Bird Construction and Gold Seal Certification
Bird Construction’s HR Manager Kristin Everts-Clark on Ongoing Education for Construction Management Professionals and Gold Seal Certification
Bird Construction has a long standing history in the construction industry. This year marks our 95th anniversary. Throughout our 95 years, we have striven for excellence in the projects that we build, our strategic decision making and our safety program. Our success and excellence cannot be achieved without the hard work and dedication of our employees. We don’t just build buildings; we build relationships, and the most important relationship is with our employees.
We Want Our Employees to Grow Professionally
To ensure long and successful relationships just like our history, we support ongoing education in the forms of academic, technical and on-the-job learning and training. This is one of the many reasons we like the Gold Seal program as there is both an experiential and education requirement to the certification. We want our employees to grow professionally so that they can continue making valuable contributions.
Help in Attracting and Retaining Excellent People and Marketing Our Expertise
Effective training and development initiatives and programs help us to attract and retain excellent people. One of these initiatives is our support of the Gold Seal Certification Program. Candidates and employees who achieve this certification demonstrate their interest and ability to grow professionally. It also demonstrates industry commitment and excellence. It shows us that these people have a passion for what they do and see construction as a long-term career which is helpful for hiring decisions. The certification also helps us when putting together teams for projects and marketing our expertise with proposals.
Gold Seal Curriculum Addresses Areas That Are Relevant to Construction Management Professionals
Since construction management is a vital part of what we do, ongoing education is very important. Not all projects are the same and the complexities of each project presents different challenges to employees on a regular basis. The standard curriculum of the Gold Seal program offers relevant training courses and opportunities in areas that are very relevant to the challenges that our construction management professionals are faced with. This is another reason we see value in the certification program as it is aligned with what our professionals do.
Gold Seal Ties into Goals and Objectives
Normally employees express to us their desire to pursue the certification and it is usually expressed during performance reviews. However, we do encourage the certification program by suggesting it to employees as potential objectives during performance evaluations and by having information sessions on Gold Seal. In the past we had Clive Thurston from the OGCA as well as Stephanie Wallace from the Gold Seal Certification program do sessions for our employees. We would like to continue offering these sessions as part of our training initiatives. In addition to facilitating discussions about career paths and required support, our performance review process tasks employees with setting goals and objectives to achieve each year and they are measured and evaluated on the effort put towards achieving these objectives and the results. A superintendent seeking certification may work on taking certain courses for the year to meet the education requirement and then set writing the exam as an objective for the following year.
We help support our employee’s efforts by offering accredited courses, hosting seminars and lunch and learns and making Gold Seal information available to everyone on our employee SharePoint site.
Showing Our Pride in Our Employees Achievements
We reimburse employees for the cost of registration and exam fees upon certification. In our Toronto district, we would like to recognize employees the way Winnipeg does by displaying our employee’s GSC certificates on a wall that is visible to employees and visitors. Currently, we acknowledge certification achievements at employee meetings and will incorporate these into an employee newsletter that we are working on.