advancement opportunities to all employees every year, especially to young employees, to keep them with the firm. Ownership opportunities are also available.  CRW invites eligible employees to an offsite luncheon to explain these opportunities in detail. The firm also  initiated a “highly compensated employee” category, rewarding very successful employees.

Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck Inc. of Stockton, Calif. has worked hard to retain employees during difficult economic times. The firm provides services for engineering and surveying for public works infrastructure, transportation, commercial, industrial, institutional, and water resources projects. One of the ways it continues to improve company morale is to keep the information coming. Regular staff lunches allow for management or other colleagues to make informal presentations on employee benefit updates and company status reports.

The company also hosts many fun events throughout the year for employee bonding. KSN sponsors family events at  baseball or hockey games and picnics. Friday breakfasts are also very popular. The Talley Group will place you in a position with a top notch company culture.

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