Founded in 2009, Homes by WestBay is the largest privately owned residential construction company in Tampa Bay, Florida, with 2,378 homes closed as of 2018.
For Director of HR Michelle Griffin, “training is the cornerstone” of any successful organization. “I want people working smarter, not harder. That requires helping them acquire the skills they need to be effective.”
When Griffin joined Homes by WestBay in 2017, she specifically sought out a formalized training platform. “Leadership was on board and understood the productivity benefits of having an online, streamlined solution,” said Griffin. “In fact, one of the company’s initiatives was to expand their learning program and provide a way to close employee skill gaps.”
The company also lacked a way to offer skills and career development training. “Being strategic requires more than just recruiting great new talent. It also takes retaining existing talent,” said Griffin. “We wanted to be able to engage all our employees with learning opportunities and give them the resources to develop new skills and career paths.”
Griffin began looking for an all-in-one learning solution that would enable the delivery and tracking of compliance as well as courses for employee development and growth. “During my search, I learned that most platforms out there do one thing or the other. In addition, very few have content specific to the construction industry.”
While attending the LEAP HR: Construction conference, Griffin discovered PiiQ by Cornerstone. “I was familiar with the Cornerstone platform and knew how great it was. I was surprised to learn that we could offer compliance, soft skills, and our custom training all within the PiiQ platform.”
Griffin was also surprised by how easy PiiQ was to implement (an advantage for an HR department of one). “It was so easy. I imported the template, pulled a report from our HRIS system to match the template, and uploaded the report to get everybody in the system. It took 10 minutes. I don’t even think I would call it an ‘implementation’ because it was like turning on a switch.”
Post-implementation, Griffin continues to rely on a “kind and patient” Cornerstone client care team. “Every rep I’ve ever worked with at Cornerstone has been knowledgeable and helpful.”
Simplified compliance training delivery and tracking. Today, Homes by WestBay manages all compliance, general and industry specific, from one place. “PiiQ has made my life easier. It takes no time at all to launch compliance training to one person or to the entire company,” said Griffin. “I push a button to assign training, set a due date, and track it. And I can run reports in seconds.”
Employee driven training. PiiQ has fulfilled a pressing employee request: access to skills and career development training. “I did an engagement survey in 2017. Part of that survey was an open-ended question asking employees what they needed. We were bombarded with requests for training,” said Griffin. “When I launched the same survey in 2018, the openended section of the survey came back blank, except for the occasional request to reduce the cost of employee benefits. No one had to ask again for training because, within one year, we had fulfilled their request.”
Reduced employee turnover by 10%. “We’re not anticipating growth, so retaining the people we already have is key,” said Griffin. “Our December 2017 turnover was 28.42%. December 2018 turnover was 17.69%. That’s a 10% reduction in just one year.”
Reduced new hire turnover by 28%. “With PiiQ, our onboading process is more engaging and meaningful. We assign compliance and soft skills training right away, which helps new hires feel more involved and gain a better understanding of our culture,” said Griffin. “Our new hire turnover within the first 90 days has gone from 23% to 17%, and our turnover within first year has gone from 57% to 29%.”
Closed skill gaps. The company uses PiiQ to administer emotional intelligence and assertiveness training to every employee, but they also use the platform to address individual employee skill gaps. Managers assign relevant skills training to their direct reports. “Managers are reporting significant improvements, such as ‘more confidence and assertiveness,’ ‘improved interactions with buyers,’ ‘more positive body language and attitude toward buyers.’” said Griffin.
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