Written By: Rachel Dempsey
How many times have you driven past a construction site and thought nothing of it? There is so much more than what meets the eye in any business and, for the construction industry, this is no exception. Tanna White, MCL Construction’s Director of Training and Development, is one of the people behind the scenes in the industry and, while her job may be unknown to most, it is a significant one to create success in the workplace.
“Every organization, no matter the industry, should have some level of development for their employees. You will be so much more efficient, more productive, and more profitable if you have happy employees. Plus, if you have a higher level of employee engagement and morale is there, the rest will come quickly,” stated Tanna.
Tanna originally wanted to go back to school to get her Master’s in Communication Consulting for Businesses but, after receiving her graduate degree from Northern Iowa University, she went into teaching. Tanna was a victim of the recession back in 2009 and teaching was the only job she could find at the time. She taught for 10 years before finally getting a position that worked within a business.
“I always wanted to go the business route; my family has owned their own businesses, and my mind, I think, is more wired that way,” explained Tanna.
MCL brought Tanna on board in January of this year and the first thing she began doing was just getting to know the workers, learning the business, and hearing what people had to say. Tanna quickly learned about MCL’s training program, PILOT, and what employees thought about it.
“I got a lot of feedback around the fact that it was all very formalized and classroom training based. So, they would come in, sit down through a PowerPoint, meaning we are lecturing and talking at them. Then they were sent off and we were just checking the box,” Tanna revealed.
Since discovering how the training program was being run, Tanna started segmenting groups to create more relevant information for each level and formulated a way for workers to get more involved with training. Tanna didn’t want to get rid of the classroom training, she just wanted to structure it better to create a more defined approach.
“The endgame will be a blended learning approach where we are utilizing thoughtful classroom training, begin incorporating on-the-job training that is informal while also involving more certifications and eventually adding more online learning where it makes sense and creating more opportunities for people to learn and grow,” announced Tanna.
One of the main challenges Tanna is trying to overcome is the distance that has been formed between the employees and management. Tanna was drawn to MCL because of the culture and vision of where the company was heading, and she wanted to help drive MCL in the right direction.
“I wanted to help them feel that feeling again…that family feeling, that belonging and sense of community that we definitely used to have and I think we still have a little bit, but getting more back to that and build some comradery,” said Tanna.
As MCL continues to grow, Tanna wants to make sure she can maintain a strong relationship with the workers. Making sure that they are heard and their issues are being resolved, no matter what it entails.
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