Justin Sherman

CEO & Director

Burns & McDonnell Engineering India Pvt. Ltd.
India’s Great Mid-Size Workplaces – 2017

1.  What are the key foundational pillars of the culture at your organization?

Burns & McDonnell has a powerful and unique culture that drives our success and guides our decisions. We’ve identified the pillars of our culture and named them the MacCulture Principles. They reflect who we are, what we believe, where we have been and where we are headed in the coming years.

MacCulture Principles:

Safety Is First

We are all accountable for safety — accountable to our families, our co-workers, our clients and ourselves. A powerful commitment to safety — and health — is hardwired into each employee-owner. By striving for perfection in safety, we make it possible.

Client Service Drives Our Success

Clients are our valued partners and friends. They are the reason our company exists. We are relentless in finding new ways to make them successful. We are responsive to their needs at all times. We are always mindful that our success only comes through client success.

What We Do Matters

We work on important projects, some of the most challenging and complex problems in the world. The significant honour of working on these projects comes with an enormous responsibility — to team with our clients on improving the quality of life for people around the globe.

We Boldly Go

Our firm was founded by two daring entrepreneurs — ambitious individuals who had an idea, brought that idea to life with a meticulous plan and then had the courage to act. That entrepreneurial spirit is a vibrant force within Burns & McDonnell today — always strategic, always propelling us forward, always for the benefit of all.

One Burns & McDonnell

Great things happen as we come together to collaborate, build and connect. We put the company ahead of global practice, office, department and self. We know that as we make each other successful, we make our clients successful. We respect all, are accountable to all and trust in all.

We Make This Place Great

We empower our employees to make Burns & McDonnell the company we want it to be through our “Kizuna” group. This group was created to establish the best culture found anywhere. The tangible result of this choice is a Great Place to Work — for all people, from all walks of life — which in turn makes Burns & McDonnell a remarkable place to build a career.

We Invest For A Better World

We give back for many reasons. Because we see a need and want to make it right. Because we care about the communities where we live. Because we are uniquely positioned to help. We know it is in the best interest of all to invest in better citizens, for our collective future.

 

2. What have been some of the business benefits experienced by your organization as an outcome of creating a great workplace?

Our MacCulture values loyalty, both to the organization and to each other. Our team is built of supportive, energetic and friendly people, which means employees work hard for our clients and sincerely care for one another. It’s no surprise that our turnover, at less than 4%, is among the lowest in the industry. This allows our clients to work with the same teams on each subsequent project, improving quality, budgets and scheduled deliverables while building our client relationships and creating true long-term partnerships.

 

3. What have been some of the business benefits experienced by your organization as an outcome of creating a great workplace?

At Burns & McDonnell India, we’ve learned to harness the power of our team’s diversity. One of our biggest challenges with the diverse mindsets and needs of our employees was to take everyone — as a team — through a revival process and evolve together as “One Burns & McDonnell.” When we introduced our MacCulture Principles, the conversations required to establish these values involved bringing an open work culture, creating transparency in business goals, giving clarity in the career path of each individual and, most importantly, empowering our team to take the lead in all aspects of life. For each of our employees to champion these core values, they needed to engage in honest conversations with one another and leadership. This process was invaluable to our growth and ultimately allowed every employee to contribute toward the cultural transformation of Burns & McDonnell India into a Great Place to Work.

 

4.  Any advice to organizations starting the journey to create a great workplace.

Begin your journey as an inclusive organization and embrace the way your team’s differences enrich the way you see the world, your business and each other. Create an authentic connection with employees by being real and adopting a progressive approach. A positive company culture doesn’t happen overnight or on its own. You must intentionally shape the culture with shared core values and principles. As you develop these principles and nurture the growth of your employees, a strong culture will emerge that empowers employees to reach company goals and their individual goals, too.

 

5. In what way has participation in Great Place to Work® assessment and being recognized by the Institute helped your organization?

The Great Place to Work® assessment has not only put us on the map of India as a top firm to work for, but it has allowed us to take a deeper analysis of our culture. We have greatly benefitted from getting an in-depth view of things we are doing well and insight on how we can innovate or mend the things we need to improve.

 

Interview: SANGEETA PRASAD

Interview: KHUSHRU JIJINA

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