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KeeleyU: Your Strongest Investment

A CFO once asked the CEO of a company, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?” The CEO replied, “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”

By: John Regan

It is no secret that a business’s most important investment is their people. Processes, equipment, technology, and strategies are insignificant when compared to the people making it happen. Too often we see business leaders ignoring the power of their human capital. While the growth of a company is impacted by these things, the single most important factor of company growth is promoting the career growth of their people.

Growth and success with year-end results would not be possible if it was not for the people doing the work. At the end of the day, it’s the people that matter. Ensuring that team members have the knowledge and skills to provide exceptional service to customers and partners is essential to a business. However, growing your people isn’t something that happens overnight. It is essential that businesses implement a Learning and Development Program focused on creating curriculum relevant to team members across every role and throughout all levels of the organization. Equipping team members with the knowledge and resources to better perform their jobs is essential and provides many benefits.

Learning Increases Retention and Boost Recruitment

Thinking about a company from an individual standpoint is powerful. The mission and vision of a company are no longer solely reliant on the group; they lie with the individual. Creating a Learning and Development program ensures that each team member has the educational opportunities to learn and grow, therefore, increasing retention. If a company is taking care of their people by providing them with resources to grow, they won’t give that up. In addition to developing current team members, a Learning and Development can be a useful recruitment tool. Promoting team members’ career growth increases the need to hire more team members to meet the needs of the business, an aspect that is often overlooked. Leveraging the fact that team members can take their career to the next level aids recruitment efforts. In a competitive market, companies need to develop unique benefits to recruit and retain top talent; investing in team members does that.

Career Growth = Company Growth

While the growth and development of team members is key to a business’ growth, it does result in some unique challenges. One of these challenges is determining who will replace team members; not as they leave the company, but rather as they grow into a larger role. This is something a Learning and Development program can support. Having a people pipeline, looking at the year-over-year growth projections, and determining succession plans are all matters a Learning and Development program can alleviate. By aligning educational opportunities with the company’s mission and vision, team members will receive the knowledge they need to reach the next stage of their career and build valuable leadership skills; ultimately propelling the company's vision. This is directly correlated with company growth. The more educated team members are in their respected fields, the better they perform their job. The better team members perform their job, the better the company performs and therefore, grows – creating more opportunities for team members to grow their careers.


At Keeley Companies, we offer a world-class professional development program, KeeleyU. With the goal to promote continual career growth for all team members through various internal and external learning opportunities, KeeleyU is vital to Keeley Companies’ 20% annual growth. With this, there is a dire need to grow people within our organization and provide resources for our people to gain the skills they need to further their careers. In addition to developing current team members, our talent strategy is used to recruit top-level talent to our family.

KeeleyU provides regular hands-on learning opportunities such as: workshops, seminars, and presentations by technical experts and motivational & inspirational speakers. Hours devoted to career development are guided, logged, and tracked for every team member. A syllabus is published annually and regularly updated, outlining the scheduled courses and dates with frequent additions as new opportunities become available throughout the year. Team members can access all classes online through a Learning Management System regardless of where they are in the nation. Our dedicated Vice President of Professional Development, John Regan lovingly called the Professor, visits jobsites and host what we call “roadshows”, bringing education directly to our craftspeople on jobsites. As part of our growth strategy, each team member is responsible for completing scorecard goals year-over-year. One of those goals includes 40 hours of professional development and education training. These 40 hours consist of educational opportunities that will give team members the knowledge they need to reach the next stage of their career and build valuable leadership skills, ultimately propelling the company's vision.

Implementing KeeleyU at Keeley Companies has produced incredible results. If you want to learn how you can start your own Learning and Development program or partner with us for educational opportunities, reach out to our Vice President of Learning and Development, John Regan, at

Click here to visit the KeeleyU website!


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