Earlier this year, BRR Architecture was honored by Kansas City business magazine Ingram’s as one of the ‘Best Companies to Work For’. The following article on BRR was featured in Ingram’s May 2012 publication:
“Three pillars support the concept of an employee-centered culture at BRR Architecture: professional development, community involvement and life-work balance. But, as with architecture itself, some pillars are more equal than others. ‘The professional development we provide our employees is one of the things that truly sets our company apart from others,’ says company president Chris Rhea. That’s no idle boast: BRR has consistently been recognized on a national and local level by the American Institute of Architects for its intern development program. For the 220 employees of this Merriam-based firm, one of the largest of its kind in the region, the professional development piece entails awareness of the company’s strategic plan, goals and progress toward them through regular staff-wide bistro meetings and an annual state-of-the-firm meeting. In between, the firm uses SharePoint intranet to convey updates on goal achievements and to ensure that knowledge and resources are shared. A management team highly accessible to the staff—and integrated throughout the firm’s studios—promotes interaction on all levels of the company, says Kate Wind, director of marketing. Work-life balance is addressed with flex-time scheduling to accommodate personal commitments, social events to promote interaction among team members, Wednesday morning breakfast at the in-house bistro, informal living room spaces, participation in Corporate Challenge, ping-pong tables and Nintendo Wii systems, design competitions and staff artwork displayed throughout the office.
All of it designed for a purpose: ‘One of the guiding principles behind our compensation and benefits package is encouraging balance for our employees in their professional and personal lives,’ Rhea said. ‘This reflects our commitment to investing in our staff and providing our clients with a top-notch team of individuals to service their projects.’
Finally, community service is addressed with both company-wide and individual efforts, which have benefited programs like Harvesters CANstruction, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Women’s Improvement Network, Light the Night, Adopt a Family, and Eco Abet/New House Teen Shelter. On a personal level, all staff members receive eight hours of paid time off annually to volunteer at the philanthropies of their choice.”