Building culture from the inside out

By: Josh Shiverick
18 July 2019

Creating a strong, inclusive workplace culture is not only a great way to recruit and retain talented team members, it’s also fundamental to the overall health of an organization. As employees, we want to have a sense of belonging and of purpose, knowing that our unique contributions matter and are appreciated. To help build this culture and make CTA’s onboarding process more robust (and fun), we launched the CTA Culture Ambassador program.

For each of our larger offices, we’ve identified people who are passionate about the work they do, knowledgeable about the company, talented at building relationships, and who lead by example. These people come from diverse backgrounds and professions, but all share the ability to truly welcome others and share fundamental knowledge with new team members.

While our Culture Ambassadors partner closely with Human Resources, they offer a more informal touch point to help facilitate happy, successful, close-knit teams.

What, exactly, does a Culture Ambassador do?

We’re one of the first points of contact for a new hire on their first day — we become a familiar face, oftentimes outside the person’s discipline, function, or team. We make a personal connection and serve as a resource for questions when an obvious resource isn’t available. We introduce new employees to the rest of their office mates, invite them to coffee or lunch, and share all of the great activities we do together as colleagues and members of the local community.

Now, you may wonder why we would take on this role, in addition to our regular jobs. As a founding member of this group myself, it comes down to being excited to go to work each day and wanting others to feel the same way. We spend the majority of our lives at work, and when the people you’re with everyday feel like family (in a good way), this experience can support personal and professional growth.

As Culture Ambassadors, we’re able to influence the experience of new team members, bring together various employee groups, and help support CTA’s involvement in our broader communities.

Another highlight: We’re afforded a unique view into what’s working well for people in each of our offices — what types of activities and programs we want to implement and keep, and those we may need to scrap or change. By committing to the Culture Ambassador program, CTA is showing the firm is open to growth and change that will benefit the people who work here.

What we do is meaningful, but most importantly, it’s fun! This is who we are at CTA Architects Engineers. And we’re glad to be a part of it.

Culture Ambassador Bradley Dunbar (sixth from the right, kneeling) led our first Boise team bike ride of the year to celebrate the beginning of spring and to facilitate workplace wellness.

Madeline Rajtar (left), a Culture Ambassador in Billings, takes intern Mina Geng (right) for a tour of the office. Mina became a full-time design professional with us in January.

As a member of Leadership Boise, a Boise Metro Chamber program, I have a great opportunity to be involved in activities that make a difference in our community, such as cleaning up trails in the foothills. (That’s me on the left.)

What we aim to do:

Create a welcoming workplace.
Share important information and resources.
Build team cohesion and encourage participation.
Inspire and empower happy, fulfilled teams and individuals.
Share how great it is to work at CTA!
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