Gaskins + LeCraw aims to fulfill our vision of being a preferred employer by offering competitive compensation and benefits as well as fun and supportive activities. It is our goal for each of our employees to be healthy and happy, not only as professionals but also as individuals. One major way that we ensure the mental and physical well-being of our employees is through our Personal Development department, which is managed by Brad Willoughby. Brad has worked for Gaskins + LeCraw since January of 2023, and offers valuable insight into the ways our company helps our employees thrive.
Brad has always enjoyed helping others, which inspired him to take this position. His responsibilities include supporting and cultivating the values of the company to build a healthy culture and engaging employees in teams through multiple efforts such as visiting offices and job sites, attending team meetings, and offering encouragement to employees. He also takes individuals and teams out for meals, initiates and participates in team building events, and is involved with community service projects and office fundraisers. Brad’s favorite part of the job is meeting one-on-one with people and hearing their stories. He believes that Gaskins + LeCraw has some incredible people, and he enjoys hearing about their lives. He also loves to host off-site events and see people interact with each other.
Brad has been working on hosting activities for each office since joining the team. As of the publishing of this article, he has taken our Newnan and Canton offices on bowling outings, treated the Marietta field staff and engineers to brewery visits, and taken the Lawrenceville office on a trip to TopGolf. He has plans for activities with the Duluth office in the upcoming weeks and will finish up with a painting class for the firmwide Human Resources and Operations staff. More events like these are in store for employees, as well as activities such as clay shooting and fishing trips. Additionally, Brad will be working with a team to host classes on various relevant topics throughout the year. He says that he is always open to suggestions from employees on what type of activities they would like to participate in.
Although Brad thoroughly enjoys his work, it is not without challenges. He is tasked with overcoming timing and schedule conflicts by remaining flexible and arranging his schedule to maximize opportunities. His position is also relatively new, so he knows that it will take time to adjust and see results. However, he can already tell a difference in the satisfaction of Gaskins + LeCraw employees compared to those who work for companies that do not have a Personal Development Manager. He says, “The ones who have utilized my position have expressed gratitude for Gaskins + LeCraw for creating my role. I hope over time many will see the value of the position.”
It is important to Gaskins + LeCraw that each of our employees’ decision-making processes are guided by our core values. These values are Leading by Example, Excellence Every Day, Live with Integrity, Love Like Family, Knowledge and Continued Learning, Strong Work Ethic and Exemplary Work, Client Service, and Community Service. Brad ensures that all his strategies are inspired by these values. He says, “The Gaskins + LeCraw core values provide a foundation to stand on. I know that by aligning with them, I will be successful. It is also imperative that they are modeled daily to all co-workers I encounter.”
According to Brad, his position sets our company apart from others that talk about values, but don’t do what is necessary to build them into their culture. He thinks most companies care about their employees, but the unfortunate reality is that everybody is busy and employee care can “slide down” on the priority list. Many companies are also not equipped adequately to care for their employees. Gaskins + LeCraw has always strived to do an incredible job of taking care of their people. By creating his position, we have designated someone full-time to better meet the needs of our employees.
For companies that strongly desire becoming a better place to work, Brad has the following advice: “From an emotional level, get to know them and support them. Show you care. I just finished a book by Patrick Lencioni called ‘The Truth About Employee Engagement.’ He says [that] you must eliminate anonymity, irrelevance, and ‘immeasurement’ (a word the author uses to describe an employee’s lack of clear means of assessing their progress or success on the job). From a daily perspective, understand and appreciate your employees for their unique qualities. Help them see the connection between their work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people. Give employees a clear way to gauge their progress and level of contribution.”