One of the hardest-hit industries in the 2008 recession was architecture and construction. With the economic downturn, this industry slowed dramatically, and the slump lasted for years. During this time, many architects left the profession, as did enrolled and recently graduated students. The result today is that firms struggle to locate experienced talent, and once located, they face the competitive challenge of retention.
Keeping employees engaged typically requires providing them the opportunity to fill as much of their time as possible with activities that enable them to work at the top of their game.
Architecture and Engineering are currently at record low levels of unemployment. And this has been a consistent trend since the industry has experienced an upturn in 2015.
Saddling architectural or MEP professionals with production-level tasks, (e.g., generation of construction documents, creation of Revit families, or plodding through digital file conversions), is not only an inefficient use of talent, but is counter-productive to retention strategy. The more engaging the work, the more engaged the professional.
With access to technical talent and with years of experience in creating remote teams for our clients, Vee Technologies began to build architectural, engineering, and construction teams uniquely balanced for the needs of a specific client. These teams, which we refer to as “studios,” consist of multiple disciplines, optimally balanced to perform the specific tasks that are necessary to support the higher-level functions of the firm.
As an example, an engineering consulting client with multiple U.S. locations started their first studio in support of their corporate base office. They developed their communication and technical preferences with the studio and internally trained their professionals to successfully lead a remote team.
Once the business rhythm was in place, the studio grew to support more volume, and the positive impact on the bottom line was becoming evident. As each geographic location independently managed their budgets, word started spreading about the “secret” to corporate’s financial success. The next location requested a studio of their own, and it has taken off from there. We now provide studios for 75% of their locations, and the teams are still growing.
In a market where skilled, experienced people are the scarce resource, it is more important than ever to allow them to perform what they most want to do, while still accomplishing the essential tasks needed to deliver their service. Utilizing a business partner who is experienced in team building and has access to specialized, industry-technical talent, is paving the way back to profitability and staff continuity in an industry regaining its footing.