24 January 2024

How Clune Fosters Professional Growth and Connection Building in the Construction Industry

By Peggy Newquist, Director, Learning & Development

According to a CNBC survey, employees who are involved in mentoring programs have a 50% higher retention rate than those who are not, and 90% of workers who have a mentor report being happy in their job. A robust mentoring program is an advantage in the competitive labor market of construction.  As we celebrate National Mentoring Month, Clune is excited to be kicking off year four of our Mentoring Program. The program was started as part of our ongoing commitment to our employee’s professional development and career growth.

This year-long initiative is open to all employees with at least one year of tenure with Clune. Employees can apply to be either a mentor, a mentee, or both. Our participants are diverse and come from all seven of our offices. Mentoring and mentee opportunities are available for employees across various roles and can foster connections between Project Engineers, Project Managers, Superintendents, and even the CEO, anyone with a shared desire to learn from each other and expand their professional network. As of year-end 2023, over 90 employees have been in the program.

“I believe the program is a great opportunity for employees at all levels to connect and help each other grow,” shared an Assistant Project Manager Johana Rodriguez in Clune’s Los Angeles office.

The group starts with a virtual kick-off session in January, where their matches are revealed. There are supplemental materials available for the teams that prefer a bit of structure, including sample meeting agendas and suggested activities, but the intent is for the pairs to determine their agenda and how to work together best to meet the mentee’s goals.

Clune hosts quarterly open sessions where the group comes together for an informal learning session; past topics have included “How to have a great conversation,” “Helping prep for your mid-year review,” “How to love criticism,” and “Understanding your DiSC styles to improve communication.”

Reflecting on her experience in the program, Senior Project Manager Colleen Deutsch shared, “Often when you are stuck in a trailer experiencing the highs and lows of a job, it can feel like you’re on an island, but these mentoring touch points provided such a sense of the greater and bigger picture. It was a very therapeutic experience, and not in a bad way. After the sessions, it provided a feeling of calmness and a sense of a refresh.”

The success of the Clune mentoring program is due to the dedicated employees who have chosen to set time aside to work not only for their own development but also for others. A special shout out to the mentors who’ve returned year after year to offer their time to a new group of mentees and the mentees who became mentors to pay it forward!

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