From the start, Hutton has fostered a culture that encourages team members to learn and grow, enriching their own communities with that same purpose. This commitment to lifelong learning is so paramount, we’ve built it into our company vision and operations.
Hutton’s ten-year vision is called Elevate. Launched in 2020, Elevate leads and guides us towards an expansion of the purpose that exists at our core. There are three goals to achieve by 2030. 1) To partner with 120 new forward-thinking entrepreneurs and visionaries, 2) to teach a new skill to 100% of team members every year, and 3) for 100% of Hutton team members to be difference-makers in the communities where they work and live.
“For our Elevate goals, it was vital to include one centered around learning new skills, because we believe it is our responsibility as a company to provide each team member with an environment for growth—not just growth professionally but personally, as well,” said Hutton’s CEO, Ben Hutton. “This ties back directly to our purpose, which says in part that we exist to build life into our team members’ dreams.”
From administrative assistants to architects, project managers to the president, every team member is handed a toolbelt with the capabilities to own their job and learn something new every day. While a culture of learning has been carefully cultivated over the last 30 years, we recognize that maintaining it must be an intentional process. This is where Hutton’s Director of People Operations, Whitney Proctor, comes in.
People-Centered Learning Opportunities
Whitney is passionate about our people. She has studied and implemented professional development platforms throughout her career before she joined Hutton, and she was excited to expand on the culture of learning she found here.
“When people have easy access to professional development, they have the capacity to invest in more than just their jobs, but in their lives, too. The key is making these opportunities applicable and accessible. Learning has to be fun, relevant and engaging for it to stick,” said Proctor.
In addition to leading the People Operations team and implementing recruiting strategies to find top-tier talent, Whitney modernized Hutton’s professional development platform, The Foundry. Within The Foundry, Hutton team members can find hundreds of training course, many of which are online, allowing each person to learn at the times and places that work best for them. Whitney also coordinates all in-person learning opportunities where Hutton team members get hands-on instruction to perfect their crafts.
Examples of these Foundry courses can be found in this article from our 2021 annual report and include a wide variety to accommodate our diverse talents. Classes such as Hutton Leadership training, English as a second language, and craftsmanship classes are designed to teach real-world skills to the team members eager to learn. While you’re at it, take a look at an example of a class at the Hutton Training Facility here.
For an example of lifelong learning at Hutton, we talked to Melvin Bryant, who’s been with the company for more than three years. “Since starting the Foundry classes, I’ve completed a trim carpentry class, a hardware class, doors and accessories. I took these classes to be able to grow within projects and as an individual,” said Bryant.
When each individual is given the opportunity to grow in their skills, they are able to take on new responsibilities in their position, leading to professional growth. This results in a more satisfying relationship with their job and more capacity for a fulfilled life outside of work.
Embrace Everyday Growth
Ben Hutton explains how Hutton’s pursuit of growth is centered around the development of people: “When every team member is constantly evolving, they are better equipped to make an impact on the people around them, in the workplace, in their homes and in the communities where they work and live.”
Building a culture of lifelong learners doesn’t happen by accident. Hiring the right team members is a must, and we strive to maintain an environment where those team members are given opportunities to get better every day.