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Culture by Design

The Thoughtful Creation of the SGH Architects Company Culture

When architects, Michael Stephens, Scott Griffith, and Dave Higginson joined forces to create SGH Architects in Redlands, California, in 2017, they knew they wanted to create a culture for their new firm that would be different than any they had experienced in the past. They wanted the culture to be synonymous with employee engagement and job satisfaction.

Michael, Scott, and Dave made an initial top ten list of values essential to shaping a culture that would boost loyalty and productivity while creating a harmonious workplace, and it looked something like this:

  1. We hire and develop smartly
  2. We seek passionate and curious thinkers with a thirst for excellence
  3. We require kindness and consideration among team members
  4. We foster communication and collaboration
  5. We listen well and provide helpful timely feedback
  6. We value independent decision making and problem-solving
  7. We expect honesty and integrity
  8. We are tenacious and optimistic
  9. We are authentic and humble
  10. We thrive on change and challenge

The partners pledged to provide benefits and comforts to their staff to include:

  • A generous health care package
  • A generous retirement plan
  • A kitchen stocked with snacks and gourmet coffee
  • Breaktime activities to refresh and recharge
  • After hours get-togethers
  • Team building events
  • A relaxed business casual work environment
  • A playful LEGO® persona as a reminder that we value creativity and focus and should always take time out for fun

Fast forward, two-plus years, and twenty-plus full-time employees, and our ethos is still evolving. It is changing in ways that are organic and rooted in their early values. We are a team not just because we are co-workers, but because we genuinely care about each other and the work we create. SGH Architects are committed to providing an environment that ensures employees are happy, highly invested, and inspired.