How One AEC Firm Is Leading Organizational Change

February 11, 2021

In a recent Deltek Tech Talk, Florence Sterlin, President of DB Sterlin Consultants, shared how she is leading organizational change at her multi-discipline engineering and consulting firm. Sterlin showcased how DB Sterlin Consultants transformed the challenges of remote working into opportunities to improve employee engagement and implement new strategies for learning and development. DB Sterlin Consultants utilized Deltek Talent Management to make many of these changes, positively impacting employee retention and engagement and creating a culture of continuous feedback.


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Here are four ways DB Sterlin Consultants created organizational change to embrace remote working and engage their dispersed teams.

1. Create a Culture of Continuous Feedback

Like many architecture, engineering and consulting (AEC) firms, DB Sterlin Consultants moved their team to remote working at the onset of the pandemic, reducing the number of face-to-face meetings employees had with their supervisors. To ensure regular and consistent communication, DB Sterlin Consultants implemented ongoing continuous feedback to connect employees with their supervisors on a quarterly basis to review accomplishments and areas for improvement.

They also implemented employee succession plans and created career ladders so that employees could determine what they needed to do in order to grow their careers. A few employees went back to school and they wanted to find out how that might help them in their career. “Having conversations with employees has been great because we learned they are hungry for knowledge, want to grow in their careers, and increase their engagement,” said Sterlin. She added, “You really need a good Talent Management solution to do this. With all of us working at various locations it’s not something we could do without a good tool like Deltek Talent Management.”

2. Establish New Roles that Fuel Your Strategy

Sterlin heard about the concept of creating a Knowledge Manager Role at a Knowledge Architecture conference. They defined the role as one point of contact who makes sure the data flows effectively throughout the organization. “We created this role so that the person can determine the movement of the data throughout all of our systems, including Deltek Talent Management and our Deltek Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution,” said Sterlin. Sterlin says this role is the company’s firefighter because she figures out the steps in the process and takes care of any challenges.

Learn how DB Sterlin Consultants transformed the challenges of remote working into opportunities to improve employee engagement and implement new strategies for learning and development. This AEC firm implemented continuous feedback and fun and innovative ways to engage employees, bringing together their multi-generational, dispersed teams.

3. Collaborate as Think Partners

DB Sterlin Consultants has established a Think Partners Program to connect and engage their multigenerational workforce rather than utilizing traditional mentorship methodologies. The goal is to improve team collaboration and processes because both parties have something to share. The program connects employees across the firm to work together as partners. Sterlin explains, “We empower the junior employee to talk to the senior employee about better ways to do things while the senior employee mentors the junior employee. This especially applies to how we use the Deltek software systems since they are so customizable and feedback helps us improve our processes.” Sterlin adds, “In every role, it’s important to look at ‘Is this the best way to handle this?’”

4. Create Fun and Innovative Ways to Engage Employees

Employees at DB Sterlin Consultants are able to participate in a variety of remote team building activities. From lunch in Paris to making homemade spaghetti, the firm has offered a variety of fun and interactive activities to keep employees connected in the comfort of their homes. “The employees that participate really enjoy it and it gives them a chance to engage,” says Sterlin. “We went walking around Paris remotely, and it was like actually being in Paris!”

DB Sterlin Consultants also makes time for informal conversations, like asking each other, “What are you binge watching on NetFlix?” They sent out chocolates and popcorn to employees since they had to cancel the holiday party and gave everyone the week of Christmas off to spend time with their families. “We’re all going through this together and our philosophy is all the little things add up,” said Sterlin.

About DB Sterlin Consultants

DB Sterlin Consultants is a multi-discipline engineering and consulting firm founded in 1997. They are a full-service transportation consulting and design firm specializing in highways, bridges/structures, airports, utilities, railways, tunnels and public sewer and water, offering consulting services to the private and public sectors in a wide range of disciplines. DB Sterlin Consultants uses Deltek Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Deltek Talent Management to manage their firm’s people and profits.

About Deltek Talent Management

Your people are the heart of your business, and AEC firms are seeing just how important it is to keep teams at the forefront of their business strategy. Many AEC firms are adopting a culture of transparency with open communication, increased collaboration, and continuous feedback to counteract the challenges associated with remote working, while offering new opportunities for growth and development.

Acquire, develop and retain the high performers that help you successfully deliver even more value on your projects with Deltek Talent Management. Eliminate manual processes and disconnected systems, saving time while boosting employee productivity and company profitability.