by Paul Rogers
April 30, 2018

Jeanne Smith will never forget the first words she heard on her orientation. The company’s goal was to make its employees a better human being than when they arrived.

“That blew me away,” Smith said.

To deliver on that, Procore has invested in learning and development, like with the company’s experiential learning center at its Carpinteria, California headquarters.

We spoke to the team that leads those initiatives to find out how they’re helping employees not only grow with the company but as people, too.

 

Procore Sign

Procore Office

Learning and Development Team
Photo provided by Cory cullington

 

FOUNDED: 2002

EMPLOYEES: 700 in Carpinteria; 1,050 nationwide

WHAT THEY DO: Provide cloud-based construction management software that helps clients manage risk and build quality projects like skyscrapers, hospitals, retail centers, airports, housing complexes and more, safely, on time and within budget.

THE L&D TEAM: Designs and implements all learning and development initiatives, from leadership and management skills to construction knowledge.

‘CORE’ LEARNING: Procore segments its learning experience into four categories called CORE: Professional, Personal, Leadership and Construction.  

PERKS: Unlimited PTO; dog-friendly offices

IDEAL CANDIDATE: A natural leader, who’s excited by working with great people. Someone energized by working in an atmosphere that celebrates Procore’s core values of openness, optimism and ownership.

 

Gills Talking

Gills Profile

 

Greg D. Gills Jr., Senior Director of Learning & Development

Greg Gills helps fulfill one of the fundamental promises Procore makes to every employee: mastery. “Mastery, to us, means the opportunity to be the best in your chosen area of work,” he explained. Greg helps facilitate the access to and implementation of various learning programs.

BEYOND WORK: Greg has been rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles for nearly 40 years.

 

What is your team’s mission and purpose?

Greg: Our learning and development mission essentially mirrors our company mission. Procore builds the software that builds the world. Learning and development proudly builds the leaders that build the world.  

 

The learning and development team has taken off, quickly adding new team members and roles. What drove this growth?

Greg: The appetite for learning and individual development has grown at least as fast as the organization. As a hyper-growth company, we have had a huge increase in demand for more learning and development programs. The organization’s belief in learning and development as a business lever has driven investment in team the same way other companies invest in research and development.

 

The appetite for learning and individual development has grown at least as fast as the organization."

How do you measure the success of your offering?

We have some very specific quantitative measures. For example, how many employees pass the two-hour validation process at the end of the companywide orientation? How many hours of training are our employees receiving? Equally important to us are some of the qualitative measures, including survey data and employee feedback requests. We have received feedback from managers who say that employees coming out of our five-day orientation are now better prepared to start than our employees who have been on the job for years.

 

What initiatives do you have planned for this year?

Our major investments and developments are in a companywide coaching program that rolled out in beta in 2017 and will continue to grow in 2018. Our Leadership Development Program is also currently in beta testing with a group of frontline leaders. Eventually, we will extend the program to all levels of employees. We are doubling down on construction and industry training.  

 

LV Profile
Photography courtesy of Procore technologies

 

LV Hanson, Director of Learning and Development

As leader of Procore’s leadership development team, LV Hanson is focused on developing employees toward becoming the best versions of themselves.  

BEYOND WORK: LV is an avid golfer.

 

What do employees take away from their participation in the learning and development program?

We talk about the “platinum rule,” which trumps the “golden rule.” We tell our staff, if you treat others the way you want to be treated, it works as long as everyone is exactly like you. The platinum rule suggests: Treat others the way they want to be treated. We are then invited to calibrate the knowledge of ourselves and the knowledge of our peers to fight for their highest possible good. It’s like a veil being lifted, and people start to see their peers differently.

 

Our learning and development team believes that you cannot give what you do not have."

 

Please paint a picture of your quarterly CORE days.

One-day intensives designed to offer a deep dive into the development of our entire organization. This bridges four different experiential learning environments — keynote, social engagement, community investment and tactical hands-on experience — with our four elements of CORE: personal, professional, leadership and construction. We rotate the experiences each quarter, providing our staff the opportunity to engage in different learning environments with different areas of emphasis.  

 

Anything else?

Our learning and development team believes that you cannot give what you do not have. Our vision is to see healthy people leading teams. This must be true of our team, first and foremost. Knowing this, we focus on leading ourselves with authenticity and vulnerability.

 

Jeanne Smith at Work

Jeanne Smith Profile

 

Jeanne Smith, Senior Executive Coach

New to Procore, Jeanne Smith is tasked with creating a coaching culture and program across the organization. She helps create opportunities to support employees’ development as human beings.

BEYOND WORK: Jeanne recently started learning to play the cello.

 

How does Procore's learning and development programming contrast with other companies?

One differentiator is the approach of our director of learning and development, Greg Gills, and our vice president of people, Michelle Greer. There is a common thread with every effort to assure that our CORE is at the front and center of each program or training. It creates the expectation that not only is Procore's learning and development department developing your professional life, but equally prioritized are the other three segments: personal growth, leadership development and construction knowledge.

 

Tell us about Procore’s new learning and development center.

It’s quite extraordinary for an organization of this size to build a center that is devoted to developing its people. There is a reading room with a free library of books on leadership, psychology and personal development. There are always a couple of dogs wandering in the sessions (with their owners in the room) to make people smile, and the espresso and latte machine is quite popular. The Procore journey begins there with a five-day orientation.

 

There is a consistent, deliberate effort to align with the values of the organization – optimism, openness and ownership."

 

What are your thoughts on Procore's CORE?

When I was interviewing with Procore, I happened to see a flyer on the wall for the upcoming CORE day. I was so impressed with the lineup, including Shawn Achor as the keynote. I love his book on happiness.

To know that this company put “happiness” at the core of CORE day spoke volumes to me. There is a consistent, deliberate effort to align with the values of the organization — optimism, openness and ownership. Throughout my numerous interviews and visits to the campus, it was clear to me that this was a company that walks the talk.

 

Bruce Profile
Photo provided by cory cullington

 

James Bruce, Manager, Product and Industry Training Team

James Bruce leads a team that provides compelling opportunities for Procore’s people to learn the construction industry and the software Procore builds. His work helps guide culture, build leaders and enhance the product for Procore’s clients.  

BEYOND WORK: James loves travel adventures.

 

Can you describe the new learning and development center (Procore Learning Center) on your Carpinteria campus?

We bring every new employee to HQ and start their experience in the center. That is how we begin the process of sharing what it's like to be a part of Procore and introduce them to our values. As we continue to expand our training opportunities and scale the company, we need a large space to house those trainings. These programs will include everything from your first week all the way through our mastery-level training.

 

We’re able to provide a training that is adding value to employees that have been here for many years."

 

Tell us about a breakthrough an employee has had in your learning and development program.

Just last week, we did what we call “Reboot Camp” with a group of 27 people. Five of them were from our engineering department, and several have been with the company for many years and worked on some of our primary tools. We’re getting to this point where we’re able to provide a training that adds value to employees who have been here for many years. On top of that, everybody who starts here gets exposed to the training from the start.

 

Is there anything else about the learning and development program you’d like to share?

The operation as a whole is a partnership. We partner with the enabling teams in each department, and it’s only because of these partnerships and the emphasis on gaining mastery in their different realms — personal, professional, leadership, construction — that we’re able to move the ball and continue this high level of education at our company.

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