Celebrate good times

Jul 31, 2022

Kyle Ahern

Best Firms To Work For and Hot Firms continue to distinguish themselves in a highly competitive industry.

"Celebrate good times, come on!” Zweig Group’s award winners have been announced, and what an impressive group we have again this year. Our award winners are leading the industry in workplace practices, revenue growth, client experience, and marketing campaigns. It is an exciting time as we celebrate all of these amazing firms and all they are doing for the industry!

Zweig Group’s Best Firms To Work For Award celebrates top AEC firms based on workplace practices, benefits, retention rates, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the data from the Best Firm’s To Work For winners:

  • Ninety percent of winners have seen revenues grow annually over the last three years. Thirty-five percent of those firms have been fast-growth firms, meaning they have grown by at least 20 percent annually over the last three years. Seventy-six percent of BFTWF are high or very high profit firms, meaning they have an annual profit of more than 10 percent. Creating outstanding workplaces is definitely paying off for these firms financially. Take care of your employees and they will take care of you.
  • One very hot topic has been how firms handle work from home or flexible work schedules. Seventy-five percent of BFTWF offer flextime/flexible work hours for all staff. Half of all firms offer telecommuting for all staff.
  • Open-book management is something we believe very strongly in and practice at Zweig Group. Financial information and the firm’s strategic plan are shared with everyone at the firm. Seventy-six percent of all BFTWF share a working strategic business plan with all staff and 88 percent share the firm’s revenue data firm-wide at least annually. Employee sentiment around financial information sharing has trended in the right direction over the last few years as well.
  • Forty-one percent of employees say culture is the most important to their work experience, followed by compensation and professional development. Project management, leadership, and people management were the top three training areas most important to people development over the next two years.
  • Overall, employee sentiment was slightly down from last year’s record highs. Satisfaction with out-of-pocket medical expenses saw the sharpest decrease and fell below pre-pandemic levels. Employees’ sub-par work being addressed also saw a significant decrease. Hopefully we will see scores rebound in 2023.

Zweig Group’s Hot Firm List recognizes the 100 fastest-growing AEC firms in the United States and Canada. This year’s winners had another banner year for gross revenue growth:

  • The average Hot Firm grew by just shy of $36 million from the end of 2018 through 2021, which is an increase of just over $6 million over last year’s list. The average percentage revenue growth this year is 81 percent, down slightly from last year’s 85 percent.
  • Fifty-one percent of all Hot Firms had merged with or acquired another firm in the past three years. That is up slightly from 49 percent a year ago. Eight out of the top 10 firms had merged with or acquired another firm in the last three years. This is right on par with last year. We are seeing an ever increasing trend of firms utilizing M&A as part of their growth strategy.

Best Firms To Work For and Hot Firms continue to distinguish themselves in a highly competitive industry by taking care of their employees and striving for tremendous growth. Their data helps us gain insight into the industry, but we also enjoy celebrating all that these firms do to "elevate the industry!" We look forward to highlighting them at the Elevate AEC Conference & Awards Gala in Las Vegas! 

Kyle Ahern is awards manager at Zweig Group. Contact him at kahern@zweiggroup.com.

2022 ElevateAEC Conference & Awards Gala Registration is open for the annual in-person conference in Las Vegas, September 14-16. Celebrate the iconic black-tie awards gala 2022 winners of the Hot Firm list, Best Firms To Work For, Marketing Excellence, Rising Stars, Top New Ventures and the Jerry Allen Courage In Leadership Awards. Register now for the AEC industry’s top in-person learning and networking event of the year!

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About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.