The Value of Debriefing

Posted by Kara Bresciani on 4/20/18 5:40 PM

The seasonal nature of the construction industry has historically been a challenge, but it can also be an asset in terms of set-aside time to review, plan, and strategize for the upcoming season. Debriefing at the end of a season is a building process that allows time to look at leveraging strengths and honing in on areas of improvement. In this fast-paced retail construction environment it is critical to always stay ahead of the curve. Debriefing allows you to do so by identifying the root causes of successes and failures and using the knowledge gained to continually improve the performance of each individual and the entire team. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20, so when looking back at a completed project from the year, one can use debriefing as a powerful tool to structure the process and capitalize on meaningful learning.


At U.S. Pavement Services we have developed a debriefing process, led by Director of National Accounts Blake Kelly, to help revive existing protocol, innovate new approaches to problems, and hit difficult objectives. “We owe it to our teams to provide open feedback and a path for them to grow within our organization,” Blake says. “This process allows for a clear picture of where we stand and where we want to go.” Leading an internal analysis for each team allows each team member to reflect on where they stand with their job knowing about the company culture, and their goals for the next season and beyond. What were we trying to accomplish? Where did we hit (or miss) our objectives? What caused our results? What should we start, stop, or continue doing? Furthermore, allow each employee to focus on their individual growth (both personal and professional goals) so team members learn from themselves and from each other. After the team completes their analysis, hold an open discussion on things that are great and things that need to improve. With this input and these discussion topics, develop quarterly and end of year goals with meetings to check in on each.


After executing the debriefing process throughout the company, the next step is to dig deeper into the feedback to find common “themes” good and bad. These enable employees to continue to learn and grow, and at the same time it reinforces the standards that make your company successful. This might result in a change to existing procedures, additional development of a program or plan, or a list of steps for the future to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We use the debriefing sessions to prepare for Crew Leader Training Sessions, led by Director of Production Seth McNary. These sessions are held to learn and hold onto what works, but also to acknowledge challenges from the past season and instill new procedures and best practices. “Our Crew Leader Training sessions are an opportunity for me to find ways to improve our day to day operations. We have honest conversations about what our Operations Team can focus on this season, to avoid heat of the moment discussion on the jobsite,” Seth says. “Our crew leaders have had time through the winter to collect their thoughts and look at the big picture changes they hope to see. It is my job to follow through to make sure we are making these changes.” Another great benefit to these Crew Leader Training Sessions is the team building aspect. These sessions bring the team together, strengthen relationships, and encourage team learning.


Debriefing at the end of a season helps us ensure that our people are prepared to perform at the highest level, delivering the best customer experience on every job. It digs deeper than a casual conversation about what did and didn’t work, but answers the question of why those things did and didn’t work. Our coordinated, orchestrated approach to ensuring the best customer experience, along with the capacity to deliver any project and the expertise to handle all levels of complexity, is why U.S. Pavement Services is uniquely positioned to handle all of your pavement and concrete needs. Learn more about the value we can add to your pavement and concrete projects by clicking here.

Topics: Customer Service, Retail Paving, Crew Performance, Team, Training