The innovative design techniques that went into London’s Blackwall tunnel back in 1897 earned Alexander Binnie a knighthood. They also set exceptionally high standards for the next 100 years for Binnie & Partners, the engineering consultancy firm that merged with the Black & Veatch Group in 1995. Despite the name change and growth (the group employs 9,000 staff worldwide), Black & Veatch Consulting (B&V) is keen to preserve its tradition, and maintain the atmosphere of a smaller company in its 16 offices in the UK, with the main site at Redhill in Surrey. B&V specialises in water supply and waste water collection and disposal, as well as environmental management, energy and communications, information solutions, safety and risk management, and geotechnical engineering. Staff like the fact that the company they work for makes a positive difference to the world, and at 77% it achieved the 10th-most positive score for this question. Company principles are broken down into three areas: business, values (including respect for the natural world, an environmental goal that employees strongly support), and to challenge.
Staff are given responsibility to run their own areas of speciality, which contributes to a feeling of being part of the company’s success (78%). Stress levels are under control: B&V has the 10th best score for employees not feeling exhausted when they got home, and only 18% say their health has suffered because of work. Development leaders are assigned to all staff to act as third-party representatives of their personal, work and career interests. Everybody has 90-day development reviews, an annual appraisal and salary review which is linked to a performance-related element of pay, recently worth £500 to £3,000 for 5% of staff. Above and Beyond awards are worth £250 for excellent performance outside the scope of normal work, introducing a new recruit gets £500, and having a technical paper published reaps a £100 reward.
Any reasonable application for paid time off to do charitable work will be considered. An employee recently went to Iraq with the Territorial Army on this basis. B&V is also a patron of the humanitarian charities RedR and Habitat for Humanity, and matches employees’ personal charitable donations.
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