Gilbane Building Company
Successful Diversity Week Turns into a New Strategic Direction at Gilbane
Gilbane Building Company is a leading construction management firm, providing a full slate of facilities-related services for clients across many industries. Founded in 1873 and still a privately held, family-run company, Gilbane’s annual revenues now top $3.5 billion.
In the construction industry in this region there are a large number of Spanish-speaking employees and contractors – up to 99% in some trades. Quality home-building depends on strong communication and clear understanding on job sites. Superintendents estimate there are thousands of dollars in errors made daily due to communication gaps with the trades. In order to reduce costs, improve efficiency and improve customer satisfaction, Gilbane needed to improve communication and collaboration among Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish-speaking team members.
Gilbane engaged us to guide planners in creating its first Diversity event. We brought in-depth knowledge and understanding of culture and diversity to transform a group of volunteers into a veritable team, to educate Gilbane on diversity best practices, and to develop a framework for the company to act on its ideas. With our guidance and support the team felt empowered to expand the event to a full week, instead of just one day, and provided the tools to organize their initiative. Throughout the process, we supported the Regional Director of Human Resources in this major initiative. The end-of-week, culminating keynote address to 1,700 employees by Lisa Koss received rave reviews from employees and executives.
With the success of the first-ever diversity event, Gilbane decided to make diversity a key, ongoing strategy within the organization – driving companywide productivity and employee satisfaction.