Since taking the reigns back after 11 years with EDS in late 2006, Paul Laudicina has made it his personal mission to return A.T. Kearney back to its glory days. And after three consecutive years on the Best Firms to Work For list, it’s safe to say that the firm is back.
“This is our third straight year on the Best Firms to Work For list and it is an extremely positive reflection of our post-management buyout strategy and the success of our efforts to rediscover the legacy of a great firm,” Laudicina says. “Our continued presence on the list shows the lasting impact of these changes on A.T. Kearney and our people. It’s a great testament to the work we’re doing for our clients and how much that work means to our employees around the world.”
Laudicina says the award is even more gratifying because it “speaks to the pride and commitment our people have for the firm. Our clients see this everyday as all of our people are dedicated to upholding the firm’s passion of delivering innovative, meaningful and sustainable results for more than 80 years.”
The Best Firms to Work For survey confirms the finding of A.T. Kearney’s own internal survey. In that survey, Laudicina says, 93 percent of people said they are firmly committed to the success of A.T. Kearney and have pride in the firm. “We have been open and honest with our people about where we’re going as a firm and how we are going to get there.”
For a while there, where the firm was going was up in question as Laudicina was in merger talks with Booz & Company this summer. Those talks have now ceased and A.T. Kearney will continue as a stand-alone firm. “We are having an outstanding 2010 and anticipate that continuing in 2011,” Laudicina says. “Our people are engaged and committed to the firm.”
Under Laudicina, a team-oriented culture has always been a hallmark of A.T. Kearney. That sentiment surfaces on the survey. When asked if they agree or disagree with the statement, “My firm fosters a team-oriented culture,” A.T. Kearney scored a 4.8 out possible 5.0.
“How we work sets us apart,” Laudicina says. “We are highly collaborative, both internally across all levels of the firm and externally with clients as we seek sustainable results together. These traits combine into a truly unique environment that puts people and ideas above everything else.”
Laudicina says further proof can be found when talking with A.T. Kearney alumni. “We hear over and over again that what makes this firm special is our people,” he says. “The relationships built around the world and the ideas that collaboration generates a culture that’s impossible to replicate.” Q&A with Paul Laudicina
On the survey, A.T. Kearney excelled in the areas of The Job and Leadership. We asked Paul Laudicina, A.T. Kearney’s managing officer and chairman of the board, why he thought the firm scored so high in these areas.
We receive the same message from our employees through our annual employee survey. In this year’s survey, 84 percent of our people said their job is challenging and interesting. It really comes down to a combination of the work we do for clients and the way we do that work. We’re helping clients with their most challenging problems, such as sustainability, supply chain transformation, operational improvements, identifying new growth opportunities—in a very tough economic environment.
We’re committed to remaining open and honest with our people and are very focused on regular communications at the local, regional and global levels. All of our partners in leadership roles share this commitment and our people have responded positively. We were very clear on our desire to protect our people during the economic downturn to ensure we were well positioned for the inevitable recovery. We held salaries steady in 2009, but we paid bonuses and kept staff reductions to a minimum. We explained what we were doing and why we did it, and kept all employees informed of business status through regular calls and messages. Everyone in the firm knows where we are headed and what our ambitions are. The clarity of that direction and the fact that we haven’t deviated from it creates a great deal of credibility.