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Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

2010 Most Admired Companies Winners – Leadership Excellence

The Leadership Excellence category recognizes that great companies have great leaders who share knowledge and inspire employees and the community.

Winner: Sundt Construction
Category: Leadership Excellence
Headquarters: Tempe
Year Est.: 1890
No. of Employees in AZ: 850
Recent Award: Associated General Contractors of America’s Excellence in Education Award – 2009

www.sundt.com | Twitter


video by Sonoran Studios

The leadership of Sundt Construction is familiar and long standing. Sundt is 100 percent employee owned, its board has just three outside directors, and Chairman and CEO, J. Doug Pruitt, has been with the company since 1966.

Within the past decade, Sundt has developed two leadership development programs for employees. Started in 2000, LEAP, or Leadership Excellence Accelerates Performance, has graduated more than 150 employees. Most of the graduates of the LEAP program are now in middle- or senior-management positions at Sundt. START, or Sundt Talent Recognition and Training, began in 2004. Since then, it has provided leadership development for almost 80 “early career” employees.

Sundt’s Strategic Management Committee includes representatives from all operating divisions and support departments. This committee has several important tasks, including the annual development of a tactical plan for each department and operating unit, and quarterly progress reporting on each unit’s tactical plan. The committee involves employees from all over the company in the decision-making process for all units and departments.

Sundt has won the Association for Strategic Planning’s Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award for large, for-profit companies. The company won for its efforts in strengthening the importance and performance of strategic planning, and for fostering continuing excellence in the field.

In addition to its in-house leadership, Sundt employees give their time and energy to several local and national organizations, including the Associated Minority Contractors of America, the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Institute of Contractors.




SCF Arizona Tower

Finalist: SCF Arizona
Category: Leadership Excellence
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1925
No. of Employees in AZ: 531
Recent Award: Equality Arizona’s Corporate Citizen of the Year – 2008

www.scfaz.com | Facebook | Twitter

The leadership at SCF Arizona has stood up to the tough economic times, which has proven be a powerful asset to SCF’s employees. SCF has made budget cuts to ensure that the company wasn’t forced to lay off a single employee.

SCF’s President and CEO, Don Smith, is a major part of this leadership. Smith joined SCF Arizona 10 years ago, and has been the driving force behind changing SCF’s workplace culture for the better. Smith stresses to employees that SCF is a vital economic engine to Arizona, and its employees are vital contributors to the quality of customer service SCF provides. Smith tells employees that being active members of their community is important professionally — and he leads by example. Smith has served on the boards of several Valley organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross.




McMurry

Finalist: McMurry
Category: Leadership Excellence
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1984
No. of Employees in AZ: 103
Recent Award: Great Place to Work Institute and Society for Human Resource Management’s Best Small Company to Work for in America award – 2009

www.mcmurry.com | Facebook | Twitter

McMurry’s leadership excellence started with Preston McMurry Jr., founder of McMurry, but it hasn’t ended there. Preston McMurry’s dedication to the values he started the company with is evident in his position as “Corporate Values Shepherd.” He speaks to employees four times a year about the values-based system the company runs on, so all employees can understand the importance of McMurry’s values.

Preston’s son, Chris McMurry, is now CEO and takes his leadership role just as seriously as his father did. Chris has taken the company from custom publishing to a full-service marketing communications firm. He also makes sure that his employees are satisfied with the company. He surveys the staff with the Best/Worst and Teamwork surveys. He also solicits staff opinions through his blog, “Conversations with Chris.” Through McMurry’s leadership, employees are invited to be innovative and are rewarded for their efforts.



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Arizona's Most Admired Companies November-December 2010

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Human Resources: New Program Will Reward Companies On Their Core Values

“Successful companies work closely with their management teams and employees … ”

As the economy begins to rebound, companies are looking at how they can maintain a competitive advantage. They want to make sure they can hang onto the best and brightest employees once hiring starts ramping up again. Many successful companies will rely on their strong employment brand — their corporate culture and values system — to help keep employees engaged in good times and bad. Is your company prepared?

In January, the business consulting firm BestCompaniesAZ and Arizona Business Magazine launched a new award program called Arizona’s Most Admired Companies. Unlike other award programs that reward based on growth or revenue metrics, Most Admired Companies will showcase businesses that demonstrate core values. The program will honor Arizona-based companies across the state based on employee, customer and community opinions. Public, private, government and nonprofit organizations with 50 or more employees are eligible to participate. Winners will be announced at an awards reception this fall, with their profiles published in Arizona Business and online at www.BestCompaniesAZ.com.

In selecting Arizona’s Most Admired Companies, four critical areas will be evaluated:

Workplace culture:

Successful companies work closely with their management teams and employees to establish a clear set of corporate values and a shared vision. By doing so, they create a positive corporate culture that drives the company’s direction.

Leadership excellence:

The quality of a leadership team can make or break a company. Dynamic leaders will embrace, support and promote desired corporate values, vision and culture. They also will connect effectively with their employees to ensure that all members of the team are properly trained, motivated and empowered to carry out their jobs. Research has established the positive effect a strong leadership team has on increased productivity, higher rates of employee satisfaction and better overall financial performance.

Corporate and social responsibility:

Many companies are actively involved in the community and help give back in both time and money. Getting involved with charitable organizations is a great way to share a company’s success and introduce a company to the community as one that truly cares.

Customer service:

It all starts with how a company treats its employees, and this carries through to what customers think about an organization. The Most Admired Companies program will look at what customers are saying about a company’s employees and service levels.

Here are some ways to learn more about and become involved with Arizona’s Most Admired Companies program:
  • Self nominate your company or a company you most admire.
  • Discuss with your employees why you are participating in this state program and involve them in the application process.
  • Celebrate your success by providing employees with feedback when the results come in. Whether you land on the list or not, you will capture essential information that warrants celebrating. Just by participating in this program, you are making a statement to your employees that you care and are committed to creating a most admired company and culture.

The marketing and branding of your company is not a start-and-stop process. Granted, tough times create tighter budgets, but that’s when successful companies find unique opportunities to keep the momentum going — such as being recognized as one of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies. Use this time to think and plan strategically. The best companies will weather the storm and continue to promote their employees, company and product brands, keeping them top of mind and ahead of the competition. When the economy turns around, you’ll be well positioned to attract the best and brightest customers and employees.