Article: L&D in diverse environments of arts and sustainable contexts

Talent Management

L&D in diverse environments of arts and sustainable contexts

How does L&D program train and develop employees to prepare them for the future? How does the program work in multinational contexts? Read about this in the context of a global company that works in diverse sectors.
L&D in diverse environments of arts and sustainable contexts

An L&D program has to integrate with itself Talent Management strategies of an organization. If the organization works in different geographical locations and has business in diverse sectors, then naturally, the question arises as to whether the same L&D program can work in all offices of the organization. The obvious solution is that the L&D program has to be flexible enough to accommodate the many diversities of the organization’s work. However, this is a complex process and needs multi-level strategic thinking. Here we discuss this issue, with the example of Gilbane Building Company, which builds in many locations across many sectors.

One of the most important trends in corporate learning and development today is the combination of L&D with talent management(TM). L&D forms the basis of TM processes. As businesses focus more and more on effective TM, training professionals need to effectively develop and implement an L&D-integrated TM strategy.

Integrating L&D with TM

Josh Bersin, CEO of Bersin & Associates, a research and advisory services based in Oakland, California, details a multi-pronged outline of L&D integration with TM strategy, given below. 

The most important dimension of an integrated TM strategy is competency management. All organizations need four levels of competencies. These include core competencies for a job role, evaluated during recruitment process; potential competency for upward movement during job performance; competency for becoming a leader at a certain level in an organization and policy formulation competency to make the company advance further. An L&D trainer needs to be aware of all 4 levels of competencies specific to an organization’s needs.

L&D programs integrated with TM must be talent-driven, instead of performance-driven. Talent-driven program is complex and multi-tiered, to accommodate employees at all levels and continuously aim to develop the talent potentials in an organization.

An L&D-TM integrated program has to utilize e-learning methods, informal learning and on-demand learning formats, which can train employees with different roles and abilities in different settings. This program should be able to identify and devise new career paths for the employees.

Development planning is the attempt at matching an employee’s career goals and his/her organization’s goals. This process is complex. Managers must have a clear vision of the organization’s requirements and the employees’ capabilities and aspirations. L&D trainers should assist in the development of the alignment of all these elements, and make the necessary programs and resources available to the employees and managers. 

Diverse works of a global multi-sector company’s employees

Gilbane Building Company is a global building and facility management organization, with its headquarters at Rhode Islands, USA. They specialize in many kinds of construction, including sustainable buildings and culture-related constructions. Following are some of the projects that Gilbane has built in these two sectors – 

Richmond Performing Arts Committee Richmond Center Stage, Virginia

This was a restoration of a 179,000 sq ft historical monument in 2009. It was originally designed by the renowned architect John Ederson in 1928 and Gilbane restored it to the original architectural style with modern safety compliance measures and quality control. The auditorium has 1800 seating capacity. It also has a showcase gallery, 200 seat Gottwald playhouse and 8,900 sq ft education center.

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, New York

This was a restoration of a 179,000 sq ft historical monument in 2009. It was originally designed by the renowned architect John Ederson in 1928 and Gilbane restored it to the original architectural style with modern safety compliance measures and quality control. The auditorium has 1800 seating capacity. It also has a showcase gallery, 200 seat Gottwald playhouse and 8,900 sq ft education center.

Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, Boston

Housed in a 100-years old building, for which Gilbane provided construction management services in 2013 for the LEED Gold certified 60,000 sq ft energy center involved in research including a pilot solar module fabrication line, a thermal testing laboratory and extensive characterization/environmental testing resources. The restoration work involved integration of materials. The building company staff worked collaboratively with the architect, suppliers, and subcontractors to accurately coordinate the installation of the provided materials. Natural energy usage systems were used to reduce the electricity usage.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, Virginia

This is a three-floor, 183,000 sq ft building that cost USD $15 Million to complete. Gilbane employees constructed it in 2014 in 12 weeks, working for 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. The project involved interior renovation to create meeting rooms, pantry, offices, welcome center and “Biome zones” for the five biomes housed in the wildlife center. Here again, sustainable building methods were used.

L&D program in a diverse context

L&D Program at Gilbane Building Company

  • L&D Program for all employees from entry level to senior level - Flagship project; 20 yrs old. Core-building curriculum allows people to learn all their roles, relationships, business development, marketing strategies, winning new projects.

  • Targeted programs for different levels - Professional development curriculum minimum 30 hrs training required, mandatory safety training, 2800 executives in the company, total 86000 learning hours

  • On the job training - Annual review process identifies employees with leadership potential and gives them leadership roles. They learn on the job and get development opportunities.

  • Training in global, diverse cultural context - Local elements are incorporated. Local people are given responsibility. Local sensitivities are taken care of.

  • Metrics – Increase in productivity, employee retention and engagement, customer satisfaction

--Kevin Clancy, Director, Enterprise L&D, Gilbane Building Company, Rhode Islands, with Lee  Kantor & Stone Payton, Businessradiox, Atlanta

The above overview shows the diverse forms of work-roles that Gildane employees have to perform in their different work projects. It involves expertise, training in the most up-to-date technology and building methods, an understanding of sustainable building principles and also a knowledge of art conservation. At the same time, business goals for generating revenue have to be met. This requires a continuous L&D program for the employees at all levels so that they can meet the work needs of the future. 

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Topics: Talent Management, Learning & Development, Employee Relations, Diversity, Training & Development

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