December 18, 2019

Ah, 2020 is just around the corner. And with each new year comes those promises we often make to ourselves—aka New Year’s resolutions. These promises might come after inhaling the Christmas turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy: “Next year, I’m finally going to get into shape!” Or when your family and friends want to submit you for an episode of A&E’s Hoarders: “Next year, I’m finally going to get organized!”

Of course, New Year’s resolutions don’t just fall under the personal development umbrella. They often involve professional growth goals, too. And just in time for Christmas, Gresham Smith has a special gift for our employees—a comprehensive calendar of training offerings for 2020. In this post, I take a sneak peek at what’s up for grabs.



A Fourfold Increase

Each year, Gresham Smith has increased its training opportunities for employees. In 2020, we’re quadrupling the classes being offered as part of our Build U initiative. That’s a fourfold increase for those of you who need to take math training!

OK, so we don’t offer “math” training per se, but our comprehensive offerings highlighted on our chockablock calendar do include courses from our “Way to Lead” leadership development program; “Way to Manage” project delivery training (replete with PM Bootcamp, PM webinars and quality training); ”Way to Win” and ”Way to Communicate” for business development and delivery of proposals; and various classes for risk management, sustainability, safety, practice technology, information technology, and administrative specialist training. Now, that’s a full bag!

Also new in 2020, the majority of classes featured on the calendar are worth credit units for our staff, which can be applied to their particular license renewal. All classes will be preloaded at the beginning of each quarter into our internal talent management system. So, if our employees want to do a little Christmas shopping, they’ll be able to see what classes are offered month to month, allowing them to proactively enroll in classes that best align with their professional development—and of course, their New Year’s resolutions for training!

As part of our “Way to Lead” program, we’re releasing a couple of brand-spanking-new firmwide training courses. The first is our one-hour class on community involvement, which explores what it really means to get engaged with the community, and looks at how Gresham Smith can help our staff make a positive impact. Our other new course, “Cross-functional Teams,” helps foster collaboration and teamwork across different functions of the firm (markets, locations, disciplines, departments) to better assist everyone in working toward a common goal.



Some Best Practices for Incorporating Training

Of course, it’s one thing to make a New Year’s resolution in terms of your professional development, and another to enroll in a training course. But perhaps the most effective key to success is simply incorporating training into your routine as part of your scheduled activities.

A best practice of Gresham Smith’s Transportation group is the development of a monthly Personal Training Plan as part of our Build U atmosphere, in which every member of their group picks one type of training per month—whether it be in-house classes, out-of-house conferences, webinars, specific software, e-learning courses or on-the-job training. This personal training calendar was created to help staff understand that they can take control of their training and growth. It’s also a great time-management tool that helps them incorporate classes in between major project deadlines.

In another approach, Gresham Smith’s Aviation group includes training in their everyday experience and exposure area of growth by building it into their project plans. For example, during the design phase of a project, members of their group travel to project locations to collaborate face-to-face with other members of the team to maximize learning and mentorship opportunities. While visiting the project site, they have the opportunity to meet with the client, where they learn how to better prepare and deliver design presentations. The training also extends to the construction phase of a project, which allows employees to better understand how their computer designs become a reality by seeing them come together in the field.



Let’s Put a Bow on This!

Like I said, 2020 is almost upon us, folks! And, believe it or not, there are multiple petitions to have Barbara Walters do the New Year’s Eve ball-drop countdown in Times Square just to hear her say: “I’m Barbara Walters, and this is 2020!” And if you don’t know who she is or why in the heck she’d say that—or if you’re a super-hardcore SNL fan and only know her as Baba Wawa—then do yourself a favor and check it out!

No matter who counts down the LED-studded ball this year, 2020 is set to be groundbreaking in so many ways. Will it be groundbreaking for you and your growth? At Gresham Smith, we are positioned to support the personal development and professional growth of our employees like never before. We encourage them to take advantage of the resources at their disposal and incorporate training into their schedule to continually develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities as we become a great learning organization and the best consultants for our clients.

So, whether you’re a member of the Gresham Smith family or simply want to broaden your skill sets, it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution to participate in that training course you’ve always wanted to take! And remember, as that wise country-music philosopher Brad Paisley once said: “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one!”