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Connecting Teams Digitally: Expanding regional programs globally using virtual engagement

June 01, 2021

When a regional DPG program develops into a global initiative, your chance to connect and find opportunity across the Company expands

While the pandemic forced us to be creative in how our teams connect digitally, it is not the only reason virtual engagement is important to our global community. Those familiar with the Developing Professionals Group at Stantec know that we work actively to combine the energy and innovative minds of developing professionals with the wisdom and experience of Company leadership. Our Coffee Connections program is one way we facilitate these important interactions—and the program has now gone global.

Coffee Connections existed in several of our regions to connect developing professionals with others across the company they wouldn’t normally encounter in their day-to-day. Regions such as the Netherlands were motivated to start this program locally as it provides a way for team members to get to know each other and the business in a short amount of time. Each month, participants are randomly matched so that junior employees have a chance to meet other juniors, middle managers, senior leaders, and more. They are able to interact with individuals in different business lines and get a better understanding of what Stantec does in their region. However, very soon the DPG realized it doesn’t have to stop within the region.

Chief Innovation Officer Marshall Davert (Florida) and DPG Global Region Lead Celeste Ward (Melbourne) meeting through Global Coffee Connections.

When the pandemic happened, the value of the Coffee Connections program really became clear. It continued despite physical distancing restrictions and lock downs as a way for employees to remain connected within geographies, and the idea rooted in some new regions like Australia and New Zealand as a result. When global DPG leaders met to share ideas and learnings about the regional Coffee Connections programs, the idea sparked to expand the program globally. At its core, expanding the program globally would be about developing professionals getting to know different areas where Stantec operates, meeting leaders across the globe, and creating development opportunities abroad.

The Global Coffee Connections program became a success immediately upon launch in February 2021 with over 700 participants signing up to be matched with someone in another region. The DPG team in Canada suggested that the team attempt to recruit CEO Gord Johnston to the program, who excitedly agreed and recruited the rest of the C-Suite as well. With each passing month, the program continues to grow, currently featuring 981 participants across 13 of the 22 countries in which Stantec operates. Glowing feedback from participants on internal messaging channels shows promise of great forward momentum and opportunity.

As a developing professional at Stantec, you never know when you’ll see a big idea become even bigger. When a regional program like Coffee Connections develops into a global initiative, your chance to connect and find opportunity across the Company expands. The DPG is consistently looking for these initiatives and more voices to create ideas and opportunities throughout the world. At Stantec, your ideas can see the light of day and you may be able to connect with our executive leadership along the way.

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