Southland’s Learning and Development (L&D) department is continually evolving to provide employees with new ways of thinking, various skill sets, and an understanding of current best practices and standard processes. The L&D department focuses on personal and professional development by encouraging employees to view each interaction from a learning perspective, rather than a training perspective. This shift emphasizes the employee’s accountability for their own growth and development.

While the department is not the only mechanism for learning, it aids managers, departments, and divisions in understanding the best strategy to help employees reach their full potential.

One of the main goals of the L&D department is to make learning fun, interactive, and engaging while connecting to the individual’s role in the organization. These principles are demonstrated in two companywide programs: boot camp and project team training. Each program features numerous activities and simulations that encourage participants to work and learn from each other. The overarching theme for both programs focuses on how Southland’s core values, commitment to lean principles, and lifecycle solutions guide and influence day-to-day operations.

Boot camp is a week-long program that covers Southland’s core values and culture, capabilities across all businesses and markets, and helps individuals understand how their roles contribute to Southland’s overall success. Throughout the week, experts from all divisions and disciplines at Southland engage in discussions about each department’s strategy and how it relates to Southland’s overall vision. When employees participate in boot camp early in their Southland career, they gain a solid foundation and understanding of the company, as well as a great opportunity to network with coworkers from other offices and job functions.

Project team training focuses mainly on building effective teams by working together, understanding Southland’s current best practices, and identifying what each team member needs from each other to be successful. Throughout the week-long program, participants are engaged in activities to become more familiar with lean methods and project planning tools. The week concludes with a discussion on the role each team member plays in developing a high performing team.

At Southland, we believe that learning is a journey, not an event. Participants are not going to leave these programs and immediately master all of the concepts covered. Employees need to put what they have learned into action with support from their manager, peers, and the L&D department to ensure their new knowledge and skills are properly transferred to their jobs. To that end, post-training events continue the learning and networking process by providing opportunities to discuss successes and challenges, while utilizing the collective knowledge of peers to crowd source solutions.

By investing in employees’ learning and development, Southland promotes a culture of continuous improvement and enables employees to create more value while eliminating waste. In a demanding industry that is always evolving, continuing to focus on developing high performing people and teams means Southland is better equipped to deliver projects that meet our customers’ needs. Ultimately, creating a learning culture that focuses on targeted learning, continuous improvement, standardization, and sharing ideas enables Southland employees to reserve intellectual capacity for innovation.



  • Marc Sodl

    Training Specialist

    As Training Specialist, Marc Sodl teams with subject matter experts to design and deliver effective training programs. His background in adult education and construction management provides him with the perspective necessary to design programs that meet the unique needs of employees within the construction industry.

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