We are Stanley Martin Homes, the largest privately-held builder in the DC Metro Market, and what do you think is our starting strategy for success? The answer – building, but not in the way you would think.
“Build the Best Team” is the first of Stanley Martin’s six strategies for success. We give this task top priority because we know our employees directly affect customers, value, and costs. We see our employees as the solid foundation on which our operations depend.
So how have we been doing? Our average retention rate for the last three years is 82% and the average tenure of Stanley Martin employees is 4.7 years. These numbers infer good retention, but what does good retention actually look like?
Step into headquarters and you would learn that most of our employees have been with us at least five years, creating a culture of inter-departmental camaraderie. Our departments are under one roof, so our Land Acquisition team is only a short walk away from advisement from our Land Engineering department and our decision makers in Architecture – a walk that is often taken, I might add. Suite 200 in Reston is a platform of communication by which employees’ knowledge about the business is expanded through teamwork and our open-door policy.
Collaboration is at its best when employees stick around. We focus on attracting the best team members; finding exceptional training and development programs; and creating an environment that results in excellent retention. We would rather hire the right people, rather than the right experience. As a result, we often find that our own employees are the best people for new jobs and promote from within whenever possible. Just ask any back-office staff member if they started here as a Receptionist; six would say yes – including our Director of Accounting.
We believe in helping our employees achieve higher levels of performance through training and career development and partner with people to create individual development plans. We feel that what is good for the employee is good for the company. We mindfully invest in the right technology to enhance our workplace, whether it’s top-of-the-line copy machine replacements or getting iPhones for all of our construction managers.
Stanley Martin also embraces a wellness program and a number of free employee benefits – and not just 401k matching, holiday parties, and the employee discount. Perks include free supply of fresh fruit and healthy snacks all week, bi-weekly corporate massages, yoga sessions, chili cook-offs, and prizes for participation in sales-driven scavenger hunts.
When employees were asked in our 2012 Annual Employee Survey to anonymously agree or disagree the following statement: “Stanley Martin is an excellent place to work,” not one could disagree. Stanley Martin is a great place to work, which is just what you would expect from a company that puts its employees first in its strategic plan.