Sponsored by Avara Construction
“A Better Way To Build”—that’s the pledge of Avara Construction to its clientele. “A Better Way To Support” — that’s the promise of Avara’s management to its team members. The Redmond-based construction company has worked on innovative and creative commercial and retail projects throughout the region, including Eagleview Technologies, Thinkspace and Comcast’s headquarters.
The company prides itself on creating a win-win business environment that extends to its staff, who use words like “empowering,” “supportive” and “rewarding” to describe Avara’s culture. The company was recently recognized as one of the region’s best companies to work for by Seattle Business. The honor was a result of an anonymous employee survey.
Avara’s leadership team includes president Benjamin Petter, senior vice president Sam McGillis and vice president Jason Jensen.
“The culture we've developed is by far the most important aspect of our organization. We believe in taking care of our team and our partners, and providing them with a platform for success so that they have the tools necessary to prioritize the needs of our clients. People come to work excited to be part of the team and enthusiastic about our work. We hear often that this is the best job many of our teammates have ever had. We're excited for the future and for the opportunity to leverage our approach to improve the quality of lives for the people we work with.”
A large part of Avara’s culture, evidenced by survey responses, is leadership’s trust in its team.
“Avara empowers each employee to provide the best possible client experience. Everyone knows resources are available to ensure successful projects and voices their need for anything additional. Training is also available and scheduled to make sure we're all operating at the highest level, from computer skills to fieldwork. Opinions and new ideas are welcomed by upper management, and there is a strong open-door policy. We also have a fun corporate environment that's respectful of each other's preferences and personalities. We're a smaller company doing big things as a team,” says one survey respondent.
That trust provides its employees with a sense of ownership, notes another team member. “I was a self employed contractor for 17 years. The level of responsibility and freedom that Avara offers is as close to self-employment as I could imagine. I really feel a sense of ownership—that I am a stakeholder in the company.”
Survey respondents repeatedly pointed to Avara’s supportive work environment, which is both challenging and fulfilling. Writes one employee, “I love the company culture, including the work hard, play hard mentality. We get recognized for working hard and always have the opportunity to take on more.”
Another employee notes that each team member has a mission to make the company successful. “The office and field support each other 100%. They recognize they need support from one another and this is achieved by open communication. Plus it's a fun competitive culture. We all want to grow this company and work with people who we respect.”
Avara rewards its employees through competitive compensation and benefits and an environment that promotes diversity and education.
“Gender does not matter. The more talent you have, the work ethic you have and the drive you have to make this company successful translate to more money for the employee. I love the free market competition that allows your individual hard work to be rewarded. Anyone can come here and be successful,” notes one survey respondent.
Another employees says, “Avara offers all kinds of education that they pay for to help the employee be better (on company time) They have the best insurance any company can provide. They have proven to stick by and support employees with long-term illnesses. They pay top-rate wages and offer an outstanding 401k program. Company vehicle, gas card and credit card: I don't know how it gets any better!”
Of course when it comes to building a “Best Company to Work for,” work-life balance is always a consideration.
“I'm excited to get up every morning and work with any one of the employees that are a part of the Avara team! Because of that, my home life is so much healthier. There is something to be said about being able to go to work with a smile!” says one Avara employee.
Adds another, “Avara Construction is a company unlike any company I have worked for in my career. I have worked for many good companies, but I had never been fortunate enough to work for an organization that genuinely shows such a high regard for its team members. I had never been lucky enough to work for a company that clearly and recognizably cares about my professional growth, and actively works with me to achieve my goals. Never had I been blessed enough to work with a team of professionals that are in total support of one another to achieve together. Avara Construction is not just a ‘Best Company to Work For,’ it is far and away the ‘Best Company to Work For.’”