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ASU Enterprise Partners named a Top Company to Work for in Arizona for the sixth consecutive year


ASU Enterprise Partners President and CEO Rick Shangraw Jr.

ASU Enterprise Partners’ President and CEO R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr.

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June 13, 2019

ASU Enterprise Partners was named one of 125 Top Companies to Work for in Arizona for the sixth consecutive year by Republic Media and the Arizona Commerce Authority for its leadership, work environment and employee satisfaction.

The chosen companies were evaluated through questionnaires sent to employees and employers on a variety of benchmark criteria. Then the firms are ranked based on their composite scores in each area.

ASU Enterprise Partners’ purpose is to raise resources that benefit students, researchers and programs contributing to Arizona State University’s impact in the world. To learn more about what makes ASU Enterprise Partners a top company, ASU Now turned to ASU Enterprise Partners President and CEO R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr. to discuss the importance of corporate culture.

Question: How do you define your organization’s culture?

Answer: Our culture is defined by our core values. We serve. We engage. We innovate. We care.

We serve. We are a service organization, and in addition to serving the university’s needs, many of us volunteer in our local community. We engage. We work hard to engage staff and communicate effectively through our intranet, emails and all-team meetings. We also work with employees to help establish their goals and set a path for success. We innovate. We are always open to new ideas from staff and incorporate as many of those as possible. Each month, I have lunch with new team members to learn more about them and discuss any suggestions they have to improve our workplace and culture. We care. All of our core values show that we care — about our colleagues, donors and community partners. I think we live these values at ASU Enterprise Partners. They are hardwired in our culture.

Q: What are a few things you have done to help create a culture that employees enjoy?

A: Creating culture takes time and isn’t easy, but we believe work should be fun. Throughout the year, we host many events that are focused on the engagement, appreciation and wellness of our employees. We have a salsa-tasting contest for Cinco de Mayo, an end-of-the-year movie event, pumpkin-carving and chili-tasting contests, “Bring Your Kid to Work Day,” complimentary onsite weekly yoga, a book club and much more. Ultimately, we hope to send a message that work needs to be productive, but our environment should also be enriching. We also show our appreciation to employees by giving everyone an additional paid day off for their birthday. And we recognize employees with “You Rock” cards, which can be redeemed for movie tickets and other prizes.

Q: How do you aid communication in your organization?

A: Communication is critical to an organization’s success, especially one in a service industry such as ours. Upon their hiring, each employee is asked to complete a DISC behavior assessment, which gives managers and fellow colleagues insight about how to best communicate with one another. In addition to focusing on effective team communication, we also conduct employee satisfaction surveys twice a year to ensure our employees feel heard and valued. We also actively communicate — both talking and listening — using a wide variety of other tools and forums. In the end, our most valuable asset will always be our team members, and active communication makes everyone more empowered to advance our mission.

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