Critical Investments: Stay Focused on Training and Development

By Nataline Lomedico

Constant, continual learning is an essential part of our company. When you support your employees’ ongoing training it not only deepens their knowledge, but also demonstrates how valuable they are. It shows you believe they’re worth the investment. As a company, it’s our responsibility to help our team members hone both hard and soft skills so they can better embrace and command their strengths, improve any weaknesses and increase self-awareness as they grow within their role, and beyond.

It’s an approach that requires a significant amount of time, energy and resources to maintain. When does training start? Day one. When does it stop? Never.

Goal Setting and Follow-Through

From the start, it’s important to make sure each team member is aware of the available educational opportunities. For example, training-specific goal-setting can be a part of every annual review, followed by interim check-ins throughout the year. As our human resources partner Denise Penuelas says, “We encourage our staff to record training goals as part of their [annual] evaluation. We keep a log of all employees and their training initiatives, and compare the goals set at their previous review with the training they actually received.” This helps encourage self-directed learning, and keeps both managers and employees accountable.

Departmental Training

Department-led training initiatives require partners and managers to work together in service of their team’s success. Abdul Zoua, a project manager who has completed courses in FMI, Bluebeam, and various soft skill subjects, says both his direct supervisor and higher-level management frequently check in to see if he’s interested in any training. Fred Perez, our director of service for the Los Angeles and Orange County locations, adds that team-led training initiatives foster a sense of camaraderie and dedication within the group.

Self-Directed Learning

Employees should also be encouraged to pursue their own learning track, provided it’s useful to their current position or a future role they’re pursuing. This not only helps expand their skillset and knowledge, but also reinforces the fact that all employees, no matter their experience or professional level, possess the power and agency to dictate their trajectory within the company.

As an example, Rob Carter, the chief estimator in our Los Angeles office, says self-directed learning has benefited his professional life. “In my 12+ years here, I’ve been supported in pursuing all types of training, [from] Bluebeam classes [to] my Construction Management Certification at CSDH, [to] Crestcom’s 12-month Bulletproof Manager course. As a result, I
have noticed a marked improvement in my overall performance as it relates to my duties as an estimator, manager, mentor and partner.”

Good for One, Good for All

While the primary aim in supporting employees’ education is building a more dynamic and formidable company, we are also committed from a more holistic perspective. Some team members may choose to leave at will, regardless of how much we’ve invested in their growth, but by fostering professional development of our staff, we’re contributing to creating a better workforce at large. Investing in the talent and success of employees is ultimately an investment in the future of this industry. When we all opt in, we help build a stronger community, a stronger country, and a stronger world. Now that’s a great ROI.

Nataline Lomedico is the CEO of Giroux Glass, headquartered in Los Angeles. The company has been in business since 1946.

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