Guarantee Electrical Company was founded in St. Louis, Mo., in 1902 to help electrify the 1904 World's Fair. They "guaranteed" they could illuminate the event which hosted over 19 million people from around the world. Fast forward 120 years and Guarantee works across the United States on some of the most complex and logistically challenging projects, never losing site of what helped build their legacy — caring for their people.
Developing a Construction Workforce
Greg Crook, Vice President of HR and Workforce Strategies at Guarantee, has worked in human resources (HR) for 13 years across four different industries. From higher education and healthcare to financial services, Crook has extensive experience developing a strong workforce and nurturing people to develop individually and as a collective unit. Now at Guarantee and in the construction industry for over three years, Crook has dedicated his professional journey to creating a strategic HR presence so Guarantee can fully utilize their greatest competitive advantage — their people.
Right away, Crook noticed the construction industry’s HR maturity as a whole was a little behind the other industries he had worked in. He was used to having something digital he could pull up, see his people, get to know them and extract data from to make informed decisions from an HR planning perspective.
Human Resource Planning
Crook and the Guarantee leadership team wanted to be more thoughtful about their workforce. They wanted their HR group to do more than payroll, benefits and typical HR support. Guarantee wanted to break down barriers and bridge the gap between office and field employees to create a cohesive team and connected environment.
“We’re very culturally driven, and as we grow, that’s something we don’t want to lose. LaborChart helps us preserve our cultural components because it helps us go beyond a name. Little things like a photo, work history, skills, where they’re from and t-shirt size, all of that helps us know each of our 650 employees,” says Crook.
Going Beyond Workforce Management
Crook and the Workforce Coordination team use the cloud-based platform like many other contractors around the world, but they’ve taken it one step further. In an effort to know their people better and continue a legacy that started in 1902, they use LaborChart to re-familiarize themselves with their employees before visiting a jobsite. Keeping track of 650 different employees can be difficult, but at Guarantee, it's important they can not only put a face to a name, but also know the skills of each worker, where they reside for scheduling, certifications and more. This personalized approach helps improve employee morale in the field, but also gives their leadership team confidence going to a jobsite so they can focus on building relationships with employees and strengthening their workforce. By knowing what each of their workers is good at and enjoys working on, they can look at their backlog, set their people up for success and place them in advantageous assignments.
To take it one step further, Guarantee is using LaborChart to plan for the future. Crook and the Workforce Coordination team take full advantage of the holistic view LaborChart provides and uses it to assess employee performance so they can provide ongoing training and development. With a variety of projects in healthcare, industrial and commercial development, Guarantee needs to know who’s qualified to work on certain projects and who their most skilled workers are. They also use this information to plan for future promotions. “Right now, dwindling talent is plaguing the construction industry and there’s a future supervision shortage," says Crook. "LaborChart allows us to look at our talent pool, identify potential within our workforce, know when we need to create recruitment campaigns and develop future leaders.”
Proactive Communications Between the Office and Field
Now a LaborChart customer for over two years, Guarantee has fostered a culture of familiarity and created a collaborative crew that proactively communicates from the office to the field and everywhere in between. “LaborChart is the glue that holds us all together. It helps us go beyond the traditional definition of construction and human resources,” says Crook.
Guarantee knew if they could foster a culture of familiarity and break down the silos that were separating the office and field, they could open up new possibilities for their entire company.
With LaborChart, Guarantee has been able to accomplish this and much more.