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“Five Powerful Strategies to Retain Top Notch Technical Talent” Tamsin Jolley, President of Decagon Devices Jeff Young, Chair & General Manager, ATA Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "“Five Powerful Strategies to Retain Top Notch Technical Talent” Tamsin Jolley, President of Decagon Devices Jeff Young, Chair & General Manager, ATA Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Five Powerful Strategies to Retain Top Notch Technical Talent” Tamsin Jolley, President of Decagon Devices Jeff Young, Chair & General Manager, ATA Engineering Moderated by: Diane Stoneman, Director of Consulting and Training, Winning Workplaces Sponsor © 2009 Winning Workplaces. May not be reproduced or distributed without expressed written permission of Winning Workplaces.

2   Founded in 2001 by co-owners of Fel-Pro.   Committed to small/midsize organizations building healthy, productive work cultures.   Triple bottom line: Business, People, Community. Winning Workplaces

3 - - Consulting - - Training - Webinars Online Clearinghouse Of workplace best practices Winning Workplaces

4 Top Small Workplaces Recognition  The Wall Street Journal  Winners profiled October 13, 2008, WSJ.com/Entrepreneur  WinningWorkplaces.org  2009 competition underway

5 Top Small Workplaces 2008 Top Small Workplaces Winners ATA Engineering Decagon Devices Integrated Project Management (IPM) JA Frate Jackson's Hardware Jump Associates King Arthur Flour Company Landscape Forms Lundberg Family Farms New Belgium Brewing Phenomenex Rainforest Alliance Resource Interactive The Paducah Bank & Trust The Redwoods Group

6   Average 42 years in business   Grow average rate of 23% over last 2 years   Tenure of the CEOs average 17 years   Founders still involved in 50% businesses Winning firms focus on sustainability

7 Growth is a conscious choice “While we could easily grow faster we believe in the long run we would do irreparable harm if we stumble in our hiring and training process.” ATA Engineering

8 Employee development is key to consistent execution Employee development is key to consistent execution  (  Invest to build competent workforce (tuition programs average $3500/yr)   Hire for “attitude” and “fit” for culture   Grow leaders from within   Encourage employees to grow personally & professionally   Mix of structured learning & “learning by doing”

9 Our Agenda Today Perspectives of two engineering firms Top strategies to attract / retain talent Impact on business and workforce Lessons learned Questions from audience

10 Featured Presenters Jeff Young Chair & General Mgr. ATA Engineering San Diego, CA Tamsin Jolley President Decagon Devices Pullman, WA

11 Founded Employees FY2008 Sales $9.75M Develop, manufacture & market scientific instrumentation for environmental research and product quality testing

12 Decagon Motto “Think like scientists, work like farmers, work like farmers, dream like children.” dream like children.”

13 What the Jobs look like

14 It is not just about the work! –Flexible time –Support of personal goals –Mentoring #1. Focus on Individuals

15 Communication Open Book Management Profit Sharing Lunch Meetings #2. Employee have stake in the outcome #2. Employee have stake in the outcome

16 #3 Creativity Search for Employees –Interns & Part-time work on projects Continually fostered in workplace #3. Creativity and Innovation Rules #3. Creativity and Innovation Rules

17 #4 Governing Values Perpetuating legacy Education (informal learning) #4. Explicit Governing Values #4. Explicit Governing Values

18 #5 Great Work Culture Soccer Slot Car Racing Wellness Program #5. Great Work Culture #5. Great Work Culture

19 Young company with tenured employees Impressive stream of new products ROI Impact on Business

20 “We don’t try to be something we are not. In everything we do we consider our culture.”

21 Who Is ATA Engineering, Inc.? Formed as employee-owned corp. 4/3/2000 Spin-off from a public engineering software co. Mission: To be the leading provider of solutions for analysis- driven and test-driven design of mechanical, electro- mechanical and aerospace products ATA Engineering, Inc.

22 Professional engineers in 7 locations 600 cumulative years of relevant experience Full-time staff of 87, 75 degreed engineers –10 B.S. degrees –46 M.S. degrees –19 Ph.D. degrees –5 registered Prof. Engineers –8 -10 co-op and intern students Graduates from MIT, Stanford, Purdue, Cal Tech, UCSD, UCLA, Wisconsin, Texas and other great schools Who do we hire?

23 Designing and Engineering Cool Stuff Designing and Engineering Cool Stuff

24 Shortfall in staff Lack particular technical expertise Count on ATA having Top Notch Technical Talent Why our Talented and Demanding Customers Need us Why our Talented and Demanding Customers Need us

25 1. Hire the best possible people 2. Offer Employee Ownership 3. Train, coach, mentor 4. Grant responsibility & authority 5. Create an environment of Trust Caveat: Every company is different and some ATA practices may not work for you Top Strategies

26 1) Hire the Best People Hire staff “Too Good To Pass Up” Hire top grads from the best universities Assess recruits interest in Employee Ownership Process is comprehensive and highly selective Candidates accept offers for many reasons Accelerate recruiting when business is slow! # 1. Hiring the best

27 Goal: 100% employee ownership Outstanding professionals hired & trained by management team Team environment through shared ownership Company where we love to work Control our own destiny # 2. Offer Real Ownership

28 HR Surveys: learning key to retention ATA University Training is broad & continuous # 3. Train and Develop

29 Delegates responsibility & authority to Project Teams Project teams “delight” customers Project Mgr complete responsibility and authority (Quality, Schedule, and Budget) Jr. engineers as Project Managers # 4. Grant Responsibility and Authority

30 Trust staff to treat company resources as their own Focus on overall ATA performance Less focus on individual achievement Egalitarian culture & flat organization chart No “Executives” at ATA –No Executive perks –No Executive Compensation System –Same pay scale for Mgt and engineering staff –Promotes teamwork and trust #5. Create an Environment of Trust #5. Create an Environment of Trust

31 5) Create Environment of Trust Consensus decision-making: challenging but pays off Post spin-off assumption of super-fast decision making Individual employee-owners empowered to participate The investment pays off: –Employee-owners educated –Positioned as future leaders –Employee-owners “buy-in” to the decision –Implementation is smoother and faster #5. And…More Trust #5. And…More Trust

32 ATA is a fun place to work! People are enthused & committed Turnover of 1-2% Strong financials= –Significant tax savings –Profitable every year –Return on revenue exceeds industry 3 of last 4 years –Revenue exceeds plan last 3 of 4 yrs ROI Impact on Business

33 Questions?

34 Apr 15 Exiting Gracefully – Options for Transitioning Ownership Apr 15 Exiting Gracefully – Options for Transitioning Ownership Corey Rosen, Executive Director & Co-founder, NCEO Corey Rosen, Executive Director & Co-founder, NCEO May 27 Two Perspectives on Succession Paul Silvis, Founder, Restek Corp; Michael Foley, CEO, Paul Silvis, Founder, Restek Corp; Michael Foley, CEO, Reflexite Corp Reflexite Corp June 17 Radio Flyer- The Story of Transforming an American Icon Robert F. Pasin, President and CEO, Radio Flyer Upcoming 2009 Webinars

35 Thank You! Official Webinar Sponsor


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