Each year, Training Magazine ranks The Top 100 U.S. companies for training. The current list includes two builders, Atlanta-based John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods (No. 34) and Houston-based David Weekley Homes (No. 76).

John Wieland Homes has been on the list for five years and shot up 20 spots this year. Robin Renschen, director of Wieland University and leadership development at the company, says that he thinks the rankings rise came from a 30 percent increase in training hours over the previous year (the company averages 22 hours of training annually per employee). That was due to a number of initiatives, including diversity training, increased customer service training, and a revision in the company's Signature Builder Certification program.

Two factors that have helped make training part of the corporate culture at John Wieland Homes, Renschen says, are support from senior management and a schedule that fits the real world of builders.

Mike Humphrey, vice president of operations at David Weekley Homes, says that training areas that make a critical difference at the company are its new-employee orientation, required for all employees, as well as training for frontline employees who interact with buyers. Frontline training occurs within 30 to 40 days of hire date.

“We got management to agree not to put [new staff] in a sales office full time or give them a full load of homes to build or warranty until they're trained,” Humphrey says. Post-training measurements taken in-house have shown improved mystery-shopping scores for sales consultants and quality-walk ratings for builders.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA.