Career Articles

No more ‘performance appraisals’ – Civil-engineering firm focuses on helping associates achieve career goals
By Bill Quinnan
For The Press-Enterprise Special Sections

Albert A. Webb Associates would rather help employees develop than simply evaluate them. Hence, the company has done away with one-sided performance appraisals in favor of professional-development plans geared toward helping employees achieve their personal career goals.

As a 72-year-old firm offering civil-engineering, land-planning, environmental and municipal-finance services and one of The Press-Enterprise’s Top Workplaces for the last two years, Webb Associates is in a great position to provide employees with the support they need, noted Webb’s Chief Development Officer, Kevin Ferguson. A significant number of associates who have been with the company for 20, 30 or even 40 years work directly with midlevel employees, providing informal mentoring and coaching on a daily basis.

In addition, the company offers career guides to let associates know about every position in the firm and what they might need to do move across departments.

Also regularly engaged with associates and clients are three grandsons of founder Albert A. Webb, who started the company in 1945 in part so he could work his own sons. Maintaining that familial environment remains a priority for the company, which builds camaraderie through quarterly happy hours and wellness-oriented events such as lunch-and-learns, weekend hikes, bike rides, walking groups and local 5-K and 10-K runs. Webb supports a variety of philanthropic endeavors, including the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and an array of local charitable organizations and historical societies.

“The Webb family has been in the community since 1908, so they emphasize giving back to the community that has helped them be so successful over the years,” Ferguson said.

Albert A. Webb Associates
Sector: Engineering services
Employees in region: 131
Headquarters: Riverside
Founded: 1945
• Top Workplaces – The Press-Enterprise, 2015, 2016
What employees enjoy • “I have the opportunity to work on diverse projects. I am always being challenged to work on something new, which increases my engineering knowledge.”
• “They are responsive to the needs of the employees.”
• “I feel I’m part of a team that is always on task to accomplish a goal.”
• “Great work environment, great management, and it’s family friendly.”
• “Webb cares about their employees and provides an awesome work environment.”
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