Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

BuroHappold employees praise ‘refreshing’ company values initiative

International engineering consultancy gives all 1,800 employees a voice on its values through peer to peer advice platform, Rungway

BuroHappold, the international, integrated engineering consultancy, has used peer to peer advice platform, Rungway, to engage all its employees and seek feedback on what is important to them.

BuroHappold Engineering operates in 23 locations worldwide, with over 50 partners and 1,800 employees including some of the world’s leading consulting engineers. The company prides itself on having a shared purpose and wanted to have its employees help evolve its values to fully support the culture and strategic direction of the business.

Following input from numerous stakeholders, BuroHappold defined a new set of company values, and engaged its employees to give feedback on them through Rungway’s platform.

Allowing BuroHappold to set each of its potential fifteen values as a question on the platform, Rungway’s functionality let employees provide written feedback on each value, giving all employees – regardless of location or seniority – the opportunity to have their say and speak up.

Unlike other workplace tools, Rungway allows employees to respond publicly or anonymously, making feedback honest and giving the company true insight into the thoughts and feelings of its workforce.

Neil Squibbs, CEO at BuroHappold, said “I believe that people are drawn to BuroHappold because of our unique culture, shared purpose and common beliefs. The feedback they have given us is that Rungway enabled us to ensure all our people had a voice in the evolution of the firm going forward, and most of all, felt a valued part of the process.”

Misti Melville, HR Director at BuroHappold, “We strive for our HR tools to be at the forefront of design and technology. This is the first time in BuroHappold’s history that so many employees took part in influencing culture. The Rungway platform meant the development of the values wasn’t just a top down exercise, but had genuine input from everyone, right across the globe.”

With high engagement and participation across all its regions, Rungway provided BuroHappold with key insights on which potential values were the most or least supported, broken down by gender, length of service and generation.

Both positive and critical feedback were captured and fed back into the final agreed value statements, and employees were also able to suggest new values they felt better reflected the organisation’s ethos.

Julie Chakraverty, Rungway Founder and Chief Executive, added “Inviting employees to speak up in a way that they feel safe to do so – anonymously if they wish – is helping BuroHappold to build a stronger and more cohesive culture. BuroHappold has broken out of the echo chamber, where we pay most attention to views similar to our own, and has really given power to the individuals and varying views across the company. Moreover, BuroHappold has bolstered its reputation as a great employer and is receiving a positive response from its employees.”

Refreshing for employees

The project generated constructive participant feedback, including one US employee talking about Rungway in a Glassdoor review. It reads, “Management asks for and listens to feedback, they respond – very refreshing. An app has been introduced for feedback and discussion.”

Other participants commented, “I'm appreciating the inclusion on defining our values!” and “I think this is an excellent initiative. We clearly can't all fit in one cafe or pub, and it's great to be able to share our views in this way. Maybe best to think of the app as an inclusive, accessible, virtual digital pub. Beer and peanuts optional.”

BuroHappold is moving forward with their new business vision and continues to utilise Rungway to let everyone have a voice or seek advice without judgement on issues that are important to them. Topics raised have included questions on business strategy, wellbeing, more effective teamwork and office culture.