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Architecture & Engineering Firms

5 A&E Industry Highlights with PSMJ

Posted on November 8, 2022 by

Kevin Johns

Kevin Johns

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A&E Industry HighlightsIf you own an architecture or engineering firm, it’s important to stay current on the latest trends impacting your industry. Since changes are occurring rapidly, it may be difficult to keep up with the latest shifts in this space. We’ve gathered some key insights that stood out to us during the PSMJ THRIVE Conference to help put you on a path of success. 

1. The competition for talent is unrelenting.

While only 15% of people may be actively looking for a job, industry experts say 75% of the workforce is disengaged from their employer. Factors like the labor shortage, remote work environments, and employee demands complicate things even further. When there isn’t enough talent to go around, retaining your high-performing team members is critical.

2. Culture is the key to retention.

Over 60% of employees say culture matters to them. Take time to consider what this means. Culture should not be measured by big corporate events, but rather by the small things your firm does every day. When asked about a firm’s culture, the response is often we have a “great” culture. Don’t settle for a response of “great”. What makes it great? How is this being reinforced? Strive to have a unique culture that reinforces your values. 

3. Don’t overthink finding your next generation of leadership. 

Your firm’s next leader doesn’t necessarily have to be the smartest person in the room. Who does the staff naturally follow? Who does everyone want to have lunch with? Who has taken a leadership role in a local non-profit? Who signs up for leadership training regardless of their schedule? You may be surprised that the same names come up repeatedly.  

4. What goes up must come down.

You probably learned this years ago in science class. This principle also holds true for the economy—which has been relatively strong for the past decade prior to the pandemic. How can you best position your firm for inflation/recession? 

  • Do not take on work with compromised fees  
  • Be selective in long-term, guaranteed projects  
  • Remember that recessions are great for recruiting 

 5. The pandemic did not change work by itself.

Although it may seem like the pandemic was solely responsible for disrupting work as we know it, some of these changes were already underway. Here are three major shifts that have been accelerated due to the pandemic. 

  • “Winning” has been redefined. Only 1% to 5% of the workforce wants to have a career like their predecessor. 
  • Work has shifted from “place” to “space.” The space must meet your team’s definition of community. 
  • Collaboration is key. For high engagement, it is no longer my way or your way; but our way.  

Continue the Conversation 

If you would like to chat about these trends or any other changes impacting architecture or engineering firms, please reach out. Let’s discuss the trends you are tracking at your firm.  

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Kevin Johns


Kevin leads the firm's architecture & engineering group, helping entrepreneurial owners build a better blueprint for growth.

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