Training Top 125 Best Practice: The Dellbrook | JKS Way: Foundation Leadership Program
Dellbrook | JKS Construction has grown more than 200 percent over the last few years and many of its assistants were pushed into managerial roles during that time. To ensure it was focusing on the right areas to improve, Dellbrook | JKS Construction hired an external consulting company to run a survey of owners, subcontractors, and architects. Dellbrook | JKS Construction ran an internal employee engagement survey, as well. The results of these surveys revealed that potential areas for improvement included communication; building relationships both internally and externally; and increasing the effectiveness of managers in providing goals, recognition, and clarity.
With this confirmed sense of understanding for the program it needed to produce, Dellbrook | JKS Construction spent 24 months putting more than 98 percent of the organization through a full-day custom leadership program called The Dellbrook | JKS Way: Foundation Leadership Program. It aims to ensure all employees at every level gain the communication, teambuilding, and conflict management skills needed to do their jobs.
Since Dellbrook | JKS Construction is a construction management company, it is important for employees to be well versed in the true management of people as their day-to-day work is spent managing and delegating to others rather than physically doing any of the construction work. The full-day, in-person Dellbrook | JKS Way: Foundation Leadership Program created a more consistent culture focused on listening generously, speaking straight, being there for each other, honoring commitments, and acknowledging and appreciating one another. The program included role-play, games and simulations, and in-person classroom training.
All employees—from project administration to the CEO—attended this program. The company’s COO was involved in the design and creation of this program, with senior executives—including the EVP, COO, CFO, and SVPs attending and marketing the program. Additionally, with each of the executives taking part as participants, they almost automatically took part in facilitation by providing real-life examples of how the training content worked for them.
The program is in its second year now. Performance reviews have been updated to ensure employees are continuing to review some of the topics learned in the program. And each time a new team starts a project, Training meets with the team to look at the “Dimensions of Success,” which is one of the topics from the program.
Dellbrook | JKS Way: Foundation Leadership Program executives have noticed behavior change in many employees, in particular around the “Ladder of Inference” concept, as they see many employees trying to stay lower on the ladder when confronted with conflict and specifically asking for the reality and the facts vs. the beliefs and assumptions.
In return, the organization has created a more effective communication line while holding one another and its subcontractors more accountable. This has played a part in the company’s Operational Excellence goal, with major losses decreasing nearly 54 percent over the last year.