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M&M Excavating Uses Going PRO Training Fund to Foster Teambuilding & Strengthen Soft Skills

Working with Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium, M&M Excavating was awarded $88,000 to train 68 existing employees in “Leadership, Mindset, Teambuilding” training provided by PCS Global.

M&M Chief Financial Officer Brandie Meisner says, “Investing in "soft skills" training through our partnership with the Going PRO Training Grant continues to improve the working environment at M&M, resulting in safer, more productive jobsites. But even greater than the corporate impact are the stories of improving personal relationships & work-life balance.”

“Soft Skills training is often overlooked in the construction trades, focusing instead on technical training. However, our industry demands more than technical skills to ensure safe, productive job sites,” she continues. “The daily life of a construction worker includes: demand for accuracy & efficiency, dangerous work environments, tight deadlines, long hours, and exposure to intense weather. Soft skills are not always inherent. An individuals’ environment, culture, exposure, trauma and education, play a role in their own natural tendencies & behaviors. Understanding these tendencies and acknowledging similarities & differences with the tendencies of others is a critical first step in soft skills development.”

Prior to the training, employees took online assessments to determine their Behavior Style Profile (BSP). During the training they were introduced to their natural tendencies and how those tendencies shift during times of stress or changes in environment. Trainees were then exposed to the nuances of different styles and there characteristics, along with the best approaches to relating to others. This understanding is the basis for effective communication. M&M Excavating recognizes that improved communication ultimately leads to improved conflict resolution and stress management skills; skills that are critical & must also be developed to maximize our healthy workforce.

Trainees valued the training as well, with feedback including:

“I have noticed a huge change in the way a couple foreman run their sites. One in particular has really changed his approach with his crew and I see nothing but a positive change on his site.”

“[After the training] I have noticed even talking to one another has been easier. A lot less stressful conversations even with people who haven't taken this training. Happier home and work life.”

“I learned how to recognize other behavioral styles and how to better communicate with them as well as gained insight into my own personal behavioral styles and the different ways that I can develop both professionally and personally.”

“This training was needed to help our company’s management staff learn to work more fluidly as a team and how we can better communicate with people we come in contact with. I feel that our company is able to more effectively communicate and work together to achieve goals. Also I feel the biggest impact for me has been at home in my ability to understand and communicate with my wife and family.”

“I believe the training was of a benefit for me because it provided me perspective of the behaviors of those I work with in relation to how best to work to our mutual strengths to have a strong team, which in turn will surely benefit the company as a whole.”

“The training was needed because in this industry this sort of thing is rarely talked about. “Soft” skills are not a focus. I truly believe that this training will not only improve the culture and the workplace environment. The employees trained can take these skills home with them to improve and strengthen home life as well. M&M Excavating benefited from the training through team growth, better communication abilities, and learning how individuals throughout the company respond to different leadership styles and communication tactics. The management team also benefited by learning what makes an ideal team player. How managers may fall short or what they can work on. As well as what to look for in operators and labors that we may want to add to our core group as well as who we may want to cut ties with because they are dragging the team down.”


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