5 Ways to Create a Culture That Attracts New Employees

Discover Unanet’s top five tips to create a company culture that will attract and retain top talent in AE.

5 minute read

We’ve all seen the think pieces – the Great Resignation is here. Workers across all industries are exiting their positions en masse, creating labor shortages and a host of other challenges for businesses. In a recent report, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics stated the number of private sector employees to quit reached 4.3 million in December 2021 – an all-time high.

Particularly in a highly skilled field like Architecture & Engineering (AE), even just one employee’s departure can grind workflows and projects to a halt while you recruit and train their replacement – not to mention the effect on company culture losing a treasured member of the team. The takeaway from all of this seems obvious – worker expectations, like those of their customers, are changing. People are holding their workplaces up to a higher standard, but rather than see this as a roadblock, companies should use it as an opportunity to differentiate. Creating a culture built around respect, appreciation, and passion not only benefits all of your employees, but it also improves performance and, ultimately, your bottom line.

The question is – where do you start? Read on to discover Unanet’s top five tips to create a company culture that will attract and retain top talent in AE.

  1. Create a solid mission statement

    The first place to start when defining your company culture is your mission statement. Far from just an obligatory paragraph on your website, your mission statement is often a prospective hire’s first introduction to what your values are and whether they would be a good fit. In fact, according to G2, 79 percent of job seekers consider a company’s mission statement before applying.

    So, how do you create a mission statement that will stand out and attract talent? Begin by determining what your company’s core beliefs are – are you committed to transparency, community outreach, or diversity and inclusion? Does your company act like a tight-knit family or more of a structured corporate environment? If you’re unsure how to answer these questions, ask your current employees and customers.

    The tone of your mission statement can also communicate your company’s personality, which can be another signal to prospective hires that your business is a match. Think about whether you want to come across as conversational or formal and to-the-point, and if you want to include some humor or pathos to further connect to your desired audience. Regardless of your unique business atmosphere and core values, it’s crucial to take this step in clarifying them for anyone looking to potentially join your company.

  2. Remember employee birthdays

    An oldie but a goodie – acknowledging employee birthdays is a great way to show your staff you care. The AE industry in particular is built around relationships, meaning these types of personal gestures are key to help your company stand out and attract top talent.

    However, with so many employees, contractors, and subcontractors, it can be difficult to remember everything. That’s why Unanet CRM for AE lets you easily keep track of both employee and client birthdays. Within our Personnel module, AE firms can store all of your employee information in one place, including their birthday, contact details, credentials, and recent projects. When you’re working with so many different people, this added context can help you put faces to names and personalize birthday messages.

    For more information on the importance of celebrating employee birthdays, check out our ENR article.

  3. Outline a clear career progression model

    One of the main reasons why people leave jobs is that they are not progressing at the rate or trajectory they had imagined for themselves. This often comes down to a communication issue. Either the employer overpromises, fails to share a career progression model at all, or does not set up strong enough communication channels where the employee can express their goals.

    Avoid these issues by clearly establishing a system for how and when employees can rise through the ranks and following through with it. Are you automatically up for a promotion each year, or is it on the employee to initiate that conversation? Leaving these questions unanswered at the hiring phase can lead to confusion and resentment down the line or lead top talent to turn down the job in the first place.

    Another aspect to consider alongside your career progression model is how you are going to help your employees rise through it. It’s important to create learning opportunities where employees can expand their skillset and grow over time.

    Whatever your policies and systems are for career progression, share them with employees during the hiring process to promote transparency and trust.

  4. Host employee celebrations

    Nothing makes employees feel more appreciated than celebrating their work among peers. There are a multitude of ways for an employer to celebrate their staff. Whether in-person or virtual, consider hosting regular events to honor specific milestones or accomplishments. For instance, you could start an annual awards ceremony with categories like highest sales or best attitude. Company retreats and fun events outside the office are also great rewards for a job well done.

    Beyond events or activities, you can also let the broader world know when your employees are doing something right by posting their achievements on your blog or social channels. This method can also help with attracting top talent, since it is outward-facing and accessible by the public.

    Besides making your employees feel good, celebrating staff achievements also inspires everyone to perform at a higher level, since they see tangible rewards for going the extra mile. If you don’t know what method of celebration to choose, you can always ask your employees what they would prefer.

  5. Eliminate mundane tasks

    Another way to attract and retain talent is letting your employees focus on the work they are most passionate about. No one got into Architecture & Engineering so they could deal with a headache every time they submit a timesheet or invoice. Seek out technologies that can streamline these business operations so your staff can spend their time on the work that matters most.

    Unanet ERP for AE gives users the power to seamlessly submit time sheets, expenses, and invoices in one simplified dashboard. At the same time, employees can easily access project information in context to eliminate time spent digging through emails and spreadsheets to find an answer on something.

    With disruptive, digitally-native companies popping up every day in the AE industry, sticking to inefficient legacy systems could cause top employees to take their talents elsewhere. That’s why it’s critical to eliminate mundane tasks wherever possible across your organization.


No matter the specific size or makeup of your AE firm, attracting and retaining top talent is a key ingredient to business success, particularly in today’s world of mass resignation and labor shortages. Stay ahead of competitors by creating a work culture that values its employees’ accomplishments and time – whether it’s through core values, technology, or simple gestures that show your staff you care.

Unanet ERP for Architects and Engineers

Unanet is a leading provider of ERP solutions. More than 3,200 project-driven organizations depend on Unanet to turn their information into actionable insights, drive better decision-making, and nurture business growth.

Unanet AE ERP is purpose-built for Architecture & Engineering firms and offers a powerful combination of Project Management, Business Intelligence, Time and Expense Tracking, Financials, and Integration tools in one single source to run your business more effectively. Powerful and customizable analytic dashboards allow organizations to gain greater visibility and control, analyze data and trends in real time, interact dynamically with their data, and drive their business forward.