HOK’s Peter Ruggiero Participates in AIA Discussion about the Future Architectural Practice
At the recent AIA Convention in Chicago, representatives from leading US firms gathered to discuss how they are responding to talent retention challenges and what the future architectural practice will look like.
“Levels of remuneration continue to be important, but the prospect of a stimulating workload and opportunities for personal growth and educational advancement are also fundamental considerations. ‘Lifetime learning promotes a sense of exploration,’ said Peter Ruggiero, director of design for HOK’s Chicago office. Firms that can encourage and nurture staff in their wider professional and personal development through accessible programmes of mentoring and training are clearly more likely to inculcate loyalty and a spirit of mutual respect, mitigating the often costly and disruptive effects of high personnel turnover.”
“In seeking to retain and develop talent, there tends to be less reliance on hierarchical models of organisation. Instead, a more inclusive approach can initiate less experienced staff earlier into key roles. ‘Partnerships are another way of creating equity, stretching responsibility and creating the right kind of character,’ said Ruggiero. In demonstrating to employees that they are valued, firms effectively enhance their corporate culture.”
“Ultimately, whether a firm is regarded as a rewarding place to work or a hive filled with drones, depends not just on the caliber of work, but how you treat the people who do it. In an increasingly competitive market, sustaining a humane approach to the practice of architecture is crucial. ‘Architects want to feel as if they are part of an intelligentsia,’ said Ruggiero, ‘that cultivates a wider connection with culture and the world beyond.’”