Growth at BEAR Construction
A Discussion with Young Leader Ryan McDonough
Company culture and the growth available within businesses has become a hot topic in recent years, gaining in visibility as COVID-19 ripped through what used to be normal working environments across the country. Now more than ever, it’s important for companies to consider what kind of culture they foster and the support they provide their employees. As a nominee for Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 Ryan McDonough, head of the Industrial and Special Projects Division, recently shared about his path at BEAR Construction Company and about why he has continually chosen BEAR Construction to grow in his career.
Ryan joined BEAR 13 years ago as a project manager. Since then, he has worn many different hats and today oversees a budget of over $20 million. As a young leader at BEAR, Ryan shared that he believes in transparency. “What you see is what you get,” Ryan remarked, “I think it’s important to be honest and open and that’s the standard of leadership that we have at BEAR.”
This leadership style can be found in other leaders across the company, Ryan remarked. He sees himself, and BEAR, continually evolving with the times to better serve its people. As a leader, Ryan wants everyone he works with to reach their individual goals, and that’s something that he sees reflected across the teams throughout BEAR. This sentiment can be a rarity in corporate America and is often a crucial key in employee retention.
Over the course of his time at BEAR, Ryan explains, he has gotten to work with stellar colleagues who have become like a family to him. The bonds formed at BEAR are strong and valued. “People are not just a number,” Ryan explained, “They are a name, a face, and a part of the team.” Ryan noted he has seen the difference in the values that BEAR finds important against what other companies provide, aligning with his values and visions for his team and himself. “We don’t just say that we’re a family – that’s a value that BEAR lives by and it makes us better employees and a better company because of it.”
Ryan says he witnessed those values during the pandemic. “I saw our highest leaders take a step back during the pandemic to assess how to best support every individual person in our company,” said Ryan. “They made sacrifices so that the rest of the company didn’t have to. And that’s the value-oriented, people-first way to approach business that I so admire at BEAR.” This type of response allows for each employee to feel valued and understood, which in turns gives way for retention and a career path forward at BEAR Construction.
As businesses recover from the pandemic and resulting financial crisis, conversations on how to inspire young leaders, how to attract and retain talent, and how to build in values into your company’s culture will remain critical. BEAR Construction Company is, and will continue to be, ahead of the curve, leading an individualized example of what evolving with a company can be by cultivating young leaders like Ryan McDonough.