David Weekley Homes, PulteGroup, Tri Pointe Homes, and Toll Brothers have been included in the Fortune Best Workplaces in Construction list for large companies with more than 1,000 employees. The builders earned distinction as Best Workplaces in Construction based on employee responses to 60 employee experience questions within the Great Place to Work Trust Index survey.
“We are honored to be included on the inaugural Best Workplaces in Construction and are proud of the colleagues who make our organization great,” says Michelle Hairston, senior vice president of human resources at PulteGroup, the second-ranked company on the Best Workplaces list. “This recognition is a great acknowledgment of the investment that we have made through programs and benefits to support everyone in our organization.”
According to the survey, more than 85% of employees at the four builders reported their company was a great place to work, compared with 57% of employees at a typical U.S. company. More than 90% of employees at Toll Brothers, ranked seventh on the Best Workplaces in Construction list, said employees are given “a lot of responsibility,” management is “honest and ethical,” and new employees are made to feel welcome in the organization. In addition to its recognition as a Best Workplace in Construction, PulteGroup ranked third in People’s Companies that Care 2022 list, 33rd among Best Large Workplaces for Millennials 2022, and 43rd in the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for 2022.
Heather Breidenthal, chief human resources officer at Tri Pointe Homes, ranked fifth on the list, says the combination of a people-first approach and the impact of leadership makes the builder a great place to work.
“The company’s close-knit family culture and consistent investment in the human factor is what makes Tri Pointe Homes unique and a great place to work. It invests in the strength of its team—innovative ideas, personal passion, and innate emotional intelligence—and orchestrates various internal human touch points to review progress, workflows, areas of professional growth, and opportunities to do things smarter, better, and faster,” Breidenthal says. “The company believes that perseverance and teamwork wins the day and achieves outstanding results through the open exchange of information, shared successes, and working as a force for good in every community it serves.”
Robert Hefner, vice president of human resources at David Weekley Homes, Fortune’s top-ranked larger workplace in construction, says the company’s employees are the foundation to both current and future success, making employee satisfaction a top concern. Happy and loyal employees, Hefner says, leads directly to happy and loyal customers and, in turn, greater profitability.
Breidenthal says Tri Pointe has learned that employees have “amazing potential” when they are trusted, empowered, have pride in their work, and enjoy the people they work with.
“When people are empowered to do their best work every day, are truly supported and appreciated by leadership, and are surrounded by great team members, amazing things happen,” Breidenthal says. “Ultimately, they care more about their work and how it impacts others. They choose to give discretionary, extra effort that impacts and shows up in better products, services, and experiences.”
Hefner says a culture built on frequent, candid, and purposeful communication with team members allows all employees to find satisfaction in their job.
“Every team member in the company has a regular ‘Planned Encounter’ with their manager that allows the team member to discuss anything that is important to them,” Hefner says. “This also allows for the team member and manager to build a relationship that goes beyond just discussing job-related items. It’s about genuinely getting to know one another and staying connected.”
Tri Pointe Homes and David Weekley Homes both utilize annual team member surveys to gain insight on employee sentiment and experiences. Both builders say the review process is almost as important as conducting the surveys, as it allows leadership to identify areas of improvement and implement initiatives to target areas identified by employees.
“The real work comes from the feedback that our team members share with us,” Hefner says. “Depending on the results, we get the appropriate team members involved to work together to make improvements. While no company is perfect, we strive very hard to create an environment where team members’ voices are listened to and their ideas are implemented.”
According to Breidenthal, communication is the most important aspect of managing and tracking employee satisfaction. Communication includes providing employees with an environment where they feel comfortable sharing feedback and developing a system that implements suggestions to make employees feel valued.
“The role [of every leadership team member] should be to empower and support their teams through listening, removing roadblocks, and improving processes and experiences,” Breidenthal says. “Surveying and responding can be very helpful as well, and being able to bifurcate survey responses by work group is important, as subcultures exist even when team members’ experiences are tethered to shared company values.”
Hefner says beyond communication, company culture is essential to fostering an environment where employees feel happy, satisfied, and challenged as well as valued by the larger organization.
“It is important for any company to recognize that communication and candor are nonnegotiables,” Hefner says. “They are part of building relationships, and this means that everyone at every level of the organization must be active participants in the process.”