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Personal Productivity Improvement Methods: A Case Study on the Effects of Life Coaching in the Construction Industry

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1 PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT METHODS: A CASE STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF LIFE COACHING IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY By ALEXIS ANNE MCGUFFIN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Alexis Anne McGuffin

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3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my supervisory committ ee members (Dr. Jimmie Hinze, Dr. Esther Obonyo, and Dr. Svetlana Olbina). Their help was instrumental in the su ccessful completion of this research. I would like to express my appreciation to Lend Lease and the Lend Lease employees for their support and participation in this study. I thank Jose Silva-Lugo, Gary Reckard, and James Marini for their technical assistance. Additional thanks go to my friends and family for all their support.

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4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................3 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .........6 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ..............7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................... .8 Background..................................................................................................................... ..........8 Objectives of the Study........................................................................................................ .....8 Importance of the Study........................................................................................................ ....9 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................10 Employee Motivation and Satisfaction...................................................................................10 Employee Coaching: A Brief Overview.................................................................................11 Performance Coaching and Life Coaching.............................................................................12 Current Practices of Employee Coaching...............................................................................13 Life Coaching: A Workshop Based Case Study..............................................................14 Performance Coaching Case Study: Saving Time and Cutting Costs.............................14 Executive Coaching: Return on Investment....................................................................15 Advantages of Life Coaching.................................................................................................16 Difficulties Encountered with Life Coaching.........................................................................17 Summary........................................................................................................................ .........17 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY...........................................................................................19 The Lend Lease Springboard Program...................................................................................19 Design of Survey Questionnaires...........................................................................................21 Section 1: Demographic Information..............................................................................22 Section 2: Non-Attendees................................................................................................22 Section 3: Attendees........................................................................................................22 Distribution of the Survey..................................................................................................... .24 4 RESULTS........................................................................................................................ .......26 Respondent Demographics.....................................................................................................26 Non-Attendees of Springboard........................................................................................26 Springboard Attendees....................................................................................................27 Results of Survey: Non-Attendees..........................................................................................27 Results of Survey: Attendees..................................................................................................29 Summary........................................................................................................................ .........32

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5 5 CONCLUSIONS....................................................................................................................38 Overview....................................................................................................................... ..........38 Specific Insights about Coaching Programs...........................................................................38 Summary........................................................................................................................ .........41 6 RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................................................................42 Recommendations to Lend Lease...........................................................................................42 Recommendations to Construction Firms..............................................................................43 Recommendations for Future Research..................................................................................43 Summary........................................................................................................................ .........44 APPENDIX A LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS..............................................................................................46 B SURVEY OF PARTICIPANTS.............................................................................................47 LIST OF REFERENCES............................................................................................................. ..54 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................55

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6 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 Excerpt from the rating section of the survey....................................................................23 4-1 Number of years Attendees had been employed at Lend Lease before attending the Springboard Program.........................................................................................................34 4-2 Level of interest in attending the Springboard Program....................................................34 4-3 Impact of the Springboard Program on Non-Attendees....................................................35 4-4 Measured levels of Enjo yment, Learning, and Personal Growth after attending the Springboard Program.........................................................................................................35 4-5 Measured levels of the effects on Pers onal Life, Health and Fitness, Family and Home, and Friendships after atte nding the Springboard Program.....................................36 4-6 Measured levels of the effects on Soci al, Mental, and Faith related aspects after attending the Springboard Program...................................................................................36 4-7 Measured levels of the effects on Busi ness, Financial, and Current Employment related aspects af ter attending the Springboard Program..................................................37 4-8 Measured levels of the effects on Time Management, Organizational Skills, Daily Work Tasks, and Decision Making afte r attending the Springboard Program..................37

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7 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Bu ilding Construction PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT METHODS: A CASE STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF LIFE COACHING IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY By Alexis Anne McGuffin May 2007 Chair: Jimmie Hinze Cochair: Esther Obonyo Major: Building Construction Employee coaching is a relatively new tec hnique used by organi zations to develop employees and increase productivity in the workplace. One form of this technique ( Life Coaching ) is gaining popularity in the corporate wo rld. Companies in many industrial sectors have begun using this technique as a means of increasing employ ee satisfaction and productivity. The intent of this study was to determine the ef fects of life coaching on employee productivity in the construction industry. A case study was perf ormed with a large international construction firm that provides a life coaching program to its employees. A literature review of past case studies on the effects of life coaching showed that limited research had been performed on this topic, especi ally within the construction sector. A survey was generated and distributed to employees of th e parent company used in the case study. The aim of this survey was to collect data that would determine what if any, effects the life coaching program had on employee motivation, satisfaction, and productivity. The potential influence on retention and employee loyalty (towards the pare nt organization) was al so addressed in the survey. The results of this research were used to develop a set of hypotheses on the effects of life coaching and to guide future research in this area of study.

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8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background Employee coaching is a relatively new techni que used to improve employee productivity in the workplace. One form of this technique is life coaching. This type of coaching focuses on the individual; it is a combinati on of training and counseling that provides an employee with the techniques and support they need to improve the quality of their life and work. Life coaching programs take many forms. A typical program is one where selected employees within a company attend a one to two day workshop hosted by a third party company that specializes in productivity improvement. During these workshops coaches focus on aspects of the employees personal lives, whether or not it directly relates to the parent company experience. Companies within many industrial sectors have been using employee coaching as a means of increasing employee satisfaction with the in tent of having a positive effect on employee retention, productivity, and the quality of work performed. Employee coaching programs are limited in number in the construction industry. As more construction firm s begin to explore the potential benefits of employee coaching, gr eater numbers of coaching programs will be introduced in the construction i ndustry. Little research has been done on the effects of employee coaching within the construction industry. The fo cus of this study is to define the effects of employee coaching on employees within this area of business. Objectives of the Study The purpose of this research was to dete rmine the perceived effects of personal productivity coaching (life coaching) of employees in the construc tion industry. With this goal in mind, the following seven objectives were defined and addressed in this research: Objective 1 : To measure the level of employee enjoyment, learning, and personal growth after attending the program.

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9 Objective 2: To measure the level of growth from a holistic approach including a personal, social, and professi onal point of view. Objective 3: To measure the effectiveness of the program on employee productivity. Objective 4: To quantify the degree of satis faction with the coaching program. Objective 5: To determine whether or not attend ees felt the program should continue. Objective 6: To determine whether or not atte nding the program influenced the commitment to and/or loyalty towards the company. Objective 7: To determine whether or not awarene ss of the availability of the program affects employee perception of the compa ny for those that have not attended. Importance of the Study Human factors are a significant aspect of any business venture where employees are involved. Thus, the welfare of the employee would be expected to bear a direct relation to the health of the organization. A healthy organiza tion has motivated and productive workers. This same relationship would be expect ed to exist in any organization, including construction firms. Successfully assisting and supporting employees in a holistic sense should be a common goal for organizations across all industrial sectors. Whethe r or not an organization has been successful in achieving such goals can be measured through scientific means.

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10 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Employee Motivation and Satisfaction Employee motivation has been linked to the success of organizations (Maslow 1970). Abraham Maslow defined a hierarchy of needs ba sed on the theory that people seek to achieve goals because they are motivated by the desire to fulfill certain needs. Maslows hierarchy of needs proposes five categories (from lowest to highest): phys iological, safety and security, social belongingness, self esteem, and self-actua lization. Maslows theo ry postulates that the lowest level needs must be satisfied before the next level of need arises. Physiological needs, the most primitive, include the need for food, water, and sleep. After these basic needs have been fulfilled, the desire for safety and security arises until a person is able to establish some sort of stability in their surroundings. Social belongingne ss has to do with the need to feel love. People have a need to feel like they are a part of a group, that they have friends, family, and that affection is shown between members. The fourth le vel is self esteem which consists of the need for one to have self-respect and to be revered by ot hers. The need for esteem consists of the need to feel self worth, adequacy, and competence. This includes the need for respect from others, recognition, admiration, and status. Self-actualization is the highe st of the needs and is never fully realized. This need is associated with an individuals innate pe rsonal potential and the ability to express ones uniqueness. This need is linked with i nner drive and creative expression. Understanding the needs of employees is the key to motivating them and in effect, maximizing their productivity (Maslow 1970). Frederick Herzberg developed a related motivat ional theory for employee productivity. It states that some job factors ar e related to employee satisfacti on, while others are related to employee dissatisfaction, and that these two attribut es do not operate on the same continuum

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11 (Herzberg 1966). According to Herzberg, work ers who enjoy job satisfaction are motivated workers. Job satisfaction is linked to job cont ent and performing meaningf ul work. Job context relates more to dissatisfiers which would compro mise worker motivation. The content factors or job elements associated with satisfaction incl ude achievement, the work itself, advancement, recognition, responsibility, and gr owth. These aspects of an employees work experience become motivators for performance. These motivators can be achieved when an employee solves a problem, completes a job, receives r ecognition, is promoted, engages in interesting work, and learns new skills, among others. In es sence, job satisfaction is associated with job content that results in an enriched work e nvironment (i.e., job enrichment leads to job satisfaction and worker mo tivation) (Herzberg 1966). Employee Coaching: A Brief Overview As the globalization of organizational system s and functions increases, their complexity and performance challenges increase as well. Multinational companies are increasing in numbers and, they are expanding in response to these phenomena and the associated opportunity and demand this growth creates (Broad, 2006). Ju st as companies grow, many firms want their employees to grow. Some firms make efforts to enhance this personal growth through special coaching programs. The increasing pace of the business world has become the key stimulation for the development and expansion of such empl oyee coaching programs. The hope is that this technique will foster the accelerated skill develo pment necessary to keep pace with systems development (Sparrow, 2005). Dr Anthony M. Grant, a Coaching Psychologist at the University of Sydney, defines employee coaching as A coll aborative solution-focuse d, results-oriented and systematic process in which the coach facilita tes the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and personal growth of the coachee (2000).

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12 At the heart of every team manager role th eres a responsibility to raise individual and team performance to deliver improved custom er service and a commercial benefit for the company and shareholders. Successful co aching programs are designed around enabling personal performance to be elevated and busin ess acumen to be sharpened. By focusing on the key elements of goal achievement, innovati on, confidence and self assessment within a coaching program, improvements in personal an d team performance can be dramatically improved (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006, pp. 23). The role of a coach is commonly referred to as a personal management consultant. They are expected to have a developed comprehens ion of business and strategy, as well as an understanding of psychology and human behavior (Bluckert, 2005). They act as both the industry advisor and the psychologist with the aim of facilitating content improvement via process improvement (Bluckert, 2005). The prim ary goal of coaching is to improve a persons effectiveness at work in ways linked to overa ll business strategy. To this end, a coach will sometimes guide individuals toward increased awareness of how thei r thoughts and emotional reactions lead to problematic behavi ors in the workplace (Bluckert, 2005). Performance Coaching and Life Coaching Employee coaching is implemented in the busin ess world primarily in one of two ways: performance coaching or life coaching. While they share the similar goal of achieving improvement in productivity and quality, their ap proaches differ. Performance coaching is specifically oriented towards wo rk related activities and focuses on productivity improvement in the workplace. Generally, perf ormance coaching occurs in the workplace, or in workshops hosted by a third party company or a quality management department within the parent company. The design and implementation of a pe rformance coaching program is tailored to the specific needs and structure of the company, and its focus is on finding solutions to improve productivity and provide a sustainable perf ormance management culture for employees (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006). Team building is often a major focus, as is finding production methods to achieve a balance between speed and quality. Daily work tasks are broken down and

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13 re-evaluated to help managers and advisors thi nk and act differently in order to find these new solutions (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006). The idea behind life coaching is that if improve ments are made with th e individuals within the company, the company will be improved as a whole. Life coaching encourages, supports and motivates individuals to real ize their potential, helping them to achieve their aspirations and goals. By assessing the current st atus and establishing objectives, it empowers people to achieve what they want by helping ove rcome thoughts and circumstances that hold people back. The benefit for employers encouraging or providing this type of coaching is that if these aspects of an employees life are addressed then they are fr ee to become more effective and ultimately, productive in the workplace (Perry 2006). In a case study performed by Andersen et al. (2006), it was found that using an integrated appr oach to employee performance management (addressing the employee with a holistic point of view), rather than the traditional attempt to make isolated changes, ended up being more successful. Often times concentrating on improving individual aspects results in change s that, in the end, c ounter act one another (Andersen et al., 2006). When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe (Muir, 1911). Current Practices of Employee Coaching Currently there are as many different implementations of performance and life coaching as there are companies utilizing these methods. In fact, the succe ssful approaches are ones that are tailored to company specific needs and paramete rs. Because of the high initial investment for coaching programs, it is a common practice to offer employee coaching (especially life coaching) to executive and high level positions only. One basic format for many coaching programs, whether they are perfor mance or life based, is to begi n by clarifying the needs, then setting the objectives that will meet those needs. Once these steps have been accomplished, an

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14 action plan is designed, and once this is impl emented, activities and re sults are checked on a continual basis to ensure that the plans performance objective is being met (Champathe, 2006). Life Coaching: A Workshop Based Case Study At an annual weekend workshop for local gover nment lawyers held at the University of York, a two hour life coaching workshop was offered to the delegates in a ttendance. The model used for the workshop took a holistic appr oach and was founded on collaboration and interactive participati on between the client and the coach (Perry, 2006). During this workshop, participants were offered sessi ons where the focus was on self discovery and development, not on law and legal issues. Through this study, th e researcher, Melaine J. Perry, found that upon completion of the workshop delegates had a pos itive and energized mood. Delegates were inspired and appeared to be motivated by both the workshop and their in teraction with their previously unmet peers (Perry, 2006). While th ere was no further follow up with participants on how it affected their activities in the workpla ce, their initial reactions after completing the workshop were that they felt a re duction in stress and an increase in motivation and focus (Perry, 2006). Performance Coaching Case Study: Saving Time and Cutting Costs British Telecommunications (BT), seeking to improve performance in its online retail outfit, hired a third party business performance improvement and coaching consultant firm. Trinity Horne was contracted to design and implement this program with the objective of improving productivity on business, team, and indi vidual levels. A program that ensured worklife balance for employees and included traini ng and intensive side-by-side coaching of all operational managers was put into action at BT Retail Online. Members of Trinity Horne found that by focusing on the key elements of goa l achievement, innovation, confidence and self assessment within a coaching program, improvement s in personal and team performance can be

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15 dramatically improved (Brumwell and Reynol ds, 2006). After implementing the coaching program, productivity and capacity at BT Retail Online was shown to have increased by 11.2% across its 12,000 employees (an increase equivalent to approximately US 40 million annual cost savings) (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006). Executive Coaching: Return on Investment An attempt to demonstrate the monetary va lue of an executive coaching program was performed with Booz Allen s learning and development organization, the Center for Performance Excellence. The Executive Coaching Program at Booz Allen sought to help senior leaders accomplish their development goals thro ugh engagement with a performance coach (Parker-Wilkins, 2006). Because of the diffi culty in producing hard numbers for personal productivity improvement when a business is no t production related, this case study attempted to determine the return on investment (ROI) for the employees personally, and then associate a monetary savings for the company. Volunteers were asked to participate in this study, and were interviewed about how they applied their coach ing to create value in the following business impact areas: Increased productivity Increased diversity Retention of leadership talent Increased team member satisfaction Accelerated senior leader promotions Increased client satisfaction Improved teamwork Increased quality of consulting services The method used to isolate the effects of co aching was to ask interviewees to identify a monetary value for each benefit, to estimate (on a percentage basis) how much of the monetary benefit was attributed to coaching, and to assess how confident they were in their estimates (on a

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16 percentage basis) (Parker-Wilkin s, 2006). From this process, th e researcher assessed that the executive coaching yielded close to a 700% ROI fo r the company. Participants commented that the coaching enabled them to build teams more e ffectively, and created an increased ability to develop and contribute to high perf orming teams. Relationships w ith vice presidents and their peers were improved from being le ss defensive to being more self-confident in their interactions with others. They asked ques tions more often and considered more information in making decisions. Leaders were able to better understand how they fit into the Booz Allen culture. Consequentially, these leaders were able to rais e their visibility within Booz Allen and better articulate career goals (Parker-Wilkins, 2006). Advantages of Life Coaching With the increased pace of the business world and the element of constant change running throughout it, life coaching can provide a means of supporting managers a nd increasing the skill set of employees (Chidiac, 2006). Traditional trai ning methods have shown to be ineffective as they commonly result in a lack of performan ce following the training. Training alone, without additional support shows a low ROI with very few learners stating they had actually applied what they had learned in their work (Broad, 2006). Through the literature search on life coaching, there were found to be common advantages and outcomes of different life coaching programs. The overall sense of life coaching benefiting the company through more satisfied employees was found to be true throughout. The common benefits of life coaching, and employee coaching in general, as cited by Perry (2006) and ParkerWilkins (2006), are summarized below: Increased effectiveness and productivity Made for a more productive working environment Improved staff retention rates Retention of leadership talent

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17 Accelerated senior leader promotions Improved teamwork Increased team member satisfaction Increased client satisfaction Increased quality of consulting services Reduction in absences for sickness and other stress related illnesses Employee satisfaction is tied considerably to work-life balance, which life coaching seeks to address (Byrne, 2005). The achievement of better work-life balance can yield dividends for employers in terms of: having a more motivate d, productive and less stressed workforce that feels valued; attracting a wide r range of candidatesincrea sed productivity and reduced absenteeism; gaining the reputation of being an employer of choice; reta ining valued employees; achieving reduced costs; and maximizing available labor (Byrne, 2005). Difficulties Encountered with Life Coaching While life coaching continues to gain popularity in the corporate wo rld, little empirical research has been done to evaluate the effectiv eness of this, primarily executive, development tool (Jones et al., 2006). Because of the lack of supportive research findings, one of the primary difficulties encountered with life coaching is the difficulty human resources departments face in attributing a commercial benefit to justify th e program and then, once completed, proving its been a success (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006). The measurement of performance before and after coaching is nearly impossible to evaluate objectively (Gimson, 2006). Summary Employee coaching programs appear to be viable mechanisms by which to assist in the personal growth and motivation of employees. Such programs are still in their infancy, with little published about quantifiable re sults. Many studies that have attempted to evaluate coaching programs were performed by the same firms that were hired to design and/or implement the

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18 coaching programs under review, in troducing in an obvious bias to the research. Such programs could be evaluated more objectively by parties that do not have a vested interest in the results.

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19 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The objective of this research was to de termine the perceived effects of personal productivity coaching (commonly referred to as life coaching ) of employees in the construction industry. Personal productivity coaching programs are new to many organizations and they are rarely encountered in the construction industry. Additional information obtained on the success of such programs could assist other firms in their decision to develop and implement such programs. The methodology followed in this research wa s determined by the objectives of the study listed in Chapter 1. The initial steps taken were as follows: A literature search was performed on material related to the implementation of personal improvement coaching programs and employee management techniques not only in the construction industry but in other industrial sectors as well. The data required for the analys is were identified, and the possible sources of data were explored. Some data were deemed to be unavailable due to personal privacy laws; methods to obtain sufficient data were then iden tified. Since such programs in the construction industry are not widely implement ed, the researcher decided to conduct a study within a single firm. Lend Lease was identified as the company where the desired data could be obtained and a decision was made to conduct a case study with em ployees of Lend Lease. A representative of Lend Lease provided background information a bout their employee coaching program making the research possible. The Lend Lease Springboard Program The Lend Lease program for employee life coaching is known as the Springboard Program, a program implemented to improve employee productivity an d satisfaction. The Springboard Program is open to all permanent empl oyees regardless of position. To be eligible

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20 to attend the program, participants must have b een employed by Lend Lease or a subsidiary for a minimum of two years. Eligible employees may attend the Springboard Program one time only. Once an employee becomes eligible, they may su bmit an application to attend the event. Applications are initiall y reviewed by project managers, a nd employees are then selected to attend the program through a final review pr ocess by the Springboard Program Managers. Information about this program is kept confidentia l within the firm. Employees are aware of its existence and basic intent but are kept unaware of the specifics. Only those employees selected to attend are given the details of the program and activities. Lend Lease hosts six Springboard events each year; the even ts are shared between the Lend Lease regions in Asia Paci fic, Europe, and the Americas Each event hosts 40 to 50 participants and is held over an extended weekend lasting four days. The event is fully funded by Lend Lease; participants are flown to the hos t city, and all accommodati ons and activities are paid for by the company. The program incl udes team based activities, classroom learning, coaching exercises with a partner, and self-exa mination and introspection work. The program focuses on helping participants to find strength, skills, and inner fortitude they may not have known they had. The conference format is design ed to help employees realize and continuously reach for their individual potenti al in both their professional a nd personal lives. Through this program, Lend Lease strives to provide an extr aordinary personal and professional development experience that will ultimately create a loyal, energetic, creative and empowered workforce. After all the facets of the Lend Lease empl oyee coaching program were understood, it was decided that this program met the requirements of this research objectiv e. Specifically, Lend Lease was used in this investigation for the following reasons: Lend Lease is a large, successful compa ny with an established coaching program.

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21 Lend Lease's Springboard Program fulfills th e intended requirements of a personal productivity coaching program for this study. Lend Lease agreed to provide access to Springbo ard and employee data to help make this study possible. Design of Survey Questionnaires After becoming familiar with the Springboard Pr ogram, it was decided that the best means of acquiring the necessary data was through a su rvey questionnaire. Since Lend Lease is an international firm, personal interviews or tele phone contacts were not deemed practical. A survey was designed to inves tigate the impact of the Springboard Program on employees who had attended the program, as well the influence it has on employees who had not yet attended, but were aware of the program and its availabilit y. The individuals who had not participated in the Springboard Program were assumed to be awar e of its existence. Within these two groups, the objectives (listed in Chapter 1) of the study were addressed. A survey incorporating the seven objectives for both groups was developed in order to streamline the distribution process. Moreover, b ecause the status of eac h participant (whether they had attended the Springboard Program, or not) was unknown at the time the survey was administered, one version of the survey was c onstructed to be distributed to all research participants. An initial set of questions was de veloped by the researcher which was then given to the committee chair for review. Numerous modifi cations were made to the survey questions through an iterative process. Once finalized, th e survey was submitted to Lend Lease for final review with minor modifications. The final survey and cover letter to participants was submitted to the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. Federal regulations require this approval for all re search conducted with human subjects. The survey was approved after making a few modifications at the request of the IRB and was then ready for distribution. The survey consisted of three sections, each of wh ich will be discussed in the following section.

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22 Each of the objectives was examin ed through the survey questionnair e. Several objectives were addressed by more than one question and some qu estions addressed more than one objective. A copy of the survey in its entirety can be found in Appendix B. Section 1: Demographic Information The introductory section targeted all participants and included a series of fill-in-the-blank questions pertaining to the responde nt's information. Participants were asked to give their age, the date they were hired by Lend Lease, the num ber of years employed by Lend Lease, and their current job title. These data were requested in order to obtain information about each respondents current situation at Lend Lease, which could be used to provide insights about variations in perspective. Section 2: Non-Attendees One portion of the survey targeted empl oyees who had not attended the Springboard Program (addressed by Objective 7), namely determ ination of whether or not awareness of the availability of the program aff ects employee perceptions of the company. The respondents were asked questions pertaining to their eligibility to attend the Springboard Program in order to determine the employees current position relative to the programs availability. This was followed by questions addressing the particip ants knowledge and opinions concerning the program. The main purpose of these questions was to assess the general awareness of the program and feelings towards it. Finally, the pa rticipants were asked if and how the Springboard Program and its availability to Lend Lease employ ees affected their opinions of Lend Lease and their decision to remain employed by the company. Section 3: Attendees The final portion of the su rvey targeted employees w ho had attended the Springboard Program and addressed Objectives 1 through 6. In order to addr ess variations in responses

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23 arising from differences in the specific Spri ngboard Program event attended, the respondents were first asked to provide information about their individual program experience, including the date, location, and the number of years they had been in employment at Lend Lease at the time they attended the program. The individual objec tives and the means for addressing them in the survey are given below: Objective 1: To measure the level of employee enjoym ent, learning, and personal growth after attending the program. This objective was addressed by asking participants to rate their experience at the Springboard Program in the areas of enjoyment, learning, and personal growth. The format of this section contained a five scale rating system, as shown in Figure 3.1. Category Low Neutral High Enjoyment 1 2 3 4 5 Figure 3-1. Excerpt from the rating section of the survey Objective 2: To measure the level of growth from a holistic approach including a personal, social, and professional point of view. With the intention of holistically addressing personal growth, the initial catego ries of personal, social, and professi onal were selected. Each category was then broken down further, and participants were asked to rate the value of the program in the following areas: personal life, health and fitness, family and home, frie ndships, social, mental, faith, business, financial, and current employment. The format of this section follows the example of the five scale rating system shown in Figure 3.1. Objective 3: To measure the effectiveness of the program on employee productivity. This objective was addressed by asking part icipants to rate the level to which their experience affected their time management, organizational skills, da ily work tasks, and decision making. This portion followed the exemplary format displayed in Figure 3.1. In addition to this, participants

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24 were asked whether or not they felt the program affected their productivity at work, and were allotted open writing space to expl ain/elaborate on their answer. Objective 4: To quantify the degree of satisf action with the coaching program. A series of Yes or No type questions along with open-en ded questions for respondents to express and explain/elaborate on their opinions were presented to participants. These questions addressed the programs effectiveness, possible suggestions of changes to the program, eligibility requirements, and beneficial aspects to the individual. Objective 5: To determine whether or not attend ees felt the program should continue. This objective was achieved by asking participants thei r opinions about the program in the form of questions that solicited Yes or No responses. Objective 6: To determine whether or not attending the program created a commitment to and/or loyalty towards the company. Objective 6 was addressed by asking participants how attending the Springboard Program affected thei r opinions of the company (participants were asked to enter their opinions to open-ended quest ions), and whether or not it influenced their desire to remain employed by the company (pre sented through a questio n soliciting a Yes or No response). Distribution of the Survey Because of personal privacy issues and inte rnal Lend Lease policy, volunteers were asked to participate in the surv ey. Although this introdu ced a possible bias into the data analysis, this was deemed to be the only viable means available fo r data collection. As a re sult of this bias, the survey was designed to allow for anonymous re plies. The focus of the questions was on perceived increased improvement for each individua l employee. The survey was distributed to 83 Lend Lease employees through email messages. The email contained a letter to the participants explaining the overa ll nature of the survey (Appe ndix A) and a link to the online

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25 survey. Through the online survey, respondents were able to input their answ ers directly into an HTML/PHP form. After the survey was comple ted, the respondents simply clicked a submit button on the survey. By this means, the comple ted survey was submitted to the researcher with complete anonymity. Interviews were conducted with some Lend Lease administrators to obtain additional information about the Springboard Program. Followi ng this process, analytical and descriptive statistical techniques were used on the raw data to assess the impact of the Springboard Program on Lend Lease employees. The results of this an alysis are presented in Chapter 4: Results.

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26 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The results of this study pr ovided information relating to the personal life coaching of Lend Lease, a construction firm. Since this is a one-of-a-kind program, findings are not to be viewed as being typical of any group of organizations. Although the program being evaluated in this thesis is unique among cons truction firms, it still provides inspiration for other construction companies and managers. Respondent Demographics A total of 83 surveys were sent to Lend L ease employees via email message. Of these, there were 32 responses from Lend Lease employ ees who had participated in the Springboard Program, and 24 responses from employees who ha d not. A 67.5% response rate was considered satisfactory for this research. Non-Attendees of Springboard The ages of respondents who had not particip ated in the Springboard Program ranged from 23 to 59 with an average age of approximately 32. The respondents in this group had been employed by Lend Lease from one to nine years, averaging 3.3 years of employment with the company. The majority of these employees (appr oximately 65%) were in field related positions within the company. In this field relate d group, the respondents held varying positions, including Project Manager, Superintendent, and Pr oject Engineer. The office-related positions represented approximately 35% of the respondents. In this office-related group, examples of the positions held by these employees included Architectural Design Manager, Administrative Assistant, Estimator and Human Resources Coordinator. Of the 24 respondents who had not attended the program, eight (33%) were not eligible to attend it at the time the survey was taken (havi ng been employed by Lend Lease for less than two

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27 years), while 16 (67%) of the respondents were e ligible. Twelve of these 16 (75%) had applied to attend the program but had not been selecte d. All non-eligible employees were within 12 months of becoming eligible to apply for the program. Springboard Attendees The ages of respondents who had attended th e Springboard Program ranged from 26 to 57 with an average age of approximately 38. The respondents in this group had been in employment at Lend Lease from 5 to 23 year s, averaging approxima tely ten years of employment with the company. The majority of this group (approximately 66%) held officerelated positions within the company. A wide range of positions are represented by these respondents, including CEO, Direct or of Training, Vice President of Human Resources, Director of Preconstruction, Senior Accountant, Senior Estimator, Administrative Assistant, and Human Resources Generalist. The field-related positi ons, represented by 34% of the respondents, were Project Managers and Superintendents. The locations of the Springboard Program even ts that respondents had attended spanned across four continents: Australia (45.2%), Europe (32.3%), No rth America (19.4%), and Asia (3.2%). These events occurred between 2000 an d 2006 with the majority of the respondents attending the program in 2004-2005. Figure 4-1 s hows the number of years the respondents had been employed by Lend Lease before attending the program. While the average number of years of employment with the company before attend ing was seven, the majo rity had attended after having been employed by Lend Lease for two to four years. Note: employees are not eligible to attend Springboard until they have been employed by Lend Lease a minimum of two years. Results of Survey: Non-Attendees The general understanding that Lend Lease employees have of the Springboard Program before attending is that it is an opportunity to meet and network with other Lend Lease

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28 employees from around the world. The program is seen as a team building experience and a leadership conference where part icipants are given the opportunity for personal and professional growth. The perspectives on the key benefits of the program were consistent among these respondents. Respondents noted that meeting Le nd Lease employees from other countries and being able to learn from them and exchange knowledge was an important key benefit of the program. The opportunity to travel abroad and gain a new perspective on life was also mentioned by respondents, as were personal grow th and learning new skills in the areas of leadership and teamwork. The respondents reasons for wa nting to participat e in the Springboard Program included meeting new people and traveling to new locations The opportunity for personal growth and to sharpen business acumen were frequently noted as well. Figure 4-2 shows the level of interest respondents had in attending the Springboard Pr ogram. The majority (75%) of respondents showed a high level of interest in participati ng in the coaching program. The respondents were asked two questions relating to the impact of the Springboard Program on employees who had not yet attended. Figure 4-3 shows how the ava ilability of the Springboard Program influenced their opinions of Lend Lease and their decision to remain employe d by the company. The survey results revealed that approximately half (54 %) of the respondents fe lt that the Springboard Program affected their opinion of their employer. However, fewer participants (37.5%) felt that the availability of this program influenced thei r decision to remain employed by Lend Lease. All respondents who felt that their opinion of Lend Lease was affected by the Springboard Program noted that the availability of the program ins tilled a positive outlook of the company for them. Having a program like Springboard made the empl oyees feel that Lend Lease is a people-

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29 oriented company that values its employees. One respondent explaine d that the Springboard Program had been an instrument al tool in their recruitment: It was first mentioned to me in my inte rviews, when I expres sed an interest in traveling/working abroad. It was an extr emely appealing facet of Lend Lease for me personally, and a major selling point on my decision to pursue and accept employment with the company. I think it helps exemplif y the broader value Lend Lease practices to support the whole person of its employees. Results of Survey: Attendees All respondents who had participated in th e Springboard Program completed the section within the survey dealing with the levels of enjo yment, learning, and personal growth after attending the program. The results are displaye d in Figure 4-4. Respondents rated enjoyment as the most highly affected attribut e of the program in this category, followed by personal growth. Learning was given a more moderate rating out of th e three. All participan ts in this group also responded to the section of the survey dealing with how the Springboard Program impacted their lives in the following categories: Personal Li fe, Health and Fitness, Family and Home, Friendships, Social, Mental, Fait h, Business, Financial, and Curre nt Employment. These results are as shown in Figures 4-5, 4-6, and 4-7. There were virtually no negative perceptions expressed by the respondents. Figure 4-5 show s each respondents ratings of the program in terms of the effect it had on their personal life health and fitness, family and home, and friendships. Respondents rated the effects on their personal life a nd friendships as moderate to high. Effects on family and home averaged a modera te rating, and health and fitness was given a neutral rating by partic ipants. The results shown in Figure 46 reveal that participants felt that the Springboard Program had a high impact on th eir mental disposition. The effect on their social lives was rated as moderate to high, and the effect on their faith was given a neutral rating. Figure 4-7 shows the measured levels of the eff ects the experience had in the areas of business,

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30 financial, and current employment. The effect s on business and current employment were both rated moderate, with financia l being given a neutral rating. The measured levels of the effectiveness of the program on work productivity (broken into the categories of Time Management, Organizati onal Skills, Daily Work Tasks, and Decision Making) are shown in Figure 4-8. The Springbo ard Program was perceived as having the greatest impact on Decision Making for the respondents, averaging a moderate to high rating. The next most impacted area of these descri ptors was Daily Work Tasks with a moderate average, followed by Organizational Skills and Ti me Management, both given a level of impact of moderate to neutral. Of the 32 respondents, 22 (approximately 69%) stated that the program affected their productivity in general; with ten replying that it did not affect their productivity. For those who felt that their productivity was affected, the fo llowing areas were mentioned as being positively impacted: Enhanced and helped develop a network of relationships Enhanced team building and communications Made participants take a mo re active approach to problem solving, both personally and professionally Provided personal assessment for growth and development Increased focus on goals Enhanced ability to prioritize, while mainta ining accurate view of the big picture Increased motivation Increased time management efficiency When asked whether or not the Springboard Program was effective, 100% of the respondents replied that it was indeed effective. All respondents (100 %) felt that the program

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31 should continue; however, 41% of the prior particip ants felt that changes should be made to the Springboard Program. Suggested changes and th eir frequencies within this group are shown below: Increase the length of the program (13.3%) Implement a follow-up session (to reconnect with the group and to check on progress) (46.7%) Increase the amount of time for social interaction between employees (6.7%) Create a stronger connection betw een the content and how to apply it to current work assignments (13.3%) Adjust specifics of the program, e.g. content and locations (20%) All the respondents felt that th e two years of employment el igibility requirement was a sufficient amount of time to become acquainted with the company and its culture. It was felt that this requirement enhanced the employees Spri ngboard experience thus no changes to the eligibility requirements to atte nd the program were suggested. When asked to identify the most beneficial pe rsonal aspect of the program, the responses from respondents fell into two categories: se lf reflection and evaluation (53%) and the opportunity to meet other Lend Lease employees fr om around the globe (63%). The results from this section of the survey can be summed up in the following quote from one of the respondents: Springboard forces the individual to take the time to really step back and evaluate the choices made in daily life. It helps you sort through what you really want for your life in the short term and long term. For me, this wa s extremely beneficial because I typically operate at such a fast pace that I rarely sl ow down to really think about life on a higher level. I also found it beneficial to meet so many other employees from different areas of our business (from an operationa l and geographical standpoint). I still keep in touch with many of my fellow Springboa rders from around the globe. Of the participants, 93.5% stat ed that attending the Springbo ard Program increased their desire to remain employed by Lend Lease. When asked how the program affected their opinion of Lend Lease, the responses included the following points:

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32 The program helped employees gain a greater understandi ng of Lend Lease. The program had an overall positive effect on the employee. Employees felt Lend Lease was a progressive company. Employees felt Lend Lease has a genuine concern for its employees well being. The experience instilled confid ence and pride in Lend Lease a nd its overall business plan. Employees were appreciative of the investment. The experience instilled l oyalty towards the company. The program reinforced Lend Lease's "people culture. Employees felt Lend Lease was a unique company to work for. Summary The results from the surveys show that employ ees of Lend Lease are aw are of the benefits of the Springboard Program and a ppreciate its availability to all employees. Participants of the program show an overall high level of satisfact ion with the program, and report increases in morale and focus. Many respondents to the surv ey noted that the Springboard experience had a significant effect on their lives both personally and professionall y. For many participants, the connection between them and Lend Lease was stre ngthened and they felt a sense of belonging within the large firm, as evident from one participants response: Springboard put a human face on our huge intern ational firm. Participating with people from all over the world with a full spectru m of job titles gave me an insight and appreciation into what we are about and wher e we are going. The inte rnal reflection that Springboard caused still benefits me today more than a year after I participated. The findings of this study are in many ways ope n to interpretation, as much of the data are based on the opinions of the individuals su rveyed. Although this st udy was conducted in a scientific manner, four limitations must be noted: Limitation 1: Subject ive nature of topic; Data obtained in this study represent the perceptions of the participan ts; quantifying certain responses proved to be difficult. Limitation 2: Limited range of sample; Surveys were sent to volunteers due to personal privacy law, therefore information gather ed may represent a limited point of view. Limitation 3: Limited size of sample; While the parent compa ny holds high standing in the international construction market, the result s of this study are based on a small portion

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33 of the employees of the company used for th e case study. A more extensive sample might produce varying results. Limitation 4: Unique experiences of employees within one firm; This research was conducted within one construction firm. The coaching experience of employees of other construction firms may be different due to va riances in the conditions of the firms and coaching programs.

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34 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 2 to 45 to 78 to 1011 to 1318 and higher YearsFrequency of Responses Figure 4-1. Number of years Attendees had been employed at Lend Lease before attending the Springboard Program. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 No InterestNot SureSomewhatFairlyVery Level of InterestFrequency of Responses Figure 4-2. Level of interest in attending the Springboard Program.

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35 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 NoYesFrequency of Responses Opinion of Lend Lease affected by program availability Decision to remain employed at Lend Lease affected by program availability Figure 4-3. Impact of the Spri ngboard Program on Non-Attendees. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 LowSlightly Negative NeutralModerateHigh RatingFrequency of Responses Enjoyment Learning Personal Growth Figure 4-4. Measured levels of Enjoyment, Learning, and Persona l Growth after attending the Springboard Program.

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36 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 LowSlightly Negative NeutralModerateHigh RatingFrequencey of Responses Personal Life Health and Fitness Family and Home Friendships Figure 4-5. Measured levels of the effects on Personal Life, H ealth and Fitness, Family and Home, and Friendships after atte nding the Springboard Program. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 LowSlightly Negative NeutralModerateHigh RatingFrequency of Responses Social Mental Faith Figure 4-6. Measured levels of the effects on Social, Mental, and Faith related aspects after attending the Springboard Program.

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37 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 LowSlightly Negative NeutralModerateHigh RatingFrequendcy of Responses Business Financial Current Employment Figure 4-7. Measured levels of the effects on Business, Financ ial, and Current Employment related aspects after atte nding the Springboard Program. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 LowSlightly Negative NeutralModerateHigh RatingFrequency of Responses Time Management Organizational Skills Daily Work Tasks Decision Making Figure 4-8. Measured levels of the effects on Time Management, Organizational Skills, Daily Work Tasks, and Decision Making afte r attending the Springboard Program.

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38 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS Overview Because of the highly competitive nature of th e construction market, companies that seek to thrive in this industry must continuously develop and enhance successful methods in employee management. Employee coaching, specif ically life coaching, can provide positive results in the areas of produc tivity and employee retention, he lping a construction firm to maintain a competitive edge. Due to the high initia l investment of such programs, it is important for the parent company to understand the eff ects of the coaching program they develop and utilize within their organization. Previous studies performed on this topic showed that employees were responsive to life coaching a nd benefited personally from the experience. Employees felt that their productiv ity at work increased and thei r opinion of their employer was enhanced. The results of this research, while reinforcing thes e basic aspects of life coaching, gave greater insight as to th e specific outcomes of an empl oyee life coaching program used within the cons truction industry. Specific Insights about Coaching Programs This study provided substantial data on the pe rceived effects of life coaching from an employee perspective. One of the benefits of this research was that the case study was performed with a company that offers life co aching to all employees regardless of position within the organization. This is a rare phenomenon across all industr ial sectors. The high cost of life coaching usually limits the opportunity to high level positions, most commonly executives of the company. The fact that life coaching is available to all Lend Lease employees was appreciated by all participants, as they felt they we re a valued asset to th e company regardless of position. It is felt that this f eature of Lend Leases lif e coaching program is one of its strongest

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39 points. Developing a sense of be longing within the company, in order to foster a loyalty or commitment to the firm, is a key motivation for offering this type of experience to employees. Limiting the experience to certain positions within a firm can defeat this purpose, and have the opposite effect. Employees of Lend Lease, esp ecially those in supportive positions within the company, showed a great appreciation for havi ng been included in this investment. Lend Leases people culture is strengthened a nd solidified by this facet of the program. There was an overwhelmingly positive response from participants when questioned about the connection the experience crea ted for them with Lend Lease. While the effects on employee loyalty for those that had not yet attended the program were not significant, the Springboard Program is a success in terms of increasing empl oyee desire to remain employed by the firm for those who had attended. The general conclusion from the results of this research is that th e Lend Lease Springboard Program has a significant and positive effect on employees. Lend Lease employees that had not attended the life coaching program were all aware of the program a nd its potential benefits. The program was seen as an additional benefit to wo rking for Lend Lease and interest to attend the program were generally very high. It is felt th at keeping the details of the program undisclosed to the general employee population at Lend Lease increases the programs effectiveness. The research results showed that employees that ha d applied but had not yet attended did not feel rejected, but had a sense that it was just not their time to attend at that point. There was an understanding (for those that ha d not attended) of the basic in tent of the program that was accompanied by a sense of wonder about what rea lly goes on during the experience. It was felt that this limited access to the Springboard Program information positively influenced employee desire to attend.

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40 One of the most highly regarded aspects of the Springboard Program was that it allowed employees the opportunity to travel. Employ ees at Lend Lease commit extensive amounts of time in order to meet the demands that come w ith working in the construction and development industry; these time commitments often do not a fford them the time to travel abroad. The opportunity to travel and learn in another country was cited as one of the beneficial aspects, and for some it was the most beneficial aspect. Ov erall, participants were satisfied with the Springboard Program locations they had attended. However, it was noted by a few participants that while the experience itself was enjoyable, th e location of at least one program had attended had been a disappointment. Because the opportun ity to travel was so important to their experience, it was felt that location selection should be given very careful consideration. Ultimately, locations should be chosen that will enhance the experience for all attendees, whether this results in traveli ng to another country or to a location within the home country. Employees that had attended the Springboard Pr ogram were generally very affected by the experience. The results showed that the progr am had strong positive effects on employees lives in the areas of personal growth, friendships, their mental disposition, and decision making. Being that the program focuses on helping employ ees find their inner stre ngth and fortitude, it follows that these areas were cited as the most gr eatly affected. While th e professional areas of business, financial, current employment, time management and daily work tasks (to include organizational skills) were shown to have been af fected by the experience for some participants, stronger and better results were noted in area s involving more personal attributes. From information provided by the Springboard administ rators, the programs direct intent was to holistically enhance the life of each participant. While some a ttendees (31%) stated that the experience did not improve their productivity at work, it was felt that their productivity was

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41 indeed improved indirectly. Motivated and satisf ied employees have less stress, a greater focus, are driven to succeed, and are therefore found to be more productive in their daily lives (Perry 2006). From the research results, it is felt th at Lend Leases Springboard Program does affect employee productivity in a positive manne r, both directly and indirectly. Because of the lower rating of professional areas in the surveys in comparison to the personal related areas, it is felt that the connect ion the program makes to personal life strategy is stronger. A few respondents reported a desire to be shown how to dire ctly apply the lessons learned at Springboard to current as signments at work. On the other side of this issue, there were respondents who appreciated the f act that the program did not cen ter on work or work related issues, and were grateful for the personal focus. From information given to the researcher on the intent of the Springboard Program, it is felt that the personal focus of the program is appropriate. Job training and professional workshops offered at Lend Lease have the ability to fulfill the need for continuing business education; the Springbo ard Program has a diffe rent purpose that it accomplishes successfully. Summary Overall employees felt very satisfied with th e Springboard Program and were grateful that they had attended. It is felt that this program fu lfills the intensions of a successful employee life coaching program by creating satisfied, motivate d, productive, and loyal employees. The means of administering and hosting the program are efficient methods for achieving the programs goals. The impression gained from the literature re view of this subject in combination with the research results is that Lend Leases Springboard Program is one of the more developed and successful life coaching programs offered in th e industrial market today and has a profound effect on its employees.

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42 CHAPTER 6 RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendations to Lend Lease The basis for recommendations to Lend Lease for the Springboard Program arises from suggestions provided by the participan ts in the survey as well as th e personal observations of this researcher. Overall, it is felt that the Lend Lease Springboard Program is a successful employee life coaching program. It is felt th at there would be a benefit to the participants from a follow-up session on the material covered at the Springboard event. Many pa rticipants suggested a followup conference to refresh the ideas learned from th e experience and the opportunity to meet with their fellow participants agai n. Because the Springboard Pr ogram already represents a significant investment from Lend Lease in its empl oyees, it is this researchers opinion that a follow-up session would not have a significant re turn on the investment. Also, a follow-up session might result in reducing the number of pa rticipants Lend Lease will be able to ask to attend the Springboard Program. However, it is suggested that a supportive framework for the core ideas of the program be esta blished. In order to satisfy the two needs (a refresher course on the Springboard information, and to reconnect w ith fellow participants) at a minimal cost, an information/workbook packet including the co re Springboard initiati ves to refresh the employees experience can be provided to participan ts one year after attending the program. In addition to this, an online forum for past participants can be cr eated. This forum would be a means for participants to maintain a social c onnection with fellow Springboard attendees. Other benefits of this type of online forum woul d be to maintain and build upon the business networking relationships previous ly established, and to share id eas and methods participants have developed to follow through with what they learned through the program experience.

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43 Recommendations to Construction Firms The research performed in this study shows that the implementation of an employee life coaching program has beneficial results for a co nstruction firm. While a program such as Lend Leases Springboard Program represents a significant investment for the firm, the return on this investment, while difficult to quantify, is substan tial. It is recommended that other construction firms consider this employee management a nd productivity improvement technique, while recognizing that there are many va riations by which they can be implemented. A firm should assess their capability for this type of investment and possibly bring in a third party specializing in life coaching to design a program that fits their unique needs. It is common to have employees from many diverse backgrounds within one construction firm; some employees enter the construction market from a collegiate background while others come from years of hands on experience. As employees of the same firm the individual bac kgrounds should not weigh heavily in the development of the life coaching pr ogram (i.e., all employees should be viewed as being equally eligible). In addition to the benefits of increasing productiv ity and retention, offering a life coaching program may serve as a means of uniting employees and inciting team spirit within the company. Recommendations for Future Research Through the research process involved in th is study, a set of hypotheses were developed about the effects of life coaching on employees in the construction industr y. It is recommended that future research in this area s hould seek to test the following hypotheses: Ho 1: There is a high level of enjoyment and pe rsonal growth for employees that results from attending a life coaching program. Ho 2: There is a high degree of employee satisf action that results from attending a life coaching program.

PAGE 44

44 Ho 3: There is a positive effect on worker productivity that re sults from attending a life coaching program. Ho 4: Attending a life coaching program creat es a strong commitment to and a loyalty towards the parent company. Ho 5: Awareness of the availability of th e life coaching program does not have a significant effect on the percep tions employees who have not participated in the program have of the company. In addition to addressing these hypotheses, fu ture research in this area of study should attempt to measure the productivity levels of employees before a nd after participating in a life coaching program. Selected participants should be observed on the job prior to participating, and then monitored after completing the life coaching program. Points of observation should include the number of hours worked per week in relati on to the amount of work performed, number of sick days taken, and the nature of the inter actions with fellow employees, team members and clients, among others. Observations and research should be performed by a third party that has no vested interest in the outcome. To determine the significance of variations in different coaching programs with the ultimate goal of defining the most successful an d efficient form of a life coaching program, future research should include em ployee participants of different firms. Hypotheses should be developed for each characteristic of individual programs and how they effect employees within the firms. Summary Employee life coaching has been shown to be an effective tool for improving employee satisfaction within the parent company. The e xperience benefits the company by retaining more employees and fostering a loya lty to the firm. The Lend Lease Springboard Program is an excellent example of a life coaching program w ithin the construction industry, and has shown significant results in this study. It is recommended that construc tion firms, as well as firms in

PAGE 45

45 other industrial sectors, attempt to implement a form of life co aching that suits their company and employee needs. Future studies should assist firms in determining the quantifiable effects on productivity improvement within the workplace. Research on the resu lts of individual life coaching program attributes should be conducted to give insight into de fining a best program description for firms trying to develop a life coaching program. Employee life coaching represents extensive possibilities for productivity improvement and more research is required in order to quantify this positive effect for firms wishing to utilize this employee enrichment tool.

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46 APPENDIX A LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS Survey of Lend Lease Employees The Springboard Program November 10, 2006 To: Potential Study Participants Subject: I am a graduate student in the M. E. Rinke r, Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida. I am conducting a study to assess the impact of or the potential value of participating in the Lend L ease Springboard Program. The study is being conducted through the attached survey in which a variet y of questions will be asked about your experience or your perception of the Lend Leas e Springboard Program. There are no risks associated with participating in this study and the survey can be completed in less than ten minutes. Naturally, you are asked to answer only th ose questions that you feel comfortable in answering. Your participation is complete ly voluntary and you may withdraw your consent to participate at any time without pe nalty. There is no benefit or compensation to you for participating in this study. The information collected from the survey will be used for research purposes only, and may have no effect on the Lend Lease Springboard Program currently established. Your individual responses will be kept strictly confidentia l to the extent provided by law. Employers will not know who responded nor will they have access to your responses. Research data will be summarized so that the identity of individual participants will be concealed. Your participation in this valuable study is highly appreciated. Yours truly, Alexis McGuffin Graduate Student Phone: (352) 870-4066 Email: flexus@ufl.edu Dr. Jimmie Hinze, Ph.D. Professor, Director of the Center for Construc tion Safety and Loss Control, M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Constructi on, University of Florida Phone: (352) 273-1167 Email: hinze@ufl.edu P.S. For information about participant rights please contact the University of Florida Institutional Review Board at (352) 392-0433 or Email: IRB2@ufl.edu.

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47 APPENDIX B SURVEY OF PARTICIPANTS Survey of Lend Lease Employees The Springboard Program Age: Date Originally Hired by Lend Lease: Month: Year: Total years employed at Lend Lease: Years Current Job Title: 1. Have you attended the Springboard Program? Yes No If you answered Yes, please go to Question #12. If you answered No, please continue with Question #2. 2. Are you currently eligible to attend the Springboard Program? Yes No 3. If Yes, how many months have you been eligible? Have you applied to attend the Springboard Program? How many times have you applied? Months Yes No 4. If No, how many months until you become eligible? Months

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48 5. What is your general understanding of the Springboard Program? Please comment 6. In your opinion, what are the key benefits of the Springboard Program? Please comment 7. How interested are you in participating in the Springboard Program? No Interest Not Sure Somewhat Fairly Very 8. What are the main reasons for wanting to participate (or not wanting to participate) in the Springboard Program? Please comment

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49 9. Does the Springboard Program affect your opinion of Lend Lease? Yes No 10. If Yes, explain how it is affected: Please comment 11. Does the Springboard Program influence your decision to remain empl oyed with Lend Lease? Yes No This completes the portion of the survey fo r Lend Lease employees that have not yet participated in the Springboard Progra m. Thank you for your participation. S ubmit1 Clear 12. When did you attend the Springboard Program? Month: Year: 13. What was the location of the Springboard Program you attended? City, County 14. How many years were you employed with Lend Lease before you attended the Springboard Program? Years Instructions: For the following three questi ons, check the number which best describes your personal feelings, one (1) denoting a ve ry low rating, three (3) denoting a neutral rating, and five (5) denoting a very high rating.

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50 15. Please rate your experience at the Springboard Program in the following areas: Low Neutral High Enjoyment 1 2 3 4 5 Learning 1 2 3 4 5 Personal Growth 1 2 3 4 5 16. How valuable was your experience at the Springboard Program in the following areas: Low Neutral High Personal Life 1 2 3 4 5 Health and Fitness 1 2 3 4 5 Family and Home 1 2 3 4 5 Friendships 1 2 3 4 5 Social 1 2 3 4 5 Mental 1 2 3 4 5 Faith 1 2 3 4 5 Business 1 2 3 4 5 Financial 1 2 3 4 5 Current Employment 1 2 3 4 5 17. How did the Springboard Program influence your effectiveness in the following areas: Low Neutral High Time Management 1 2 3 4 5 Organizational Skills 1 2 3 4 5 Daily Work Tasks 1 2 3 4 5 Decision Making 1 2 3 4 5

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51 18. Do you feel the Springboard Program has affected your productivity at work? Yes No 19. If Yes, please describe: Please comment 20. Do you feel the Springboard Program is effective? Yes No 21. Do you feel that Lend Lease should continue to offer the Springboard Program to its employees? Yes No 22. Would you make any changes to the Springboard Program? Yes No 23. If Yes, what changes would you suggest? Please comment

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52 24. Would you make any changes to the eligibility requirements for the Springboard Program? Yes No 25. If Yes, what changes would you suggest? Please comment 26. Describe the most beneficial aspect of the Springboard Program for you personally? Please comment 27. How did attending the Springboard Program affect your opinion of Lend Lease? Please comment 28. Did attending the Springboard Program increase your desire to remain employed with Lend Lease? Yes No

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53 This completes the portion of the survey for Lend Lease employees that have participated in the Springboard Program. Th ank you for your participation. S ubmit2 Clear

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54 LIST OF REFERENCES Andersen, Bjorn, Henriksen, Bjornar, and Aa rseth, Wenche. (2006), Holistic Performance Management: an Integrated Framework, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management Vol. 55 No. 1, pp. 61-78. Bluckert, Peter. (2005), The Similarities and Differences between Coaching and Therapy, Industrial and Commercial Training Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 91-96. Broad, Mary L. (2006), Improving perf ormance in complex organizations, Industrial and Commercial Training Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 322-329. Brumwell, Ian, and Reynolds, Paul. (2006), How coaching cuts costs and saves time at BT Retail, Strategic HR Review Vol. 5 Issue 5, pp. 20-23. Byrne, Una. (2005), Work-life Balance: Why are we talking about it at all?, Business Information Review Vol. 22(1), pp. 53-59. Chidiac, Marie-Anne. (2006), Getting the Best out of Executive Coaching: A Guide to Setting up a Coaching Process, Development and Learning in Organizations Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 13-15. Gimson, Anne. (2006), The Bottom Line of Executive Coaching: Evidence of 700 percent return on investment, Development and Learning in Organizations Vol.20 No. 6, pp. 32-34. Herzberg, Frederick, et al. (1966), Work and the Nature of Man World Publishing Company, Cleveland. Jones, Renae A., Rafferty, Alannah E., and Gr iffin, Mark A. (2006), The executive coaching trend: towards more flexible executives, Leadership & Organization Development Journal Vol. 27 No. 7, pp. 584-596. Maslow, Abraham. (1970), Motivation and Personality, Harper & Row Publishers, New York. Muir, John. (1911), My First Summer in the Sierras Sierra Club, San Francisco, pp. 110. Parker-Wilkins, Vernita. (2006), Business impact of executive coaching: demonstrating monetary value, Industrial and Commercial Training Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 122-127. Perry, Melanie J. (2006), Life Coaching and the Law, Industrial and Commercial Training Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 98-101. Sparrow, Stephanie. (2005), A defining time for coaching, Personnel Today pp. 23-23.

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55 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH In August of 1999, I began my collegiate career at the University of Florida as a Digital Arts & Sciences Engineering major. I received my Bachelor of Science in Engineering in May of 2004, graduating Cum Laude. In August of 2004 I began my graduate st udies at the M. E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construc tion at the University of Florida. During my graduate studies I fulfilled two construction related internships, one with Trigram GC located in Miami, FL, and the othe r with Bovis Lend Lease in Washington, D.C. While attending the University of Florida, I have been employed with CIRCA (Center for Instructional Research and Computing Activities) for a total of five years. Positions I have held at CIRCA include Technology Consultant, Repair Technician, and Operations Supervisor. In June 2007 I will begin a full time position within th e construction industry as a Project Engineer.


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Title: Personal Productivity Improvement Methods: A Case Study on the Effects of Life Coaching in the Construction Industry
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Copyright Date: 2008

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Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0020626/00001

Material Information

Title: Personal Productivity Improvement Methods: A Case Study on the Effects of Life Coaching in the Construction Industry
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0020626:00001


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PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT METHODS:
A CASE STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF LIFE COACHING
IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY






















By

ALEXIS ANNE MCGUFFIN


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007





































2007 Alexis Anne McGuffin









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank my supervisory committee members (Dr. Jimmie Hinze, Dr. Esther

Obonyo, and Dr. Svetlana Olbina). Their help was instrumental in the successful completion of

this research. I would like to express my appreciation to Lend Lease and the Lend Lease

employees for their support and participation in this study. I thank Jose Silva-Lugo, Gary

Reckard, and James Marini for their technical assistance. Additional thanks go to my friends and

family for all their support.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A CK N O W LED G M EN TS ................................................................. ........... ............. 3

LIST OF FIGURES ................................. .. ..... ..... ................. .6

ABSTRAC T ..........................................................................................

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............... ............................ .................................8

B a ck g ro u n d ................... ...................8.............................
Objectives of the Study ................................................................ ................. .8
Im portance of the Study .................................... ....................... .......... .. ............ 9

2 L ITE R A TU R E R E V IE W ........................................................................ ... ...................... 10

Em ployee M otivation and Satisfaction.............................................................................. ...10
Em ployee Coaching: A Brief Overview ............................................................... ............. 11
Performance Coaching and Life Coaching.................................... ................................... 12
Current Practices of Em ployee Coaching....................................................... ................ 13
Life Coaching: A Workshop Based Case Study...........................................................14
Performance Coaching Case Study: Saving Time and Cutting Costs.............................14
Executive Coaching: Return on Investm ent................................................................ 15
Advantages of Life Coaching .................................... ....................... ........................ 16
Difficulties Encountered with Life Coaching.....................................................................17
S u m m ary ................... ...................1...................7..........

3 RE SEA R CH M ETH O D O LO G Y ........................................ ............................................19

The L end Lease Springboard Program ....................................................................... ...... 19
D design of Survey Q questionnaires ........................................ ............................................2 1
Section 1: D em graphic Inform ation ........................................ ......................... 22
Section 2: N on-A ttendees........................................................................... 22
Section 3: A attendees .................. ................................ ........ .. ............ 22
D distribution of the Survey ............................................................................ ....................24

4 R E S U L T S ..........................................................................2 6

R espondent D em graphics ............................................................................ ................... 26
N on-A ttendees of Springboard ............................................. .............................. 26
Spring board A attendees .......................................................................... ....................27
R results of Survey : N on-A ttendees............................................................... .....................27
R results of Survey : A ttendees................................................................................ ...... ...29
S u m m a ry ..................................................................


4









5 C O N C L U SIO N S ................. ....... ...................................... .. ...... .. ... .... ........38

O v erv iew ....................................................................................................3 8
Specific Insights about Coaching Program s.................................... ....................................38
S u m m ary ................... ...................4...................1..........

6 R E C O M M EN D A TIO N S................................................................................ ... ............42

Recom m endations to Lend Lease........................................................................... 42
Recom m endations to Construction Firm s ........................................ .......................... 43
Recommendations for Future Research ........... ..................................... 43
S u m m ary .............. ...... ........... ........................................................................... 4 4

APPENDIX

A LETTER TO PA R TICIPA N T S ...................................................................... ...................46

B SU R V E Y O F PA R TIC IPA N TS ...................................................................... ..................47

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ......... ...... ........... ............................................ ................................54

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ............................................................................... .....................55









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

3-1 Excerpt from the rating section of the survey .......... .............................. ...............23

4-1 Number of years Attendees had been employed at Lend Lease before attending the
Springboard Program............................................ ........... 34

4-2 Level of interest in attending the Springboard Program.............................................. 34

4-3 Impact of the Springboard Program on Non-Attendees. .......................................... 35

4-4 Measured levels of Enjoyment, Learning, and Personal Growth after attending the
Springboard Program............................................ ........... 35

4-5 Measured levels of the effects on Personal Life, Health and Fitness, Family and
Home, and Friendships after attending the Springboard Program..................................36

4-6 Measured levels of the effects on Social, Mental, and Faith related aspects after
attending the Springboard Program ............................................................................36

4-7 Measured levels of the effects on Business, Financial, and Current Employment
related aspects after attending the Springboard Program. ............................. ............... 37

4-8 Measured levels of the effects on Time Management, Organizational Skills, Daily
Work Tasks, and Decision Making after attending the Springboard Program ................37









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction

PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT METHODS:
A CASE STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF LIFE COACHING
IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

By

Alexis Anne McGuffin

May 2007

Chair: Jimmie Hinze
Cochair: Esther Obonyo
Major: Building Construction

Employee coaching is a relatively new technique used by organizations to develop

employees and increase productivity in the workplace. One form of this technique (Life

Coaching) is gaining popularity in the corporate world. Companies in many industrial sectors

have begun using this technique as a means of increasing employee satisfaction and productivity.

The intent of this study was to determine the effects of life coaching on employee productivity in

the construction industry. A case study was performed with a large international construction

firm that provides a life coaching program to its employees.

A literature review of past case studies on the effects of life coaching showed that limited

research had been performed on this topic, especially within the construction sector. A survey

was generated and distributed to employees of the parent company used in the case study. The

aim of this survey was to collect data that would determine what, if any, effects the life coaching

program had on employee motivation, satisfaction, and productivity. The potential influence on

retention and employee loyalty (towards the parent organization) was also addressed in the

survey. The results of this research were used to develop a set of hypotheses on the effects of

life coaching and to guide future research in this area of study.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Background

Employee coaching is a relatively new technique used to improve employee productivity

in the workplace. One form of this technique is life coaching. This type of coaching focuses on

the individual; it is a combination of training and counseling that provides an employee with the

techniques and support they need to improve the quality of their life and work. Life coaching

programs take many forms. A typical program is one where selected employees within a

company attend a one to two day workshop hosted by a third party company that specializes in

productivity improvement. During these workshops, coaches focus on aspects of the employees'

personal lives, whether or not it directly relates to the parent company experience.

Companies within many industrial sectors have been using employee coaching as a means

of increasing employee satisfaction with the intent of having a positive effect on employee

retention, productivity, and the quality of work performed. Employee coaching programs are

limited in number in the construction industry. As more construction firms begin to explore the

potential benefits of employee coaching, greater numbers of coaching programs will be

introduced in the construction industry. Little research has been done on the effects of employee

coaching within the construction industry. The focus of this study is to define the effects of

employee coaching on employees within this area of business.

Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this research was to determine the perceived effects of personal

productivity coaching (life coaching) of employees in the construction industry. With this goal

in mind, the following seven objectives were defined and addressed in this research:

* Objective 1: To measure the level of employee enjoyment, learning, and personal growth
after attending the program.









* Objective 2: To measure the level of growth from a holistic approach including a personal,
social, and professional point of view.

* Objective 3: To measure the effectiveness of the program on employee productivity.

* Objective 4: To quantify the degree of satisfaction with the coaching program.

* Objective 5: To determine whether or not attendees felt the program should continue.

* Objective 6: To determine whether or not attending the program influenced the
commitment to and/or loyalty towards the company.

* Objective 7: To determine whether or not awareness of the availability of the program
affects employee perception of the company for those that have not attended.

Importance of the Study

Human factors are a significant aspect of any business venture where employees are

involved. Thus, the welfare of the employee would be expected to bear a direct relation to the

health of the organization. A healthy organization has motivated and productive workers. This

same relationship would be expected to exist in any organization, including construction firms.

Successfully assisting and supporting employees in a holistic sense should be a common goal for

organizations across all industrial sectors. Whether or not an organization has been successful in

achieving such goals can be measured through scientific means.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Employee Motivation and Satisfaction

Employee motivation has been linked to the success of organizations (Maslow 1970).

Abraham Maslow defined a "hierarchy of needs" based on the theory that people seek to achieve

goals because they are motivated by the desire to fulfill certain needs. Maslow's "hierarchy of

needs" proposes five categories (from lowest to highest): physiological, safety and security,

social belongingness, self esteem, and self-actualization. Maslow's theory postulates that the

lowest level needs must be satisfied before the next level of need arises. Physiological needs, the

most primitive, include the need for food, water, and sleep. After these basic needs have been

fulfilled, the desire for safety and security arises until a person is able to establish some sort of

stability in their surroundings. Social belongingness has to do with the need to feel love. People

have a need to feel like they are a part of a group, that they have friends, family, and that

affection is shown between members. The fourth level is self esteem which consists of the need

for one to have self-respect and to be revered by others. The need for esteem consists of the need

to feel self worth, adequacy, and competence. This includes the need for respect from others,

recognition, admiration, and status. Self-actualization is the highest of the needs and is never

fully realized. This need is associated with an individual's innate personal potential and the

ability to express one's uniqueness. This need is linked with inner drive and creative expression.

Understanding the needs of employees is the key to motivating them and in effect, maximizing

their productivity (Maslow 1970).

Frederick Herzberg developed a related motivational theory for employee productivity. It

states that some job factors are related to employee satisfaction, while others are related to

employee dissatisfaction, and that these two attributes do not operate on the same continuum









(Herzberg 1966). According to Herzberg, workers who enjoy job satisfaction are motivated

workers. Job satisfaction is linked to job content and performing meaningful work. Job context

relates more to dissatisfiers which would compromise worker motivation. The content factors or

job elements associated with satisfaction include achievement, the work itself, advancement,

recognition, responsibility, and growth. These aspects of an employee's work experience

become motivators for performance. These motivators can be achieved when an employee

solves a problem, completes ajob, receives recognition, is promoted, engages in interesting

work, and learns new skills, among others. In essence, job satisfaction is associated with job

content that results in an enriched work environment (i.e., job enrichment leads to job

satisfaction and worker motivation) (Herzberg 1966).

Employee Coaching: A Brief Overview

As the globalization of organizational systems and functions increases, their complexity

and performance challenges increase as well. Multinational companies are increasing in

numbers and, they are expanding in response to these phenomena and the associated opportunity

and demand this growth creates (Broad, 2006). Just as companies grow, many firms want their

employees to grow. Some firms make efforts to enhance this personal growth through special

coaching programs. The increasing pace of the business world has become the key stimulation

for the development and expansion of such employee coaching programs. The hope is that this

technique will foster the accelerated skill development necessary to keep pace with systems

development (Sparrow, 2005). Dr Anthony M. Grant, a Coaching Psychologist at the University

of Sydney, defines employee coaching as "A collaborative solution-focused, results-oriented and

systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life

experience, self-directed learning and personal growth of the coachee" (2000).









At the heart of every team manager role there's a responsibility to raise individual and
team performance to deliver improved customer service and a commercial benefit for the
company and shareholders. Successful coaching programs are designed around enabling
personal performance to be elevated and business acumen to be sharpened. By focusing on
the key elements of goal achievement, innovation, confidence and self assessment within a
coaching program, improvements in personal and team performance can be dramatically
improved (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006, pp. 23).

The role of a coach is commonly referred to as a "personal management consultant." They

are expected to have a developed comprehension of business and strategy, as well as an

understanding of psychology and human behavior (Bluckert, 2005). They act as both the

industry advisor and the psychologist with the aim of "facilitating content improvement via

process improvement" (Bluckert, 2005). "The primary goal of coaching is to improve a person's

effectiveness at work in ways linked to overall business strategy. To this end, a coach will

sometimes guide individuals toward increased awareness of how their thoughts and emotional

reactions lead to problematic behaviors in the workplace" (Bluckert, 2005).

Performance Coaching and Life Coaching

Employee coaching is implemented in the business world primarily in one of two ways:

performance coaching or life coaching. While they share the similar goal of achieving

improvement in productivity and quality, their approaches differ. Performance coaching is

specifically oriented towards work related activities and focuses on productivity improvement in

the workplace. Generally, performance coaching occurs in the workplace, or in workshops

hosted by a third party company or a quality management department within the parent

company. The design and implementation of a performance coaching program is tailored to the

specific needs and structure of the company, and its focus is on finding solutions to "improve

productivity and provide a sustainable performance management culture for employees"

(Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006). Team building is often a major focus, as is finding production

methods to achieve a balance between speed and quality. Daily work tasks are broken down and









re-evaluated to help managers and advisors think and act differently in order to find these new

solutions (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006).

The idea behind life coaching is that if improvements are made with the individuals within

the company, the company will be improved as a whole. "Life coaching encourages, supports

and motivates individuals to realize their potential, helping them to achieve their aspirations and

goals. By assessing the current status and establishing objectives, it empowers people to achieve

what they want by helping overcome thoughts and circumstances that hold people back. The

benefit for employers encouraging or providing this type of coaching is that if these aspects of an

employee's life are addressed then they are free to become more effective and ultimately,

productive in the workplace" (Perry 2006). In a case study performed by Andersen et al. (2006),

it was found that using an integrated approach to employee performance management

(addressing the employee with a holistic point of view), rather than the traditional attempt to

make isolated changes, ended up being more successful. Often times concentrating on

improving individual aspects results in changes that, in the end, counter act one another

(Andersen et al., 2006). "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to

everything else in the Universe" (Muir, 1911).

Current Practices of Employee Coaching

Currently there are as many different implementations of performance and life coaching

as there are companies utilizing these methods. In fact, the successful approaches are ones that

are tailored to company specific needs and parameters. Because of the high initial investment for

coaching programs, it is a common practice to offer employee coaching (especially life

coaching) to executive and high level positions only. One basic format for many coaching

programs, whether they are performance or life based, is to begin by clarifying the needs, then

setting the objectives that will meet those needs. Once these steps have been accomplished, an









action plan is designed, and once this is implemented, activities and results are checked on a

continual basis to ensure that the plan's performance objective is being met (Champathe, 2006).

Life Coaching: A Workshop Based Case Study

At an annual weekend workshop for local government lawyers held at the University of

York, a two hour life coaching workshop was offered to the delegates in attendance. The model

used for the workshop took a holistic approach and was "founded on collaboration and

interactive participation between the client and the coach" (Perry, 2006). During this workshop,

participants were offered sessions where the focus was on self discovery and development, not

on law and legal issues. Through this study, the researcher, Melaine J. Perry, found that upon

completion of the workshop delegates had a "positive and energized mood." "Delegates were

inspired and appeared to be motivated by both the workshop and their interaction with their

previously unmet peers" (Perry, 2006). While there was no further follow up with participants

on how it affected their activities in the workplace, their initial reactions after completing the

workshop were that they felt a reduction in stress and an increase in motivation and focus (Perry,

2006).

Performance Coaching Case Study: Saving Time and Cutting Costs

British Telecommunications (BT), seeking to improve performance in its online retail

outfit, hired a third party business performance improvement and coaching consultant firm.

Trinity Home was contracted to design and implement this program with the objective of

improving productivity on business, team, and individual levels. A program that ensured work-

life balance for employees and included training and intensive side-by-side coaching of all

operational managers was put into action at BT Retail Online. Members of Trinity Home found

that by "focusing on the key elements of goal achievement, innovation, confidence and self

assessment within a coaching program, improvements in personal and team performance can be









dramatically improved" (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006). After implementing the coaching

program, productivity and capacity at BT Retail Online was shown to have increased by 11.2%

across its 12,000 employees (an increase equivalent to approximately US 40 million annual cost

savings) (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006).

Executive Coaching: Return on Investment

An attempt to demonstrate the monetary value of an executive coaching program was

performed with Booz Allen's learning and development organization, the Center for

Performance Excellence. The Executive Coaching Program at Booz Allen sought to help senior

leaders accomplish their development goals through engagement with a performance coach

(Parker-Wilkins, 2006). Because of the difficulty in producing hard numbers for personal

productivity improvement when a business is not production related, this case study attempted to

determine the return on investment (ROI) for the employees personally, and then associate a

monetary savings for the company. Volunteers were asked to participate in this study, and were

interviewed about how they applied their coaching to create value in the following business

impact areas:

* Increased productivity
* Increased diversity
* Retention of leadership talent
* Increased team member satisfaction
* Accelerated senior leader promotions
* Increased client satisfaction
* Improved teamwork
* Increased quality of consulting services


The method used to isolate the effects of coaching was to ask interviewees to identify a

monetary value for each benefit, to estimate (on a percentage basis) how much of the monetary

benefit was attributed to coaching, and to assess how confident they were in their estimates (on a









percentage basis) (Parker-Wilkins, 2006). From this process, the researcher assessed that the

executive coaching yielded close to a 700% ROI for the company. Participants commented that

the coaching enabled them to build teams more effectively, and created an increased ability to

develop and contribute to high performing teams. Relationships with vice presidents and their

peers were improved from being less defensive to being more self-confident in their interactions

with others. "They asked questions more often and considered more information in making

decisions. Leaders were able to better understand how they fit into the Booz Allen culture.

Consequentially, these leaders were able to raise their visibility within Booz Allen and better

articulate career goals" (Parker-Wilkins, 2006).

Advantages of Life Coaching

With the increased pace of the business world and the element of constant change running

throughout it, life coaching can provide a means of supporting managers and increasing the skill

set of employees (Chidiac, 2006). Traditional training methods have shown to be ineffective as

they commonly result in a lack of performance following the training. Training alone, without

additional support shows a low ROI with very few learners stating they had actually applied

what they had learned in their work (Broad, 2006).

Through the literature search on life coaching, there were found to be common advantages

and outcomes of different life coaching programs. The overall sense of life coaching benefiting

the company through more satisfied employees was found to be true throughout. The common

benefits of life coaching, and employee coaching in general, as cited by Perry (2006) and Parker-

Wilkins (2006), are summarized below:

* Increased effectiveness and productivity
* Made for a more productive working environment
* Improved staff retention rates
* Retention of leadership talent









* Accelerated senior leader promotions
* Improved teamwork
* Increased team member satisfaction
* Increased client satisfaction
* Increased quality of consulting services
* Reduction in absences for sickness and other stress related illnesses


Employee satisfaction is tied considerably to work-life balance, which life coaching seeks

to address (Byrne, 2005). "The achievement of better work-life balance can yield dividends for

employers in terms of: having a more motivated, productive and less stressed workforce that

feels valued; attracting a wider range of candidates... increased productivity and reduced

absenteeism; gaining the reputation of being an employer of choice; retaining valued employees;

achieving reduced costs; and maximizing available labor" (Byrne, 2005).

Difficulties Encountered with Life Coaching

While life coaching continues to gain popularity in the corporate world, little empirical

research has been done to evaluate the effectiveness of this, primarily executive, development

tool (Jones et al., 2006). Because of the lack of supportive research findings, one of the primary

difficulties encountered with life coaching is the difficulty human resources departments face in

"attributing a commercial benefit to justify the program and then, once completed, proving it's

been a success" (Brumwell and Reynolds, 2006). The measurement of performance before and

after coaching is nearly impossible to evaluate objectively (Gimson, 2006).

Summary

Employee coaching programs appear to be viable mechanisms by which to assist in the

personal growth and motivation of employees. Such programs are still in their infancy, with

little published about quantifiable results. Many studies that have attempted to evaluate coaching

programs were performed by the same firms that were hired to design and/or implement the









coaching programs under review, introducing in an obvious bias to the research. Such programs

could be evaluated more objectively by parties that do not have a vested interest in the results.









CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The objective of this research was to determine the perceived effects of personal

productivity coaching (commonly referred to as life coaching) of employees in the construction

industry. Personal productivity coaching programs are new to many organizations and they are

rarely encountered in the construction industry. Additional information obtained on the success

of such programs could assist other firms in their decision to develop and implement such

programs.

The methodology followed in this research was determined by the objectives of the study

listed in Chapter 1. The initial steps taken were as follows: A literature search was performed on

material related to the implementation of personal improvement coaching programs and

employee management techniques not only in the construction industry but in other industrial

sectors as well. The data required for the analysis were identified, and the possible sources of

data were explored. Some data were deemed to be unavailable due to personal privacy laws;

methods to obtain sufficient data were then identified. Since such programs in the construction

industry are not widely implemented, the researcher decided to conduct a study within a single

firm. Lend Lease was identified as the company where the desired data could be obtained and a

decision was made to conduct a case study with employees of Lend Lease. A representative of

Lend Lease provided background information about their employee coaching program making

the research possible.

The Lend Lease Springboard Program

The Lend Lease program for employee life coaching is known as the "Springboard

Program", a program implemented to improve employee productivity and satisfaction. The

Springboard Program is open to all permanent employees regardless of position. To be eligible









to attend the program, participants must have been employed by Lend Lease or a subsidiary for a

minimum of two years. Eligible employees may attend the Springboard Program one time only.

Once an employee becomes eligible, they may submit an application to attend the event.

Applications are initially reviewed by project managers, and employees are then selected to

attend the program through a final review process by the Springboard Program Managers.

Information about this program is kept confidential within the firm. Employees are aware of its

existence and basic intent but are kept unaware of the specifics. Only those employees selected

to attend are given the details of the program and activities.

Lend Lease hosts six Springboard events each year; the events are shared between the

Lend Lease regions in Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. Each event hosts 40 to 50

participants and is held over an extended weekend lasting four days. The event is fully funded

by Lend Lease; participants are flown to the host city, and all accommodations and activities are

paid for by the company. The program includes team based activities, classroom learning,

coaching exercises with a partner, and self-examination and introspection work. The program

focuses on helping participants to find strength, skills, and inner fortitude they may not have

known they had. The conference format is designed to help employees realize and continuously

reach for their individual potential in both their professional and personal lives. Through this

program, Lend Lease strives to provide an extraordinary personal and professional development

experience that will ultimately create a loyal, energetic, creative and empowered workforce.

After all the facets of the Lend Lease employee coaching program were understood, it was

decided that this program met the requirements of this research objective. Specifically, Lend

Lease was used in this investigation for the following reasons:

* Lend Lease is a large, successful company with an established coaching program.









* Lend Lease's Springboard Program fulfills the intended requirements of a personal
productivity coaching program for this study.

* Lend Lease agreed to provide access to Springboard and employee data to help make this
study possible.

Design of Survey Questionnaires

After becoming familiar with the Springboard Program, it was decided that the best means

of acquiring the necessary data was through a survey questionnaire. Since Lend Lease is an

international firm, personal interviews or telephone contacts were not deemed practical. A

survey was designed to investigate the impact of the Springboard Program on employees who

had attended the program, as well the influence it has on employees who had not yet attended,

but were aware of the program and its availability. The individuals who had not participated in

the Springboard Program were assumed to be aware of its existence. Within these two groups,

the objectives (listed in Chapter 1) of the study were addressed.

A survey incorporating the seven objectives for both groups was developed in order to

streamline the distribution process. Moreover, because the status of each participant (whether

they had attended the Springboard Program, or not) was unknown at the time the survey was

administered, one version of the survey was constructed to be distributed to all research

participants. An initial set of questions was developed by the researcher which was then given to

the committee chair for review. Numerous modifications were made to the survey questions

through an iterative process. Once finalized, the survey was submitted to Lend Lease for final

review with minor modifications. The final survey and cover letter to participants was submitted

to the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. Federal regulations

require this approval for all research conducted with human subjects. The survey was approved

after making a few modifications at the request of the IRB and was then ready for distribution.

The survey consisted of three sections, each of which will be discussed in the following section.









Each of the objectives was examined through the survey questionnaire. Several objectives were

addressed by more than one question and some questions addressed more than one objective. A

copy of the survey in its entirety can be found in Appendix B.

Section 1: Demographic Information

The introductory section targeted all participants and included a series of fill-in-the-blank

questions pertaining to the respondent's information. Participants were asked to give their age,

the date they were hired by Lend Lease, the number of years employed by Lend Lease, and their

current job title. These data were requested in order to obtain information about each

respondent's current situation at Lend Lease, which could be used to provide insights about

variations in perspective.

Section 2: Non-Attendees

One portion of the survey targeted employees who had not attended the Springboard

Program (addressed by Objective 7), namely determination of whether or not awareness of the

availability of the program affects employee perceptions of the company. The respondents were

asked questions pertaining to their eligibility to attend the Springboard Program in order to

determine the employee's current position relative to the program's availability. This was

followed by questions addressing the participants' knowledge and opinions concerning the

program. The main purpose of these questions was to assess the general awareness of the

program and feelings towards it. Finally, the participants were asked if and how the Springboard

Program and its availability to Lend Lease employees affected their opinions of Lend Lease and

their decision to remain employed by the company.

Section 3: Attendees

The final portion of the survey targeted employees who had attended the Springboard

Program and addressed Objectives 1 through 6. In order to address variations in responses









arising from differences in the specific Springboard Program event attended, the respondents

were first asked to provide information about their individual program experience, including the

date, location, and the number of years they had been in employment at Lend Lease at the time

they attended the program. The individual objectives and the means for addressing them in the

survey are given below:

Objective 1: To measure the level of employee enjoyment, learning. andpersonal geiu ith after

attending the program. This objective was addressed by asking participants to rate their

experience at the Springboard Program in the areas of enjoyment, learning, and personal growth.

The format of this section contained a five scale rating system, as shown in Figure 3.1.

Category Low Neutral High

Enjoyment :1 2 31 4 5[1

Figure 3-1. Excerpt from the rating section of the survey

Objective 2: To measure the level of gi m I itifrom a holistic approach including a personal,

social, and professional point of view. With the intention of holistically addressing personal

growth, the initial categories of personal, social, and professional were selected. Each category

was then broken down further, and participants were asked to rate the value of the program in the

following areas: personal life, health and fitness, family and home, friendships, social, mental,

faith, business, financial, and current employment. The format of this section follows the

example of the five scale rating system shown in Figure 3.1.

Objective 3: To measure the effectiveness of the program on employee productivity. This

objective was addressed by asking participants to rate the level to which their experience affected

their time management, organizational skills, daily work tasks, and decision making. This

portion followed the exemplary format displayed in Figure 3.1. In addition to this, participants









were asked whether or not they felt the program affected their productivity at work, and were

allotted open writing space to explain/elaborate on their answer.

Objective 4: To quantify the degree of satisfaction i/h the coaching program. A series of

'Yes' or 'No' type questions along with open-ended questions for respondents to express and

explain/elaborate on their opinions were presented to participants. These questions addressed the

program's effectiveness, possible suggestions of changes to the program, eligibility

requirements, and beneficial aspects to the individual.

Objective 5: To determine i 1heder or not attendees felt the program should continue. This

objective was achieved by asking participants their opinions about the program in the form of

questions that solicited 'Yes' or 'No' responses.

Objective 6: To determine i hedler or not attending the program created a commitment to

and/or loyalty towards the company. Objective 6 was addressed by asking participants how

attending the Springboard Program affected their opinions of the company (participants were

asked to enter their opinions to open-ended questions), and whether or not it influenced their

desire to remain employed by the company (presented through a question soliciting a 'Yes' or

'No' response).

Distribution of the Survey

Because of personal privacy issues and internal Lend Lease policy, volunteers were asked

to participate in the survey. Although this introduced a possible bias into the data analysis, this

was deemed to be the only viable means available for data collection. As a result of this bias, the

survey was designed to allow for anonymous replies. The focus of the questions was on

perceived increased improvement for each individual employee. The survey was distributed to

83 Lend Lease employees through email messages. The email contained a letter to the

participants explaining the overall nature of the survey (Appendix A) and a link to the online









survey. Through the online survey, respondents were able to input their answers directly into an

HTML/PHP form. After the survey was completed, the respondents simply "clicked" a submit

button on the survey. By this means, the completed survey was submitted to the researcher with

complete anonymity.

Interviews were conducted with some Lend Lease administrators to obtain additional

information about the Springboard Program. Following this process, analytical and descriptive

statistical techniques were used on the raw data to assess the impact of the Springboard Program

on Lend Lease employees. The results of this analysis are presented in Chapter 4: Results.









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The results of this study provided information relating to the personal life coaching of

Lend Lease, a construction firm. Since this is a one-of-a-kind program, findings are not to be

viewed as being typical of any group of organizations. Although the program being evaluated in

this thesis is unique among construction firms, it still provides inspiration for other construction

companies and managers.

Respondent Demographics

A total of 83 surveys were sent to Lend Lease employees via email message. Of these,

there were 32 responses from Lend Lease employees who had participated in the Springboard

Program, and 24 responses from employees who had not. A 67.5% response rate was considered

satisfactory for this research.

Non-Attendees of Springboard

The ages of respondents who had not participated in the Springboard Program ranged from

23 to 59 with an average age of approximately 32. The respondents in this group had been

employed by Lend Lease from one to nine years, averaging 3.3 years of employment with the

company. The majority of these employees (approximately 65%) were in field related positions

within the company. In this field related group, the respondents held varying positions,

including Project Manager, Superintendent, and Project Engineer. The office-related positions

represented approximately 35% of the respondents. In this office-related group, examples of the

positions held by these employees included Architectural Design Manager, Administrative

Assistant, Estimator and Human Resources Coordinator.

Of the 24 respondents who had not attended the program, eight (33%) were not eligible to

attend it at the time the survey was taken (having been employed by Lend Lease for less than two









years), while 16 (67%) of the respondents were eligible. Twelve of these 16 (75%) had applied

to attend the program but had not been selected. All non-eligible employees were within 12

months of becoming eligible to apply for the program.

Springboard Attendees

The ages of respondents who had attended the Springboard Program ranged from 26 to 57

with an average age of approximately 38. The respondents in this group had been in

employment at Lend Lease from 5 to 23 years, averaging approximately ten years of

employment with the company. The majority of this group (approximately 66%) held office-

related positions within the company. A wide range of positions are represented by these

respondents, including CEO, Director of Training, Vice President of Human Resources, Director

of Preconstruction, Senior Accountant, Senior Estimator, Administrative Assistant, and Human

Resources Generalist. The field-related positions, represented by 34% of the respondents, were

Project Managers and Superintendents.

The locations of the Springboard Program events that respondents had attended spanned

across four continents: Australia (45.2%), Europe (32.3%), North America (19.4%), and Asia

(3.2%). These events occurred between 2000 and 2006 with the majority of the respondents

attending the program in 2004-2005. Figure 4-1 shows the number of years the respondents had

been employed by Lend Lease before attending the program. While the average number of years

of employment with the company before attending was seven, the majority had attended after

having been employed by Lend Lease for two to four years. Note: employees are not eligible to

attend Springboard until they have been employed by Lend Lease a minimum of two years.

Results of Survey: Non-Attendees

The general understanding that Lend Lease employees have of the Springboard Program

before attending is that it is an opportunity to meet and network with other Lend Lease









employees from around the world. The program is seen as a team building experience and a

leadership conference where participants are given the opportunity for personal and professional

growth. The perspectives on the key benefits of the program were consistent among these

respondents. Respondents noted that meeting Lend Lease employees from other countries and

being able to learn from them and exchange knowledge was an important key benefit of the

program. The opportunity to travel abroad and gain a new perspective on life was also

mentioned by respondents, as were personal growth and learning new skills in the areas of

leadership and teamwork.

The respondents' reasons for wanting to participate in the Springboard Program included

meeting new people and traveling to new locations. The opportunity for personal growth and to

sharpen business acumen were frequently noted as well. Figure 4-2 shows the level of interest

respondents had in attending the Springboard Program. The majority (75%) of respondents

showed a high level of interest in participating in the coaching program. The respondents were

asked two questions relating to the impact of the Springboard Program on employees who had

not yet attended. Figure 4-3 shows how the availability of the Springboard Program influenced

their opinions of Lend Lease and their decision to remain employed by the company. The survey

results revealed that approximately half (54%) of the respondents felt that the Springboard

Program affected their opinion of their employer. However, fewer participants (37.5%) felt that

the availability of this program influenced their decision to remain employed by Lend Lease. All

respondents who felt that their opinion of Lend Lease was affected by the Springboard Program

noted that the availability of the program instilled a positive outlook of the company for them.

Having a program like Springboard made the employees feel that Lend Lease is a people-









oriented company that values its employees. One respondent explained that the Springboard

Program had been an instrumental tool in their recruitment:

It was first mentioned to me in my interviews, when I expressed an interest in
traveling/working abroad. It was an extremely appealing facet of Lend Lease for me
personally, and a major selling point on my decision to pursue and accept employment
with the company. I think it helps exemplify the broader value Lend Lease practices to
support the "whole person" of its employees.

Results of Survey: Attendees

All respondents who had participated in the Springboard Program completed the section

within the survey dealing with the levels of enjoyment, learning, and personal growth after

attending the program. The results are displayed in Figure 4-4. Respondents rated enjoyment as

the most highly affected attribute of the program in this category, followed by personal growth.

Learning was given a more moderate rating out of the three. All participants in this group also

responded to the section of the survey dealing with how the Springboard Program impacted their

lives in the following categories: Personal Life, Health and Fitness, Family and Home,

Friendships, Social, Mental, Faith, Business, Financial, and Current Employment. These results

are as shown in Figures 4-5, 4-6, and 4-7. There were virtually no negative perceptions

expressed by the respondents. Figure 4-5 shows each respondent's ratings of the program in

terms of the effect it had on their personal life, health and fitness, family and home, and

friendships. Respondents rated the effects on their personal life and friendships as moderate to

high. Effects on family and home averaged a moderate rating, and health and fitness was given a

neutral rating by participants. The results shown in Figure 4-6 reveal that participants felt that

the Springboard Program had a high impact on their mental disposition. The effect on their

social lives was rated as moderate to high, and the effect on their faith was given a neutral rating.

Figure 4-7 shows the measured levels of the effects the experience had in the areas of business,









financial, and current employment. The effects on business and current employment were both

rated moderate, with financial being given a neutral rating.

The measured levels of the effectiveness of the program on work productivity (broken into

the categories of Time Management, Organizational Skills, Daily Work Tasks, and Decision

Making) are shown in Figure 4-8. The Springboard Program was perceived as having the

greatest impact on Decision Making for the respondents, averaging a moderate to high rating.

The next most impacted area of these descriptors was Daily Work Tasks with a moderate

average, followed by Organizational Skills and Time Management, both given a level of impact

of moderate to neutral.

Of the 32 respondents, 22 (approximately 69%) stated that the program affected their

productivity in general; with ten replying that it did not affect their productivity. For those who

felt that their productivity was affected, the following areas were mentioned as being positively

impacted:

* Enhanced and helped develop a network of relationships

* Enhanced team building and communications

* Made participants take a more active approach to problem solving, both personally and
professionally

* Provided personal assessment for growth and development

* Increased focus on goals

* Enhanced ability to prioritize, while maintaining accurate view of the "big picture"

* Increased motivation

* Increased time management efficiency

When asked whether or not the Springboard Program was effective, 100% of the

respondents replied that it was indeed effective. All respondents (100%) felt that the program









should continue; however, 41% of the prior participants felt that changes should be made to the

Springboard Program. Suggested changes and their frequencies within this group are shown

below:

* Increase the length of the program (13.3%)

* Implement a follow-up session (to reconnect with the group and to check on progress)
(46.7%)

* Increase the amount of time for social interaction between employees (6.7%)

* Create a stronger connection between the content and how to apply it to current work
assignments (13.3%)

* Adjust specifics of the program, e.g. content and locations (20%)

All the respondents felt that the two years of employment eligibility requirement was a

sufficient amount of time to become acquainted with the company and its culture. It was felt that

this requirement enhanced the employees' Springboard experience thus no changes to the

eligibility requirements to attend the program were suggested.

When asked to identify the most beneficial personal aspect of the program, the responses

from respondents fell into two categories: self reflection and evaluation (53%) and the

opportunity to meet other Lend Lease employees from around the globe (63%). The results from

this section of the survey can be summed up in the following quote from one of the respondents:

Springboard forces the individual to take the time to really step back and evaluate the
choices made in daily life. It helps you sort through what you really want for your life in
the short term and long term. For me, this was extremely beneficial because I typically
operate at such a fast pace that I rarely slow down to really think about life on a higher
level. I also found it beneficial to meet so many other employees from different areas of
our business (from an operational and geographical standpoint). I still keep in touch with
many of my fellow Springboarders from around the globe.

Of the participants, 93.5% stated that attending the Springboard Program increased their

desire to remain employed by Lend Lease. When asked how the program affected their opinion

of Lend Lease, the responses included the following points:









* The program helped employees gain a greater understanding of Lend Lease.
* The program had an overall positive effect on the employee.
* Employees felt Lend Lease was a progressive company.
* Employees felt Lend Lease has a genuine concern for its employees' well being.
* The experience instilled confidence and pride in Lend Lease and its overall business plan.
* Employees were appreciative of the investment.
* The experience instilled loyalty towards the company.
* The program reinforced Lend Lease's "people culture."
* Employees felt Lend Lease was a unique company to work for.


Summary

The results from the surveys show that employees of Lend Lease are aware of the benefits

of the Springboard Program and appreciate its availability to all employees. Participants of the

program show an overall high level of satisfaction with the program, and report increases in

morale and focus. Many respondents to the survey noted that the Springboard experience had a

significant effect on their lives both personally and professionally. For many participants, the

connection between them and Lend Lease was strengthened and they felt a sense of belonging

within the large firm, as evident from one participant's response:

Springboard put a human face on our huge international firm. Participating with people
from all over the world with a full spectrum of job titles gave me an insight and
appreciation into what we are about and where we are going. The internal reflection that
Springboard caused still benefits me today more than a year after I participated.

The findings of this study are in many ways open to interpretation, as much of the data are

based on the opinions of the individuals surveyed. Although this study was conducted in a

scientific manner, four limitations must be noted:

* Limitation 1: Subjective nature of topic; Data obtained in this study represent the
perceptions of the participants; quantifying certain responses proved to be difficult.

* Limitation 2: Limited range of sample; Surveys were sent to volunteers due to personal
privacy law, therefore information gathered may represent a limited point of view.

* Limitation 3: Limited size of sample; While the parent company holds high standing in
the international construction market, the results of this study are based on a small portion









of the employees of the company used for the case study. A more extensive sample might
produce varying results.

* Limitation 4: Unique experiences of employees within one firm; This research was
conducted within one construction firm. The coaching experience of employees of other
construction firms may be different due to variances in the conditions of the firms and
coaching programs.


























Years



Figure 4-1. Number of years Attendees had been employed at Lend Lease before attending the
Springboard Program.


No Interest Not Sure Somewhat


Fairly


Very


Level of Interest



Figure 4-2. Level of interest in attending the Springboard Program.


2 to 4


5 to 7


8 to 10


11 to 13 18 and higher
















SOpinion of Lend Lease affected
by program availability

O Decision to remain employed at
Lend Lease affected by
program availability


Figure 4-3. Impact of the Springboard Program on Non-Attendees.


35

30
CL 25 -
20 m Enjoyment
056 E I Learning
15rso
S[OPersonal Growth


Low Slightly Neutral Moderate High
Negative
Rating


Figure 4-4. Measured levels of Enjoyment, Learning, and Personal Growth after attending the
Springboard Program.














12 N Personal Life
10 Health and Fitness
>8 8- Fp Family and Home
6 m Friendships
4-
0

Low Slightly Neutral Moderate High
Negative
Rating


Figure 4-5. Measured levels of the effects on Personal Life, Health and Fitness, Family and
Home, and Friendships after attending the Springboard Program.


I n n iI


Slightly
Negative


Neutral


Moderate


* Social
* Mental
O Faith


High


Rating


Figure 4-6. Measured levels of the effects on Social, Mental, and Faith related aspects after
attending the Springboard Program.
















Q; Business
o0 F Financial
>, 8
U6 Current Employment
6 -
4 I
2 2
U- 0 .
Low Slightly Neutral Moderate High
Negative
Rating



Figure 4-7. Measured levels of the effects on Business, Financial, and Current Employment
related aspects after attending the Springboard Program.


16
14
o 12
SSm Time Management
10
F Organizational Skills
8
So Daily Work Tasks
6
m Decision Making
-, 4 -
0
U-

Low Slightly Neutral Moderate High
Negative
Rating



Figure 4-8. Measured levels of the effects on Time Management, Organizational Skills, Daily
Work Tasks, and Decision Making after attending the Springboard Program.









CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS

Overview

Because of the highly competitive nature of the construction market, companies that seek

to thrive in this industry must continuously develop and enhance successful methods in

employee management. Employee coaching, specifically life coaching, can provide positive

results in the areas of productivity and employee retention, helping a construction firm to

maintain a competitive edge. Due to the high initial investment of such programs, it is important

for the parent company to understand the effects of the coaching program they develop and

utilize within their organization. Previous studies performed on this topic showed that

employees were responsive to life coaching and benefited personally from the experience.

Employees felt that their productivity at work increased and their opinion of their employer was

enhanced. The results of this research, while reinforcing these basic aspects of life coaching,

gave greater insight as to the specific outcomes of an employee life coaching program used

within the construction industry.

Specific Insights about Coaching Programs

This study provided substantial data on the perceived effects of life coaching from an

employee perspective. One of the benefits of this research was that the case study was

performed with a company that offers life coaching to all employees regardless of position

within the organization. This is a rare phenomenon across all industrial sectors. The high cost of

life coaching usually limits the opportunity to high level positions, most commonly executives of

the company. The fact that life coaching is available to all Lend Lease employees was

appreciated by all participants, as they felt they were a valued asset to the company regardless of

position. It is felt that this feature of Lend Lease's life coaching program is one of its strongest









points. Developing a sense of belonging within the company, in order to foster a loyalty or

commitment to the firm, is a key motivation for offering this type of experience to employees.

Limiting the experience to certain positions within a firm can defeat this purpose, and have the

opposite effect. Employees of Lend Lease, especially those in supportive positions within the

company, showed a great appreciation for having been included in this investment. Lend

Lease's "people culture" is strengthened and solidified by this facet of the program.

There was an overwhelmingly positive response from participants when questioned about

the connection the experience created for them with Lend Lease. While the effects on employee

loyalty for those that had not yet attended the program were not significant, the Springboard

Program is a success in terms of increasing employee desire to remain employed by the firm for

those who had attended.

The general conclusion from the results of this research is that the Lend Lease Springboard

Program has a significant and positive effect on employees. Lend Lease employees that had not

attended the life coaching program were all aware of the program and its potential benefits. The

program was seen as an additional benefit to working for Lend Lease and interest to attend the

program were generally very high. It is felt that keeping the details of the program undisclosed

to the general employee population at Lend Lease increases the program's effectiveness. The

research results showed that employees that had applied but had not yet attended did not feel

rejected, but had a sense that it was "just not their time" to attend at that point. There was an

understanding (for those that had not attended) of the basic intent of the program that was

accompanied by a sense of wonder about "what really goes on" during the experience. It was

felt that this limited access to the Springboard Program information positively influenced

employee desire to attend.









One of the most highly regarded aspects of the Springboard Program was that it allowed

employees the opportunity to travel. Employees at Lend Lease commit extensive amounts of

time in order to meet the demands that come with working in the construction and development

industry; these time commitments often do not afford them the time to travel abroad. The

opportunity to travel and learn in another country was cited as one of the beneficial aspects, and

for some it was the most beneficial aspect. Overall, participants were satisfied with the

Springboard Program locations they had attended. However, it was noted by a few participants

that while the experience itself was enjoyable, the location of at least one program had attended

had been a disappointment. Because the opportunity to travel was so important to their

experience, it was felt that location selection should be given very careful consideration.

Ultimately, locations should be chosen that will enhance the experience for all attendees,

whether this results in traveling to another country or to a location within the home country.

Employees that had attended the Springboard Program were generally very affected by the

experience. The results showed that the program had strong positive effects on employees' lives

in the areas of personal growth, friendships, their mental disposition, and decision making.

Being that the program focuses on helping employees find their inner strength and fortitude, it

follows that these areas were cited as the most greatly affected. While the professional areas of

business, financial, current employment, time management and daily work tasks (to include

organizational skills) were shown to have been affected by the experience for some participants,

stronger and better results were noted in areas involving more personal attributes. From

information provided by the Springboard administrators, the program's direct intent was to

holistically enhance the life of each participant. While some attendees (31%) stated that the

experience did not improve their productivity at work, it was felt that their productivity was









indeed improved indirectly. Motivated and satisfied employees have less stress, a greater focus,

are driven to succeed, and are therefore found to be more productive in their daily lives (Perry

2006). From the research results, it is felt that Lend Lease's Springboard Program does affect

employee productivity in a positive manner, both directly and indirectly.

Because of the lower rating of professional areas in the surveys in comparison to the

personal related areas, it is felt that the connection the program makes to personal life strategy is

stronger. A few respondents reported a desire to be shown how to directly apply the lessons

learned at Springboard to current assignments at work. On the other side of this issue, there were

respondents who appreciated the fact that the program did not center on work or work related

issues, and were grateful for the personal focus. From information given to the researcher on the

intent of the Springboard Program, it is felt that the personal focus of the program is appropriate.

Job training and professional workshops offered at Lend Lease have the ability to fulfill the need

for continuing business education; the Springboard Program has a different purpose that it

accomplishes successfully.

Summary

Overall employees felt very satisfied with the Springboard Program and were grateful that

they had attended. It is felt that this program fulfills the intensions of a successful employee life

coaching program by creating satisfied, motivated, productive, and loyal employees. The means

of administering and hosting the program are efficient methods for achieving the program's

goals. The impression gained from the literature review of this subject in combination with the

research results is that Lend Lease's Springboard Program is one of the more developed and

successful life coaching programs offered in the industrial market today and has a profound

effect on its employees.









CHAPTER 6
RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendations to Lend Lease

The basis for recommendations to Lend Lease for the Springboard Program arises from

suggestions provided by the participants in the survey as well as the personal observations of this

researcher. Overall, it is felt that the Lend Lease Springboard Program is a successful employee

life coaching program. It is felt that there would be a benefit to the participants from a follow-up

session on the material covered at the Springboard event. Many participants suggested a follow-

up conference to refresh the ideas learned from the experience and the opportunity to meet with

their fellow participants again. Because the Springboard Program already represents a

significant investment from Lend Lease in its employees, it is this researcher's opinion that a

follow-up session would not have a significant return on the investment. Also, a follow-up

session might result in reducing the number of participants Lend Lease will be able to ask to

attend the Springboard Program. However, it is suggested that a supportive framework for the

core ideas of the program be established. In order to satisfy the two needs (a refresher course on

the Springboard information, and to reconnect with fellow participants) at a minimal cost, an

information/workbook packet including the core Springboard initiatives to refresh the

employee's experience can be provided to participants one year after attending the program. In

addition to this, an online forum for past participants can be created. This forum would be a

means for participants to maintain a social connection with fellow Springboard attendees. Other

benefits of this type of online forum would be to maintain and build upon the business

networking relationships previously established, and to share ideas and methods participants

have developed to follow through with what they learned through the program experience.









Recommendations to Construction Firms

The research performed in this study shows that the implementation of an employee life

coaching program has beneficial results for a construction firm. While a program such as Lend

Lease's Springboard Program represents a significant investment for the firm, the return on this

investment, while difficult to quantify, is substantial. It is recommended that other construction

firms consider this employee management and productivity improvement technique, while

recognizing that there are many variations by which they can be implemented. A firm should

assess their capability for this type of investment and possibly bring in a third party specializing

in life coaching to design a program that fits their unique needs. It is common to have

employees from many diverse backgrounds within one construction firm; some employees enter

the construction market from a collegiate background while others come from years of hands on

experience. As employees of the same firm, the individual backgrounds should not weigh

heavily in the development of the life coaching program (i.e., all employees should be viewed as

being equally eligible). In addition to the benefits of increasing productivity and retention,

offering a life coaching program may serve as a means of uniting employees and inciting team

spirit within the company.

Recommendations for Future Research

Through the research process involved in this study, a set of hypotheses were developed

about the effects of life coaching on employees in the construction industry. It is recommended

that future research in this area should seek to test the following hypotheses:

* Ho 1: There is a high level of enjoyment and personal growth for employees that results
from attending a life coaching program.

* Ho 2: There is a high degree of employee satisfaction that results from attending a life
coaching program.









* Ho 3: There is a positive effect on worker productivity that results from attending a life
coaching program.

* Ho 4: Attending a life coaching program creates a strong commitment to and a loyalty
towards the parent company.

* Ho 5: Awareness of the availability of the life coaching program does not have a
significant effect on the perceptions employees who have not participated in the program
have of the company.

In addition to addressing these hypotheses, future research in this area of study should

attempt to measure the productivity levels of employees before and after participating in a life

coaching program. Selected participants should be observed on the job prior to participating, and

then monitored after completing the life coaching program. Points of observation should include

the number of hours worked per week in relation to the amount of work performed, number of

sick days taken, and the nature of the interactions with fellow employees, team members and

clients, among others. Observations and research should be performed by a third party that has

no vested interest in the outcome.

To determine the significance of variations in different coaching programs with the

ultimate goal of defining the most successful and efficient form of a life coaching program,

future research should include employee participants of different firms. Hypotheses should be

developed for each characteristic of individual programs and how they effect employees within

the firms.

Summary

Employee life coaching has been shown to be an effective tool for improving employee

satisfaction within the parent company. The experience benefits the company by retaining more

employees and fostering a loyalty to the firm. The Lend Lease Springboard Program is an

excellent example of a life coaching program within the construction industry, and has shown

significant results in this study. It is recommended that construction firms, as well as firms in









other industrial sectors, attempt to implement a form of life coaching that suits their company

and employee needs. Future studies should assist firms in determining the quantifiable effects on

productivity improvement within the workplace. Research on the results of individual life

coaching program attributes should be conducted to give insight into defining a "best" program

description for firms trying to develop a life coaching program. Employee life coaching

represents extensive possibilities for productivity improvement and more research is required in

order to quantify this positive effect for firms wishing to utilize this employee enrichment tool.









APPENDIX A
LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS

Survey of Lend Lease Employees
The Springboard Program

November 10, 2006

To: Potential Study Participants

Subject:

I am a graduate student in the M. E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction at the
University of Florida. I am conducting a study to assess the impact of or the potential value of
participating in the Lend Lease Springboard Program.

The study is being conducted through the attached survey in which a variety of questions will be
asked about your experience or your perception of the Lend Lease Springboard Program. There
are no risks associated with participating in this study and the survey can be completed in less
than ten minutes. Naturally, you are asked to answer only those questions that you feel
comfortable in answering. Your participation is completely voluntary and you may withdraw
your consent to participate at any time without penalty. There is no benefit or compensation to
you for participating in this study. The information collected from the survey will be used for
research purposes only, and may have no effect on the Lend Lease Springboard Program
currently established.

Your individual responses will be kept strictly confidential to the extent provided by law.
Employers will not know who responded nor will they have access to your responses. Research
data will be summarized so that the identity of individual participants will be concealed. Your
participation in this valuable study is highly appreciated.

Yours truly,

Alexis McGuffin
Graduate Student
Phone: (352) 870-4066 Email: flexus@ufl.edu

Dr. Jimmie Hinze, Ph.D.
Professor, Director of the Center for Construction Safety and Loss Control, M.E. Rinker, Sr.
School of Building Construction, University of Florida
Phone: (352) 273-1167 Email: hinze@ufl.edu

P.S. For information about participant rights, please contact the University of Florida
Institutional Review Board at (352) 392-0433 or Email: IRB2@ufl.edu.










APPENDIX B
SURVEY OF PARTICIPANTS

Survey of Lend Lease Employees
The Springboard Program


Date Originally Hired by Lend Lease:

Total years employed at Lend Lease:

Current Job Title:



1. Have you attended the Springboard Program?


Month: Year: I

I Years


Yes
SNo


If you answered Yes, please go to Question #12. If you answered No, please continue
with Question #2.



2. Are you currently eligible to attend the r
Springboard Program? Yes
SNo



3. If Yes, how many months have you been
eligible? I Months

Have you applied to attend the Springboard Yes
Program?
SNo
How many times have you applied?

F-


4. If No, how many months until you become
eligible? Months











5. What is your general understanding of the
Springboard Program?


6. In your opinion, what are the key benefits of
the Springboard Program?


Please comment


-lU


Please comment


-4Li


7. How interested are you in participating in the
Springboard Program?


8. What are the main reasons for wanting to
participate (or not wanting to participate) in the
Springboard Program?


Please comment


-LJ


No Interest
Not Sure
Somewhat
Fairly
Very


ii'


2-'









9. Does the Springboard Program affect your
opinion of Lend Lease?


10. If Yes, explain how it is affected:












11. Does the Springboard Program influence your
decision to remain employed with Lend Lease?


Please comment


Yes
SNo


This completes the portion of the survey for Lend Lease employees that have not yet
participated in the Springboard Program. Thank you for your participation.

Submit Clea


12. When did you attend the Springboard Program?


13. What was the location of the Springboard
Program you attended?



14. How many years were you employed with Lend
Lease before you attended the Springboard
Program?


Month: I Year: I


City, County


Lw


Years


Instructions: For the following three questions, check the number which best describes
your personal feelings, one (1) denoting a very low rating, three (3) denoting a neutral
rating, and five (5) denoting a very high rating.


Yes
SNo


1

21









15. Please rate your experience at the Springboard Program in the following areas:


Enjoyment

Learning


Personal Growth


16. How valuable was your experience at the Springboard Program
Low
Personal Life 1C 2E


in the following areas:
Neutral High


Health and Fitness

Family and Home

Friendships

Social


Mental 1 2 3 4

Faith 1C 2 F 3 E 4E
Business C C C C
Business 1 2F 3: 4F

Financial 2 3 : 4F

Current Employment 2 3 : 4F



17. How did the Springboard Program influence your effectiveness in the following areas:
Low Neutral
Time Management 1 2 3 C

Organizational Skills 2 3 4C

Daily Work Tasks IF 2c 3 4

Decision Making 2 3E 4 F


High

51


Low

'C
1i
1I


High
5[

51


Neutral

3n

3E











18. Do you feel the Springboard Program has
affected your productivity at work?


19. If Yes, please describe:












20. Do you feel the Springboard Program is
effective?




21. Do you feel that Lend Lease should continue to
offer the Springboard Program to its
employees?


22. Would you make any changes to the
Springboard Program?


23. If Yes, what changes would you suggest?


Please comment


-Li


Yes
SNo


Please comment


-dj


ii'











24. Would you make any changes to the eligibility
requirements for the Springboard Program?


25. If Yes, what changes would you suggest?


26. Describe the most beneficial aspect of the
Springboard Program for you personally?


Please comment


-4Li


Please comment


-U


27. How did attending the Springboard Program
affect your opinion of Lend Lease?











28. Did attending the Springboard Program
increase your desire to remain employed with
Lend Lease?


Please comment


JJU


Yes
SNo


Yes
SNo


ii'


2?'













This completes the portion of the survey for Lend Lease employees that have participated
in the Springboard Program. Thank you for your participation.



Submit2 Clear









LIST OF REFERENCES


Andersen, Bjorn, Henriksen, Bjornar, and Aarseth, Wenche. (2006), "Holistic Performance
Management: an Integrated Framework," International Journal ofProductivity and
Performance Management, Vol. 55 No. 1, pp. 61-78.

Bluckert, Peter. (2005), "The Similarities and Differences between Coaching and Therapy,"
Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 91-96.

Broad, Mary L. (2006), "Improving performance in complex organizations," Industrial and
Commercial Training, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 322-329.

Brumwell, Ian, and Reynolds, Paul. (2006), "How coaching cuts costs and saves time at BT
Retail," Strategic HR Review, Vol. 5 Issue 5, pp. 20-23.

Byrne, Una. (2005), "Work-life Balance: Why are we talking about it at all?," Business
Information Review, Vol. 22(1), pp. 53-59.

Chidiac, Marie-Anne. (2006), "Getting the Best out of Executive Coaching: A Guide to Setting
up a Coaching Process," Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp.
13-15.

Gimson, Anne. (2006), "The Bottom Line of Executive Coaching: Evidence of 700 percent
return on investment," Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol.20 No. 6, pp.
32-34.

Herzberg, Frederick, et al. (1966), Work and the Nature ofMan, World Publishing Company,
Cleveland.

Jones, Renae A., Rafferty, Alannah E., and Griffin, Mark A. (2006), "The executive coaching
trend: towards more flexible executives," Leadership & Organization Development
Journal, Vol. 27 No. 7, pp. 584-596.

Maslow, Abraham. (1970), Motivation and Personality, Harper & Row Publishers, New York.

Muir, John. (1911), My First Summer in the Sierras, Sierra Club, San Francisco, pp. 110.

Parker-Wilkins, Vemita. (2006), "Business impact of executive coaching: demonstrating
monetary value," Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 122-127.

Perry, Melanie J. (2006), "Life Coaching and the Law," Industrial and Commercial Training,
Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 98-101.

Sparrow, Stephanie. (2005), "A defining time for coaching," Personnel Today, pp. 23-23.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

In August of 1999, I began my collegiate career at the University of Florida as a Digital

Arts & Sciences Engineering major. I received my Bachelor of Science in Engineering in May

of 2004, graduating Cum Laude. In August of 2004 I began my graduate studies at the M. E.

Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida.

During my graduate studies I fulfilled two construction related internships, one with

Trigram GC located in Miami, FL, and the other with Bovis Lend Lease in Washington, D.C.

While attending the University of Florida, I have been employed with CIRCA (Center for

Instructional Research and Computing Activities) for a total of five years. Positions I have held

at CIRCA include Technology Consultant, Repair Technician, and Operations Supervisor. In

June 2007 I will begin a full time position within the construction industry as a Project Engineer.