Tri-North Named “Best Place to Work”

Tri-North Named “Best Place to Work”

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We’re honored and thrilled to share that Madison Magazine has once again named Tri-North one of the “Best Places to Work” in the Madison area. The magazine’s annual survey ranks the top 30 companies and recognized Tri-North among the top ten medium organizations (51-100 permanent employees in Madison).

The top companies were selected based on employee survey results analyzed by Quantum Workplace, a third-party employee engagement company that evaluated several areas of employee engagement including communications and resources, individual needs, effectiveness of management, personal engagement, team dynamics, and team trust in leadership.


Tri-North was founded in Madison in 1981 as a general contracting firm by three friends with a vision for the future of construction. For more than thirty years, Tri-North has continuously expanded services including pre-construction, general construction, construction management, design-build, independent cost estimating, and LEED consulting services. With five nationwide offices, Tri-North has grown beyond what was imagined; however, it has remained privately-owned and managed with Thomas Thayer (one of the original founding members) as the President and CEO. In 1995, Tri-North became an employee-owned company, and many of the first employees are still with the company today.


In recent years, Tri-North has adopted a heavily team-oriented structure wherein team accountability is stressed above individual accountability. Tri-North leadership believes that the highest performing teams are ones in which peers manage the majority of performance with one another. The role of management is not to settle small problems and constantly monitor every individual, but rather to create and foster an effective team culture where peers are empowered to address concerns immediately and respectfully with each other. This also encourages teams to engage and contribute to innovative solutions.


Tri-North’s culture can be summed up in the following quote by our Vice President, Anna Stern:

“The jobsite and office are where we get things done, but they are also where we build friendships and grow personally and professionally. We prioritize maximizing individual potential and ensuring that each member of our hardworking, passionate team enjoys being at work.”

Tri-North has long maintained a strong commitment to ensuring that team members have positive, stimulating experiences at work. From hosting impromptu happy hours, to regularly checking in with employees to make sure they have the appropriate resources to succeed, leadership actively seeks out opportunities to keep the staff engaged and feeling valued. This effort takes many shapes, including monthly staff breakfasts and lunches, field trips for office staff to visit job sites, a PTO purchase program that encourages employees to volunteer with non-profit organizations, and periodic giveaways and fun contests. Whether it’s the annual step competition or the Ugly Christmas Sock Exchange in December, Tri-North employees always have something fun on the horizon.


Finally, one of the hallmarks of Tri-North culture is a true respect for the importance of staff’s family and home life. This isn’t just a theory or a marketing ploy. Tri-North goes beyond offering flexibility for the needs of team members’ families. For over two decades, Tri-North has run Little Builders Day School, a state-certified childcare center onsite where staff are able to enroll their children ages six weeks to six years old at rates around half that of other local licensed centers. In addition to this, deep at the company’s heart, fully supported by leadership, is a compassionate core that has shown itself countless times and in countless ways through employees and leadership coming together to support fellow team members through difficult life situations in profoundly personal ways.


“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to our incredible staff for making Tri-North who we are and for participating in the survey that resulted in our recognition as one of Madison’s ‘Best Places to Work’ again this year! Everything we accomplish, we accomplish as a team and I’m proud to work alongside each of you!”

-Tom Thayer, President & CEO


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