Training is a way of life for employees at Graniterock, a Wastonville, Calif.—based construction materials supplier (www.graniterock.com). They can choose from about 200 “Graniterock University” courses covering everything from English as a second language to parenting skills—all on company time. Staffers are welcome to enroll in classes at local colleges as well, also on the company's dime.
Employees help to set their own learning priorities. Each year, they consult with managers to complete an individual professional development plan, which includes a training wish list. On an annual recognition day, employees take turns talking about their progress toward those goals—and many collect bonuses of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
The $1 million or so that Graniterock invests in training each year has paid off—in the form of revenues per employee 30 percent higher than the industry average, a stellar safety record, and low turnover. As CEO Bruce Woolpert puts it: “The University of Michigan did a study that said all knowledge in the construction industry is being replaced every six years. We're reinventing Graniterock every three years.”