Hire, Inspire, Develop and Grow the Best People

This article is included in the Fall/Winter 2013 edition of the DPR Newsletter.

Getting the most of what you want out of your training and development

“…if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need…”

How do the immortal lyrics of Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones relate to the development of our people?

We have always invested substantially in the training and development of employees and have even received numerous national awards. We have also relentlessly encouraged self-initiated improvement relative to the competencies and skills required for people’s respective roles and responsibilities. Yet, in spite of our award-winning efforts, some gaps still exist in the competencies and discipline required for extraordinary project execution across our entire organization.

In this age of “big data,” analytics from Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Critical Success Factors and other performance metrics are available to help inform where we need to focus more of our training and development energy to build better builders. Learning experts have also proven that while the traditional classroom training, coaching and mentoring are critical, “learn by doing” or “on-the-job” training is where most retained-learning occurs. How are we responding?

DPR’s People Practices Group, which includes a cross-section of employees from throughout the company, including HR and training professionals, as well as young leaders, is taking a holistic approach focusing on three key areas:

  • Keeping Score. Performance metrics leading to more meaningful performance discussions focused on specific areas of growth are being developed for individuals and teams at all levels of the organization.
  • Staying Connected. Historically, we have been very strong with respect to developing cultural-type proficiencies, such as leadership, collaboration, and interpersonal and communication skills. We will continue to build upon this foundation, as these types of trainings are vital to our business and developing leadership.
  • Making an Impact. Basic “blocking and tackling” skills are also vital to our business to deliver great results for our customers. Change management, cost and schedule control, and short-interval planning are examples of basic areas of increased focus moving forward. For some, the need may be a better understanding of the philosophy and vocabulary; while for others, there may be a need for more hands-on experience with our systems and technology.

Most of all, however, we need to continue to hire the right people—individuals who are passionate about building great things and driving improvement in our industry. We need to inspire them to grow beyond what they think is possible and provide lots of opportunities for on-the-job learning. By bridging the gap between “teaching” and “doing,” we are confident that you can get what you want and what you need.