Chinburg Properties employees go back to school
Development firm partners with Great Bay Community College in training program
Newmarket-based Chinburg Properties, which started out in the 1980s as a small family business and become one of the largest builders and developers of homes and housing units on the Seacoast, sought out a partner to help them deal with the challenges every company faces as they deal with such growth.
The partner: Great Bay Community College, which teamed up with Chinburg employees and executives to develop customized training programs for its employees and executives. The company approached the school in November 2017 about creating the programs because they wanted to invest in their growing team – it had tripled the number of employees over the previous five years and was concerned about the impact such growth would have on preserving its unique culture.
“Our senior leadership team decided that we wanted to offer more opportunities for training and professional development to the Chinburg employees. We saw many benefits, including an increase and broadening of skills, job satisfaction, employee retention, increased knowledge, common language and understanding of concepts, stronger relationships within the company and a better understanding of our company philosophy and core values,” said Jennifer Chinburg, the company’s vice president of corporate development and marketing. “I reached out to Great Bay to see if they could accommodate and work with us to create a program that would be customized for our needs. When we met it became clear that the enthusiasm, the experience and the flexibility that Great Bay demonstrated, would make working with their team a great fit as we created this program that we now call Chinburg University,”
The GBCC team worked closely with Chinburg to help the company envision what the programs would want to ultimately accomplish, and developed a plan to address their professional development goals.
It began with a kickoff meeting that all Chinburg employees were invited to attend to learn about the effort and provide input and learn about the core value of customer service. This led to some initial training programs geared toward improving core skills in such programs as Microsoft Excel.
Most recently, it included seven leadership sessions for 21 employees, each of which focused on leadership topic and keys to success. Those topics included communication and building relationships, coaching as a management tool, decision making, problem solving, negotiation and conflict resolution.
Chinburg had recognized that its senior leaders who grew up in the company didn’t have shared formal leadership training, while its growing team would also benefit from such training. As a result, Chinburg now has a core group of employees with common leadership language and learning experience. This pilot program will continue to be rolled out to employees across the company.
GBCC also helped with Chinburg Properties’ successful grant application to the NH Job Training Fund, which promotes and supports workforce development by companies in New Hampshire.
“At GBCC, we thrive on working with companies like Chinburg that are committed to their employees and recognize that they need to invest in themselves proactively,” said Sean Clancy, associate vice president of marketing and community engagement at GBCC. “The program we built included core leadership training, but also focused on affirming how important their culture and values are to their young leaders and to their whole organization,”
“After participating in these programs, our employees said they have increased job satisfaction, appreciation that we invest in employees in this way, new mentoring relationships, many new skills and more confidence. We know that we can work with Great Bay as a partner to achieve our training goals and objectives,” said Chinburg. “This is now part of our company culture and we are really proud to impact and reward people who work for Chinburg Properties in this way.”