Poettker Construction: 44 Years of a Family-First Culture is Secret Sauce

May 6, 2024|

Growing from a small-town commercial contractor into a nationally recognized and award-winning firm, Poettker Construction has always maintained a family-first culture. As a core value, it’s the secret sauce that keeps a multi-generational work family together and the company moving forward.

This family-first mentality was instilled early in the company’s culture and values by the firm’s founder, Charles (Chuck) Poettker, who was adamant that his most important resources were his employees. After 44 years in business, Poettker’s biggest success has been its people and the impactful relationships they and the firm have built for decades.

Investing in your employees early on and continuously is key to maintaining a successful multi-generational business. Today, many of Poettker’s employees are second and third-generation workers with deep family ties to the company’s inception. Those employees have helped solidify a family-first culture by embracing an atmosphere where everyone has the knowledge, training, coaching and oversight to be aware of their surroundings and look out for one another.

When taking the servant leadership approach of treating employees, clients, business partners and subcontractors as family, it’s remarkable what can be accomplished when a company transitions from one generation to the next.

This proved the case for Poettker in 2015 when the family formalized its first and second-generational transition process with CMA and created an enduring strategy roadmap for 2020-2025. One key value from the exercise: the solidarity of the Poettker family will translate into an extended family with employees, business partners and the community.

This extended family has now grown to more than 300 full-time employees across three office locations and a roster of repeat clients who hold the same core values and appreciate building long-term relationships.

The first generation of Poettker family (and non-family) provided the building blocks for a successful business model and instilled the core values of safety, quality, mutual respect, professionalism, integrity and a dedication to supporting company and individual goals and growth aspirations.

This year, the second generation of family owners and non-family leaders will kick off their strategic planning for 2025-2030 to build upon the firm’s ongoing investment in developing quality relationships; enhancing continuing education, hands-on skill training and professional development for staff; implementing new technology to advance knowledge and streamline their approach; expanding into markets to be closer to clients and where their projects are; and investing in the communities where they live and work.

At the end of the day, the key to a successful family-owned business is living by the Golden Rule: building relationships, building trust and treating people as you would want them to treat you. When you take care of your people, clients and business partners the bottom line will take care of itself.




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