Highly flexible working conditions
Flexibility is characteristic of our business and always has been. We view it simply as part of modern work, and we treat our team members as the responsible, educated, and intelligent adults that they are. Because we have developed and published transparent, output-focused, and self-accountable measures for our team, we are able to allow for much higher levels of flexibility than is the norm. Such provisions include working from home (when and as much as our team members wish and with only as much notice as it takes to write a Slack message), total cloud computing accessibility (including Dropbox, Slack, and Office365), personal laptops, no dress code, and the freedom to attend to personal appointments during the workday.
108TEN 4-Day Workweeks
We created and implemented our 108TEN policy because our team was consistently achieving efficiencies upwards of 124%. It is the first policy of its kind (to the best of our extensive knowledge) for any field of a civil engineering company anywhere in the world. We pay our team members for 10 days a fortnight (five days a week), and they only have to work 8 of those days (four days a week) provided that they continue to produce TEN days’ worth of output. This is not a condensed-hours model. Rather, Tungsten is literally rewarding its team members with a 50% longer weekend, knocking off after each Thursday, as a reward for simply doing their jobs smartly and efficiently.
As another reward for results, we issue quarterly cash bonuses of up to 20% of team members’ gross annual salary. We have also created the Tungsten Shavings Scheme that is open to all team members who rack up five years of full-time tenure with us. As part of this scheme, our loyal team members own a portion of the company’s growth. By 2030, we aim to be up to 25% employee-owned, and up to 50% by 2040. Our team receives salary reviews annually that are completely transparent to the individual members. During the reviews, they are provided with current industry salary survey data and asked to put forward their salary review recommendations, and the firm is open and honest in return, explaining how the final salary review offer is calculated.
Well-being leave entitlements
We are big proponents of holistic health, which was, in fact, one of the main drivers behind the creation of the 108TEN policy. We view mental health as at least equal in importance to physical health and, as such, provide four annual well-being leave days to each team member. These days are typically planned a week or two in advance as mental rest days, though they can also be spontaneous down days on those rare occasions when team members simply feel that they aren’t mentally up to the task. No one besides you assesses your mental health for the well-being leave days, and we encourage all of our team members to take advantage of their full allotment of them.
Our world-class system is designed with performance enhancement in mind. Yes, it’s a great time to reflect, but our aim is to remain as forward-focused as possible. You may have been involved in some form of long-winded, laborious, boring, and undervalued KPI tick-and-flick in the past—well, this isn’t that, not even close. It’s not performance management or a performance review, either. Instead, through this systematic and structured forum, team members check in with their team leader and seek constructive feedback for performance enhancement, which then serves as the basis for developing an annual development plan with bi-monthly tasks and goals.
We have created platforms, targets, and measures to allow everyone to contribute to improvements in processes, systems, and templates. We know that the best ideas come from those doing the work and that effective change occurs from the bottom up. It may sound dramatic, but, to us, stagnation is death—just ask Kodak or Blockbuster. We hold Uber Eats-catered project-close-out meetings for every project at the completion of both the design and the construction. We capture the gold nuggets of wisdom and lessons learned, and we implement, improve, and alter our processes and systems to suit the circumstances. We also have a platform for daily, spontaneous peer-to-peer recognition that we use to acknowledge the contributions of individual team members. It is used widely amongst our team with over fifty individual recognitions on average monthly.
Our team members experience rapid career growth because we believe in the value of everyone knowing everything. You’ll be consistently but safely introduced to and involved in all aspects of design, documentation, site support, project management, client management, team leadership, and even business management. As an example, our engineers are able to design complete structures within just six months of graduating, to document complete structures after just twelve months, to lead projects after just two years, and to lead others after just three years. By that point, they are sufficiently competent (and then some) to be certified as CPEng.
Shape your role
Except in the formative years—when, we believe, it is highly beneficial for you to get a taste of everything—we do not have consistent role descriptions for everyone. Our preference is always to change the shape of the hole to fit the peg, so we tailor your role to suit your strengths and desires. Not keen on on-site inspections? No worries; others on the team love them. Rather not lead people? All good; others are natural-born leaders. Prefer not to be involved in industrial structures or to be paid for five days while working only four? Okay, well, sorry—we can’t really help you with that one!
We have well-documented processes for design, documentation, site support, project management, team leadership, business administration, and even business management. We believe that everything should run like clockwork and be produced with consistency and as little effort as possible. For further clarity, we have prepared documents that outline our minimum performance standards and the expectations for all team members, team leaders, and project managers. We have also prepared a cultural code of conduct and a full list of the professional and technical capabilities towards which team members at all of the various levels can strive. Lastly, but importantly, we each know the individual financial objectives of our roles and what it takes for us to maintain our wealth of opportunities.
Complete business transparency
The manner in which we run our business and the results that we achieve are no secret to our team members. To play on the field, to make a valuable contribution, and to win the game, you need the scoreboard to be completely transparent. We keep our team informed of our direction by circulating a two-year business strategy. We also publish the upcoming twelve-month financial targets and our monthly results. This way, all team members have line of sight and can calculate how their quarterly bonuses are tracking. We have a centralised document of current and historical monthly sales figures and software that displays current and historical project financial results for all to see. Our team members are informed of the upcoming project opportunities in our pipeline on a weekly basis, and their work schedules are programmed and published weekly as well.