The Client. Marek Brothers Construction pioneered the use of drywall in residential construction markets during the 1930s. The company quickly rose to the top of the commercial drywall market, serving schools, businesses, institutions, retail, and high-end residential customers. Marek’s philosophy of “Work hard, treat your people fairly, and never lose sight of the customer as the source of all good things,” is as important today as it was in 1938. The company’s focus on quality, safety, and employee satisfaction has resulted in continued growth and establishment of offices serving the major metropolitan areas of Texas. A commercial division operates in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Challenge. The construction industry has a tradition of top down, “my way or the highway” approach to management. Realizing that this style of management would not create an engaged and productive workforce, Marek’s leadership identified the need for a skill-based, interactive supervision program that would prepare their foremen and leads to effectively lead their crews.
The Solution. Marek’s corporate director of workforce development met with Trinity Training and Development to discuss customizing the Leadership Training for Supervisors program. In order to understand the organizational culture, a Trinity consultant spent time observing supervisors and team leads in various aspects of construction on a commercial job site. Trinity worked with Marek to develop two training “tracks:”
- Foremen received a 6-session program chosen from Leadership Training for Supervisors modules. This program focused on managing a diverse workforce, managing conflict, coaching and feedback, and motivation and engagement. The sessions ran once a month for six months. Morning and afternoon sessions allowed more than 40 employees to be trained without negatively impacting work on the job site.
- Leads attended a 3-session training process from the LTS program that focused on building interpersonal effectiveness and coaching/feedback skills.
- Both training tracks included activities from Trinity’s Putting the Skills to Work program, which facilitated the transfer of classroom learning to the job site.
The Results. Foremen and leads reported the following changes, based on their application of the training skills:
- Improved communication between supervisors and employees, resulting in more cohesive teams and reduced conflict on the job
- More consistent approaches for addressing employee performance issues and attitude problems
- Improved performance on the part of employees, as a direct result of more effective communication skills
- Reduction in employee complaints to Human Resources
- More confidence in managing their teams
“The commercial construction industry is a fiercely competitive business. At Marek we understand the impact our field supervision has on our ability to successfully complete a project on time, within budget and with no accidents or injuries. Marek needed interactive training that related specifically back to the job site, and real tools that supervisors could practice and implement after walking out of the class. Leadership Training for Supervisors provided this and more. With Putting the Skills to Work as a complement to training, our supervisors went back to their jobs and practiced their new found skills. True changes in their behavior occurred because the tools worked for them. They could see results immediately in the way their employees responded to them! We have included Leadership Training for Supervisors as part of the prescribed career path for our field supervisors and we anticipate all future supervisors will have the opportunity to participate.”
~ Katrina Kersch Corporate Director of Workforce Development, Marek Family of Companies