This week, McCarthy Building Company joined BlueJeans on a webinar highlighting their in-depth training strategy across 15 office locations, multiple construction job sites, and enabling all employees with work-from-home meeting technology. As a leading provider of commercial building services, CJ Reed represents McCarthy’s IT organization and explained their sophisticated methodology for replacing outdated conferencing technology and implementing BlueJeans.
For a recap about managing a distributed network of cloud-based meetings in the construction industry, read below on CJ's insights before, during, and after they introduced new technology to over 5,000 end users.
Q: Who is McCarthy Construction?
A: We are a commercial builder helping clients achieve their goals. It is our passion for delivering maximum value in commercial construction and for consistently eclipsing our clients’ expectations. Our clients are schools, hospitals, resorts, entertainment centers, government, colleges, casinos, solar, and water and wastewater. The needs of our clients vary widely in project size, level of complexity and facility type – but they all have this in common – they want a trustworthy construction partner know for a commitment to excellence that enables them to achieve their business and community goals. We will partner with architects, engineering firms, subcontractors, and trade partners to help achieve our client’s goals.
In 1864, Irish immigrant Timothy McCarthy began a small business building barns and farmhouses in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 150 years later, we are a top commercial builder, but we owe our growth to our clients and partners.
Q: What is McCarthy Building Company’s IT mantra what it comes to digital transformation initiatives?
A: Construction projects today are more complex than ever – faster schedules, tighter budgets, and one-of-a kind designs are all part of the process. Technology can be a differentiator in our commitment to deliver a successful outcome for the client. For improving communications and enhancing collaboration, we utilize BlueJeans Meetings platform as one of our tech tools providing value.
Q: How has day-to-day workflow changed across the company given the COVID situation? Please speak to your department specifically and within the orgs you enable for remote work.
A: As construction is an essential industry some has continued as business as usual. We made the decision to move our offices to working remotely and I partnered with our HR’s Organizational Development group to conduct 4 different online webinars: Working Remotely as Individuals, Managers, Teams, and Effective Meetings. We hosted these sessions using BlueJeans Meetings.
We had scaled up our BlueJeans Meeting licensing to add a few hundred seats to add new users. Additioanlly, we purchased a license for BlueJeans Events which allows us to host webinars/events for up to 500 participants.
During this WFH shift we created a “What to Use When Matrix” to ensure everyone is clear on which applications to use in a given situation.
We also delivered effective best-practice guides for the following three areas:
  • Working Remotely for Managers
  • Working Remotely for Teams
  • Effective Meetings
Q: Before implementing BlueJeans, what specific challenges did your company face regarding conferencing technology?
A: Our audio and web conferencing was not unified with a single vendor, we were contracted with Ready Conference, Microsoft, WebEx, and GoToMeeting. We experienced widespread adoption limitations based on non-standardized room system technology. We needed to more smoothly bridge room system conferencing. A lack of brand continuity created friction for employees and in-room systems went unused.
Q: Why do you consider video a critical aspect of workplace productivity?
A: We believe the power of video communication has far-reaching implications on productivity. The clarity of information that’s exchanged when you can see peers and managers increases retention of knowledge, allowing more to get done in a given meeting. Compare this to audio-only conferencing when verbal cues and body language get lost in translation without the emphasis that video provides.
We’ve found this to be especially true regarding BlueJeans Smart Meetings — less time is wasted and less participants need to attend project status meetings when they have easy access to a summary of highlighted talking points.
Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements. This means when you are sitting in a conference room where you are participating in an audio only conference meeting, you and the participants are missing over half of the elements of communication!
Q: Your department created a highly sophisticated onboarding program by leveraging the Kirkpatrick Model. Please describe this strategy, including what worked and why.
Kirkpatrick Level 1: Reaction
Data is captured through post-program learner evaluations, surveys, or questionnaires. Learners are asked to provide rankings for the following items:
  • How much learners enjoyed the program
  • How relevant they felt the training was to their roles
  • Whether they perceived the training as a good use of their time
  • Other items include instructor performance rating, materials' quality, and administrative elements related to registration and facilities.
Kirkpatrick Level 2: Learning
Assessments or tests are given before and after training. Student's learning or attitude change as a result of training, including:
  • Did students learn what was intended?
  • Was the training experience what was intended?
  • What was the extent of knowledge gain in the intended area?

Level 2 measures only learner knowledge or attitude change, not whether the knowledge can be applied.

Kirkpatrick Level 3: Behavior

The extent to which learners are applying the learning after the training. Success criteria includes:

  • Did participants put the learning to use after returning to the job?
  • Is there a noticeable or measurable change in activity and performance when participants are back in their roles?
  • Are behavior changes sustained?
  • Are participants able to transfer their learning to another person?
  • Are learners aware of their change in behavior or skill level?
Learners should be observed or interviewed over time, and assessments should be designed to reduce subjective judgement and the use of "snapshots" of performance. Common assessment instruments include 360-degree feedback tools, performance scenarios and against established key performance indicators or criteria.
Q: What were the results of this training program? Please share quantifiable metrics that reflect impact and performance.
  • 93 instructor-led sessions, most intensive initiative of its kind at the company
  • 502 people trained (and two dogs)!
  • 15 total offices
  • January 2020-April 2020 we had 1,536 active users.
Are you planning a large video conferencing deloyement for office sites and remote employees? Try BlueJeans for free and see why global organizations use our products every day.