Our projects are successful when teams work together to develop creative solutions to challenges – integral to the Mark Thomas culture is an environment where teams can flourish and do their best work. Our core values include collaboration, creativity, flexibility, respect, and fairness; we apply these to our work every day. At Mark Thomas, we support and encourage each other, because when one person grows, we all grow.
Our team culture extends to activities outside of our work. We host social events in and out of office throughout the year to bring our team members and their families together and have fun. What’s the point of working hard if you can’t play hard too?
For example, every summer, we host regional company picnics; our highly competitive firmwide Halloween costume contest brings out the creativity in our teams; and our annual golf tournament provides an opportunity to connect with colleagues throughout the state.
With most of our employees working remotely during the COVID pandemic, we have adapted our activities to a virtual world. These have included virtual talent shows, where our team members show off their skills; social interest groups on Teams, where we connect over a shared love of Harry Potter or gardening; and through Employee Engagement Groups, where we come together to discuss important diversity, equity & inclusion challenges.
Mark Thomas is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment that provides equitable opportunities for all our team members to learn, grow, and advance in their career.
Since 2017, we have had an internal Diversity & Inclusion Committee that is focused on identifying the education, policy, and behavioral changes needed to meet our goal of increasing diversity at all levels of the company. Key elements of our D&I initiative include:
Employee Engagement Groups
We provide a platform and oversight for team members of different backgrounds to meet, discuss, and learn from each other. These groups also identify non-profits that are specific to their goals to support through company time and monetary donations. Our groups include Women at Mark Thomas, Black Lives Matter, Pride, and Mental Health Awareness.
Annual D&I Survey
We survey all our team members annually to identify progress we have made over the past year and areas for continued improvement. The survey results are presented at an All Hands meeting and released in detail to the company.
Annual Action Plans
Reviewing the results of the annual survey, our D&I committee develops an action plan for the following year. The goal of the action plan is to strengthen the things that we are doing well and improve upon areas of weakness.
Our D&I committee hosts several community discussions throughout the year, generally focusing on current events that relate to D&I. These small group discussions bring together team members from different regions, and provide a safe space to discuss and learn from each other.
We also publish demographic data for our workforce annually, broken down by level in the company, gender, and ethnic background. This data provides a key indicator to measure progress toward our goal.
We understand the importance of developing, training, and helping our team members grow throughout their career. We offer multiple levels of training, including:
On The Job
As civil and structural engineers, construction managers, surveyors, planners, and landscape architects, much of our work is focused around problem-solving. One of the best ways to hone that skill is through our day-to-day project work. Every project and its challenges are different, and through active involvement of senior staff on our projects, our team members receive valuable mentoring and guidance as they develop solutions to complex challenges.
We recognize that we have incredibly talented and knowledgeable team members. We leverage these experts to develop and implement companywide training sessions throughout the year. Technical training sessions are conducted quarterly, but additional sessions are added as available.
Career Development Program
An extension of our internal training program, we offer a series of formal training sessions for our team members to help them gain the skills necessary to move up in the company and advance their career. Topics include:
- Soft Skills
- Project Management Support
- Foundations of Project Management
- Senior Leadership
We also engage outside expertise to provide training, as needed. These range from brown bag lunch training sessions to multi-day in-house CAD training.
Who Owns Mark Thomas? Our team members do!
Mark Thomas is a privately held company that is 100% employee owned. This ownership consists of individual shares of stock, of which about half are held in the Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) and the other half are owned by individual Common Stock Shareholders.
This ownership structure allows us to build equity in the company and provide leadership transition and long term stability for our team members. This structure is the foundation for the future of the company.
Employee Stock Option Program (ESOP)
Based on company profitability, we make discretionary distributions of stock to team members annually, which is held in your ESOP account. The money in the ESOP account is fully vested after six years of service, and held until you leave the company.
As the company grows, the value of your ESOP shares and account grow with it. This benefit is provided at no cost to you.
Common Stock Shareholders
A portion of the company is owned by common stock shareholders. Shareholders are invited to purchase shares based on contributions to the company.
Being offered common stock is one of the ways Mark Thomas recognizes outstanding individual contribution and sets you on a path of increased ownership and responsibility, leading all the way through Principal.
Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have structured our company decisions around that priority. On March 13, 2020, our leadership team decided that it was in the best interest of our team members to close our offices and instruct everyone to immediately work from home. Four days later the State’s first shelter in place order was issued.
All our team members already had laptops and VPN connections, so there was no roadblock in being able to work full time remotely. We told everyone to take monitors, chairs, whatever office equipment they needed to be able to work effectively. Since that time, we have continued to work almost entirely remotely. Some team members that work more efficiently in an office environment come into the offices, but for the most part all of our staff continue to work from home.
We’ve seen and heard the benefits of remote working, and have adapted our company policies to be structured around hybrid work as a default, even post-pandemic. We also err on the side of caution – while some team members prefer to come into the office, we have not asked anyone to move to a hybrid work schedule. We continuously monitor case rates and CDC guidance, and will continue to prioritize our team members’ health and safety.
We are always looking for new team members that embody our core values of collaboration, creativity, flexibility, respect, fairness, transparency, accountability, and ownership.