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Working Through Change

WaFd Bank’s Approach To Change

Washington Federal Bank has 10 regional buildings and 250 branches throughout the western states. At any given time, there can be seven branches undergoing remodels or improvements. Combine that with managing all the staff of each location and recovering from the last year’s unexpected shutdown has made working through change more important than ever. When it comes to managing the staff and remodels, Construction Manager, Dylan Cooper shared that the company has adopted a hybrid model with hoteling stations. “We are going to complete a hoteling model at our corporate headquarters in Seattle. Each employee will be able to reserve their spot for the day rather than having a dedicated workstation.”

While the hoteling model will coax employees back into the office, managing the construction of new branches is complicated. With permits in some areas taking close to a year to acquire, budget changes, and supply chain issues, the company has learned the importance of good communication. “We try to have weekly meetings where we invite all of our vendors, from the GC to the plumbing, so that if there are issues, everybody can hear them directly.” Along with communication, the company is trying to be flexible with timelines, contingencies, and what a bank means to people now compared to a couple years ago. “Stepping into a physical bank branch is going to change so we are going to adapt with those changes to figure out what that looks like for our future.”

Working Through Change Dylan
Dylan Cooper: Construction Manager
WaFd Bank

“We try to have weekly meetings where we invite all of our vendors, from the GC to the plumbing, so that if there are issues, everybody can hear them directly.”

Dylan Cooper

How Engineered Structures, Inc. (ESI) is Working Through Change

Idaho’s largest general contractor, ESI, has been in business for almost 50 years; during that time, they have learned what it means to be adaptable. With 625 employees working on projects in 15 different states at any given time, ESI has had to juggle varying levels of compliance requirements for years. When COVID arrived, the diversified company turned to its 3D values to weather the storm. The 3D values remind employees to be dedicated, dependable, and dynamic in every situation.

The Importance Of Values

To do this successfully, the company leadership decided to increase communication internally and externally. Internally, the president committed to weekly communication with all ESI employees to keep them out of the “Wonderland” of uncertainty. Externally, employees learned to be intentional about prioritizing and scheduling deliveries. In some cases, they even helped clients choose a product based on lead times rather than price. Through this process, ESI proved that they were dedicated to their projects, dependable amid uncertainty, and dynamic when solving problems.

Early on in COVID, ESI had a task force meeting every morning at seven am to discuss keeping employees safe. With decision-making fatigue setting in, the team chose, in good faith, to empower their people to make wise decisions for themselves. Rather than dictating policies, they created a framework for their employees to work within. That empowerment has continued throughout ESI’s culture, so much so that out-of-state job seekers are calling them for work. They have successfully created a place where employees are challenged to perform at a high level. Additionally, they also have the teams they need to support them. With a relentless pursuit of safety and their 3D values to guide them, ESI will be confidently working through change for years to come.

Working Through Change Dallis
Dallis Fontenot: VP of Corporate Development Engineered Structures, Inc. (ESI)

“Instead of us trying to facilitate every single decision, we created a response plan that would empower our people to make wise decisions within the framework that we set up.”

Dallis Fontenot

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