• WisBusiness

Monday, March 2, 2015

MaryBeth Matzek: Miron Construction invests in helping employees reach their dreams


By MaryBeth Matzek
Carrie Garczynski knows she has a unique title – dream coach – but every day she works with employees at Miron Construction Co. to help them reach their dreams whether it's starting a photography business, planning out a garden or saving up for a special trip.

"I work with them to plan and develop goals and then holds them accountable to what they are trying to do," says Garczynski, who joined the Neenah-based construction company 18 months ago. "They can be personal projects or aspirations and they can be big or small."

The idea to have a dream coach came to Miron President Dave Voss after reading the book, "The Dream Manager" by Matthew Kelly. The book discusses how businesses who help their workers achieve personal dreams can improve their productivity and retention. Voss saw it as a way to help the company, which also has offices in Wausau, Milwaukee, Madison and Iowa, to reward its hardworking employees and also distinguish itself in attracting new talent.

"It's definitely a differentiator when recruiting employees," Garczynski says. "It sets us apart."

When Garczynski first presented the concept to Miron workers, she admits the response was a bit tepid, but after some employees took the leap and word began to spread about what they were doing, interest has increased.

"It's going gangbusters now. I've also done Expand Your Minds and Lunch Workshops where I talk about how people can reach their goals and also send out biweekly emails too with inspirational messages," she says. "When I work with employees, I use a variety of tools and resources to help them map out a plan to make their goals feasible."

Participation is confidential unless an employee decides to share his or her story. Employees work with Garczynski for free and having her on board shows them that the company cares about its workers.

So far, Garcyznski has worked with employees on a range of projects from how to take a crafting hobby and turn it into a business to helping another employee find her birth mother.

"There's no project that's too big or too small. We talk about what their goal is and then I work with them on creating a plan to reach that goal," Garcyznski says. "I then circle back and work with them to see how they're doing."

As for why a company would help employees reach a goal – such as starting their own businesses – that could possibly lead to losing them, Garczynski says it's a risk worth taking.

"The goal is to help employees reach their goals and dreams and as they do that, they are happier and happier employees are more engaged and productive," she says. "What we're doing is really sending the message that we care about employees and that I think will help us become an employer of choice in a very competitive industry."

Cancer center construction

ThedaCare, a seven-hospital health system headquartered in Appleton, broke ground this week on its new $44 million regional cancer center. It's located next to Encircle Health, an ambulatory care center that has ThedaCare as one of its partners, and visible from U.S. 41.

The Regional Cancer Center will serve as the home base for ThedaCare's cancer program, which is focused on respecting patients and their families by honoring their choices, bringing a team of top- talent care providers to the table, and offering a broad range of treatments, services, and resources. Patients will have access to the latest technologies, including promising new treatments through participation in clinical trials, as well as the ThedaCare network of cancer care physicians and support staff.

Boldt Construction is building the center, which is scheduled to open in 2016.

Decision day for expo center

The Appleton City Council will take up the issue of purchasing land for the Fox Cities Exhibition Center once again next Wednesday. This latest vote – to spend $2 million to buy land for the center from Outagamie County – comes after a six-hour information session held earlier week. That public session provided plenty of time for community members and public officials to ask questions and get answers about the proposed center, which will be owned by the city but operated by the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel. The hotel will be connected to the center, which provides exhibition space and serves as a compliment to the hotel's meeting rooms.

For more on the center, please check out my previous column on the issue.

-- Matzek, a freelance writer and editor, is the owner of 1Bizzy Writer. She has worked in the past as a news editor at Insight Publications and as business editor at the Appleton Post-Crescent.


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