Providence, R.I. – Marianne Monte, Chief People Officer at Shawmut, and a Pawtucket resident, was recently named the Chief Human Resources Officer in the Large Private Company category at the Providence Business News (PBN) C-Suite Awards. Monte is one of 14 winners part of PBN’s most prestigious executive awards ceremony.
According to PBN, Monte “notices, cares, and takes action to promote work/home harmony for employees.” Monte joined Shawmut, a national construction firm, in 2015, having since launched Shawmut Flex, a flex-time program which allows employees to work remotely and with flexible hours.
“Our goal was to retain the top employees in our field,” said Monte. ”We recognized that providing additional work/life options was something that we should embrace, and our employees have responded tremendously.”
Monte also finalized Shawmut’s paid leave program, which gives men and women a month of paid time off following the birth of a child, adoption, foster-care placement, or to take care of a sick family member.
In addition to her work with Shawmut, Monte serves on the Board of Trustees at Crossroads RI, The Gordon School, and the Rhode Island Retirement Board, where she was appointed by Rhode Island State Treasurer Seth Magaziner. Monte also spends time volunteering with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).
Monte is a Providence College graduate, and has a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University.
Excerpt from Providence Business News:
When workers’ home lives are orderly, well-managed and healthy, they can bring their best game to the job.
As a result, Shawmut Design and Construction, spurred by the work of Chief People Officer Marianne Monte, notices, cares and takes action to promote work/home harmony for employees.
Monte entered the human resources leadership role at the global construction company about 2 1/2 years ago. The number of lives her mission affects is large: Shawmut employed 1,265 people in 2016 and had an annual gross revenue of $1.3 billion, according to company documents.
Monte wants all of those people to work hard and collaboratively, while knowing that their families and personal goals are important and cared for.
According to colleagues, Monte was dedicated and enthusiastic from the very start.
“She has faith that people will rise to her high expectations, and she gives them the space to do that,” said Michelle LaFleur, director of people strategies. LaFleur said Monte “makes sure that people see the value of what we are doing, to see how we are affecting the company as a whole.”
Before Monte came on board, the company had been considering a flex-time option that would allow people to work staggered hours, remotely, or share jobs so that they could care for family, friends or even spend time on hobbies and avocations. Shawmut Flex launched in January 2016.
“Marianne saw the power and value of it,” LaFleur said, “she charged us to be more bold. She galvanized support.”
Monte said the flex-time plan involved more than simple goodwill. It is turning into a powerful tool to retain good employees, particularly women. Fewer than 10 percent of workers in construction are women, Monte said. Shawmut has an unusually high 50 percent female staff at the lower levels, but far fewer in senior ranks.
“We were losing good employees. [Women] weren’t here long enough to make it to the senior ranks,” Monte said. Embracing flex time meant that Shawmut “changed the company’s attitude to be more about outcomes than about time spent in the office.
“We think of Shawmut Flex as a great retention tool,” Monte said. “When we are flexible, our people giveback tenfold.”
Monte’s efforts to support workers’ time management at work and home has led to a “cultural transformation,” according to a statement from the company.
Similarly, during Monte’s tenure, Shawmut finalized a paid family-leave program that gives men and women a month of paid time off after a birth, adoption, foster-care placement, or to take care of a sick family member.
Why is this stuff important? Because it helps the company attract and retain the best people in the field.
“Shawmut Flex has improved the quality of life for people here,” said Kara Cronin, director of work-life strategies at Shawmut. “They can bring their better self to work every day.”
Another effort that Monte has pushed is cultural-awareness and diversity training. Monte has organized trainings for top executives and others to help people recognize and overcome unconscious biases toward various categories of employees.