Amy Estep, HR Manager at Meyer Najem Construction, shares recruitment strategies, how interns have played a role in their hiring and why being a Top Workplace is so important to their hiring success.
Amy Estep is the HR Manager for Meyer Najem Construction, located in Fishers, IN. They have not only earned the distinction of Top Workplaces in Indianapolis but have maintained the award status for 13 years!
They attribute their success to their intentional focus on employee engagement. They listened to what their employees needed, and delivered in a way that has consistently worked.
We discussed their leadership’s involvement in maintaining their award status, their focus on employer branding, and what Amy has learned through measuring employee engagement.
Your organization is positioned for continued growth. What are you doing to be intentional about hiring people that support your growth?
Amy hired a Talent Acquisition Manager in early 2022 to support Meyer Najem with their continued growth of employees. Their interview approach is very conversational where they look to identify who may be a great culture fit. They focus on areas such as high performance yet make sure they do not lose sight of the importance of creating a friendly atmosphere where employees can have fun while working.
What recruitment strategies have you found best support recruiting good talent for your company and how do you evaluate to know which are working well?
They implemented Geofencing to target candidates. This has been very successful in increasing their applicant flow in several locations.
Through Geofencing they are reviewing reports that show clicks, views, number of candidates among other points of data. From there, they can evaluate the quality of the candidates they are receiving from that particular source. Through now three rounds of utilizing this resource, they have found it beneficial and plan to continue using this source.
Amy shared they also have put more attention on their referral program. She has noticed an increase in candidate flow but also a positive impact on their employee retention.
“It’s proven to be a great recruitment tool and we’re going to continue that so we can keep getting those quality candidates from employees.”
You have been an award-winning workplace for multiple years. How are you utilizing that distinction to help get candidates in your door?
Amy and her team proudly share these accolades through email signatures, social media posts, displays in their public office area and communicate this to potential candidates.
It means a tremendous amount to the leadership team and management board that they consistently win this award, although, as Amy shares:
“It’s our employees that are why we win the award every year.”
Sharing with the community what a great place to work Meyer Najem is not only makes the owners proud, but the employees are also proud as well. This is a strong message to send to candidates looking for opportunities.
You have hired a number of interns to your teams. How do you get them accustomed to your culture?
Meyer Najem loves having interns on their teams and treats their interns just as they do their full-time employees. Several interns have returned for another internship and been hired full-time.
“Our goal is to have interns come through the internship program already ingrained in our culture, already know our systems, already know how we do things, that way they can kind of hit the ground running and as a full-time employee, knowing the ins and outs of Meyer Najem.”
They have been successful in extending offers to great interns at the conclusion of their summer internship with the intent of them returning for full-time employment. Their relationships with various colleges with strong educational programs have helped to structure a robust internship program for Meyer Najem.
Now that you have two locations in different states, what is your organization doing to be intentional with your employee engagement strategy?
Amy vulnerably said this is a struggle for Meyer Najem and was before their second location was opened. Due to the nature of their business, many employees are on job sites. Therefore, they had to be very creative because of their ideas behind employee engagement.
They began “Job Site Crawls”. This gives administrative employees an opportunity to visit job sites, learn more about what goes on at those locations, and provide support for employees in different roles. It creates comradery when this happens, and the employees love it!
So, what does ‘employee engagement’ mean to employees in these different roles? They have learned it’s different for various staff. They are listening to what people like, what is impactful for them, and how they can keep the culture strong at both locations and job sites.
How are you measuring your employee engagement, and how do you evaluate how your organization is doing with employee engagement?
They have recently started an initiative to distribute quarterly 5-question Pulse surveys, asking quick questions to evaluate employee engagement. They have completed two so far and within those two have found not only participation increasing, but the engagement scores also going up.
New hire surveys have also been added to their onboarding program. Of course, this made me very happy as we at striveHR are always encouraging others to focus on continuous improvement!
Amy doesn’t stop there. She walks around talking to employees asking how they are feeling, what they may be needing, and getting an overall feel of how engaged employees are.
Meyer Najem also participates in the Top Workplaces in Indianapolis survey program. In fact, they have earned this award distinction 13 years!
What has been the most surprising thing to you about your employees through evaluating employee engagement?
When they conducted the Top Workplaces survey, they learned that their employees wanted more communication and more transparency. The reason this was so surprising was because they thought they were doing a good job with communicating and talking about what was going on at the organization. What they learned was that their employees wanted more of the WHY behind what was going on and wanted to know more about WHERE the company is headed.
“You can’t do a survey and then not do anything with the information.”
This was a big lesson learned for the leadership at Meyer Najem. Amy shared that in the past, they did not spend as much time reviewing and understanding the employee findings but this past year, they did SEE the results and ACTED upon them. Their employees noticed this!
They also created “The Weekly Dirt” to have one resource of information that replaced multiple all-company emails. It’s a place where they can share what is going on in the company, upcoming events, and various information about what employees need to know.
Every other month they distribute “The Blueprint” where they showcase what has happened over the past 2 months and what is coming up over the upcoming months. This is distributed to the families at home so that they can learn about what’s going on at their loved ones’ place of work. Fun articles like announcing new additions to the families, personal accolades and recipe sharing, just to name a few, are included.
“It has brought the group together because we are showing we care about not just our employees, but their families, too.”
Fun note: Are you seeing the fun names they have created and their link to construction? How clever!
Was it difficult to get your leadership team on board with applying to be named a Top Workplace?
Amy felt she couldn’t take credit for selling her leadership team on this idea. She has been with Meyer Najem for 10 years, and they have been on the Top Workplaces in Indianapolis list for 13 years.
“It’s not even a question. It’s on our budget every year. It’s become something that we just do. Everyone is on board every year.”
Meyer Najem has made their two areas of strategic focus to be Growth & People, which compliments why focusing on workplace culture and engaged employees is so important to them.
In addition to naming People as one of your strategic focus areas, what are you and your leadership doing to maintain your Top Workplace award?
“We live by our core values and what our culture is.”
Their mission, vision, values are displayed throughout the office, and they post their Top Workplace awards for everyone in the company to see. This is a daily reminder to everyone that leadership is proud to earn this status.
What has been your biggest surprise about conducting employee engagement surveys?
Learning more details about what various departments need has come to light during their survey findings. This has helped them to understand deeper what the employees need to be successful roles.
“It has opened up ideas into what our employees needed.”
Talk about the message you send to your employees about why it is important to your organization to maintain a Top Workplaces award status.
“We want to get feedback from our employees. I think this past year we’ve really shown that we listened, and we have taken action to do the things that they’re asking or the feedback we’re getting. And I hope that they know this is now a great way for them to voice their opinion in an anonymous way, whether it’s good or bad.”
They appreciate that they are getting true responses, not that employees are responding just to get the award. The leadership team has made employee engagement an intentional effort, which is how people and growth are now the strategic focus for the company.
In closing, I ask all organizations being interviewed for this Award-Winning Workplace series this question…What is your success story that you want the striveHR audience to know about Meyer Najem Construction, and how you have not only earned, but maintained an award-winning workplace status.
Meyer Najem had a vision of expanding the company beyond Fishers, IN. They brought that to fruition when they opened the Jacksonville, FL location.
“It’s scary, it’s a risk. Itt was a very scary decision that was made, and it worked beautifully.”
Now, seeing the growth of the office, and that they have proven the success of that office, that is their success story. They have grown their footprint as well as grown our name locally.” Candidates are aware of the great work they are doing and wanting to be a part of it.
Amy also shared, “From two fraternity brothers, it being just the two of them with an idea to now 120 employees, that’s awesome. It gives me chills thinking about it.” It is an amazing success story, and one that those 120 employees can be very proud to be a part of.
Through analyzing survey findings, Amy was able to get a better understanding of what her employees needed. Had she simply quickly reviewed and made an immediate decision or recommendation, she would have missed what her employees truly needed to be successful. This is why it is so important to do a deeper dive into the reports provided to you by employee engagement administrators. Reading a high level summary or executive report likely will not provide you with the data you need to make decisions. Take the time to review open ended comments and data that has been analyzed by department, tenure, departments, to name a few. Likely you will get the answers you need when evaluating, in detail, and comparing the findings through various points throughout your engagement reports. Take the time to do the research, as this will prepare you for setting your goals and implementing strategies for improvement.
Connect with Amy
Did hearing this success story motivate you to learn more? Check out the 6 Perks to Becoming an Award-Winning Workplace.
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