UPDATED: November 3, 2022
Project Engage recently reached its halfway mark’, and participants across the United States are beginning to enact change both within themselves and throughout their organizations. We recently spoke to two participants, Asha Virlouvet, operations manager at Hanford ARC, and Trina Cole, human resource manager at Pro-Craft Construction, to learn more about their experiences. Throughout our conversation, we delved into how Virlouvet and Cole have taken advantage of the program’s one-on-one executive coaching, their most surprising learnings and what they hope to accomplish by graduation.
While Cole has worked in construction human resources for over 20 years, Virlouvet is newer to the industry, previously working as a biologist and then project manager before joining Hanford ARC. Although the two come from different professional backgrounds, both women felt it was imperative they participate in Project Engage.
Putting Progress into Practice
Since embarking on their Project Engage journeys, Virlouvet and Cole have made significant strides in having more effective conversations with colleagues and team members. For Virlouvet, Project Engage has helped her gain insight into her own tendencies and provided language to explain her thought process to others. Similarly, Cole has been focusing on how self-awareness can lead to more effective communication and decision making.
“In being more self-aware, I have been able to have a more open mindset to other abilities, thoughts and emotions,” said Cole. “This ultimately allows me to provide better leadership on multiple levels.”
One of the most surprising things Virlouvet has learned from Project Engage is how to ask for candid feedback. “When provided the right communication tools and a constructive atmosphere, you can avoid putting people on the spot,” said Virlouvet. Through speaking to her Project Engage core group, Virlouvet has also gained greater insight into perspectives different from her own.
Benefits of 1:1 Coaching
Cole and Virlouvet worked with executive coach Kayla Kersey to help facilitate practical application and personal growth. When asked about their experience working with Kersey, Cole and Virlouvet both report the sessions have been extremely positive. “Coach Kayla and I have different voices, which has allowed for our coaching sessions to consist of real-life situations where she can provide open feedback and guidance,” said Cole.
Virlouvet also says the coaching sessions have been a key piece of the program. “I don’t think I missed a single session with Coach Kayla,” said Virlouvet. “She is adept at pulling the essence of my ramblings out and reflecting them back to me in a way that resonates.”
Goals for Graduation
Project Engage will officially come to a close in February at an in-person celebration during AGC of California’s CONSTRUCT Annual Conference. By that time, Cole hopes to have impacted at least three other team members to be leaders worth following. “Over the next four months, I intend to set goals that will challenge me and by the time I graduate, I hope that my leadership has moved to a multiplier,” said Cole. Virlouvet echoed a similar sentiment, “I hope to have a foundation of tools that I can continue to hone and practice to be a better person, team member and leader”.
Want to learn more about Project Engage? Return to this blog post in February to hear from more participants as they reach this program’s finish line.
May 18, 2022
On April 19, the Associated General Contractors of California (AGC) and Procore teamed up to officially launch the first ever full-length Project Engage. The year-long program offers interactive cohorts, hands-on learning experiences, and one-on-one executive coaching exclusively to AGC members.
The main objectives of Project Engage are to increase leadership capacity, elevate team engagement, and celebrate business success. Ultimately, the program seeks to demonstrate how implementing a holistic strategy around workplace culture can result in greater profitability and productivity. By providing a proven system, visual tools, and innovative processes, Project Engage can empower participants to grow as leaders and also develop future leaders.
“Project Engage was created by the industry for the industry,” said Steve Zahm, president and chief culture officer at Procore. “The goal is to provide the construction industry with the leadership tools necessary to become the employers of choice for the future.”
Project Engage kicked off with an in-person executive experience at the Procore Headquarters in Carpinteria with over 40 participants. Over the course of three days, participants from across the United States came together to begin the journey toward building a positive company culture.
AGC National tasked head of education advancement Meredith Woods with observing the first day of Project Engage; but after the opening session, Woods decided to extend her visit. Moved by what she had witnessed, Woods ended up participating in all three days of the event and plans to take part in the year-long program.
“The first thing I noticed was the energy of the room and the welcoming atmosphere,” said Woods. “I’ve participated in a lot of programs and events, and I get excited when I can tell a group of people is there to make real change. I’m excited to continue the work, I love that this program isn’t a one-and-done thing.”
During the event, participants delved into the Procore culture flywheel, practiced implementing a diverse set of self-awareness tools, and learned about the difference between mindless and intentional leadership. In addition to the culture and leadership sessions, participants were also able to engage in an industry-specific session on change management led by Kassy Morris, head of construction education at Procore and Morgan Traynor, industry consultant for general contractors at Procore.
“Feedback from the NOVA team from last week is incredibly positive! I received many exciting calls and emails from our team members who attended,” said Thiel Harryman, vice president of operations at The NOVA Group. “The NOVA team is also very happy with the cohorts and coaches they are paired with. This is very exciting for NOVA and we look forward to sending other NOVA employees to the program in the future.”
For the remainder of the program, participants will continue their growth and development in learning cohorts focused on leadership, culture, business, and industry advancement.
Check back in on this blog post later this year, we’ll provide an exclusive inside look at the participants’ experience, progress, and learnings.