Compass Launches Frontliners Program, a Significant Change in How the Construction Industry Fosters Safety, Innovation and Mental Health

Two people in safety gear stand next to a banner titled "FRONTLINER" with reflective questions focused on improvement and mental health support.

DALLAS – June 4, 2024 – Compass Datacenters has launched a new program providing frontline construction supervisors guidelines to encourage, support and maximize their daily project insight. Traditionally referred to as foremen, frontline supervisors are critical leaders. They play a central role in safety, quality, effective communication, efficiency and developing innovative process improvements. From this point forward, foremen on Compass projects will be called Frontliners.

A person in a hard hat and high-visibility vest looks down, focusing on something in their hand, with industrial shelving in the background. "FRONTLINER" text overlaid.
Frontline supervisor at Compass construction site is recognized during pinning ceremony.

“No one has more influence on construction site safety than Frontline supervisors. They have the exceptional ability to see the big picture of a project while also keeping tabs on the smallest details. Their impact on a project’s overall success and daily crew safety cannot be overstated,” said Nancy Novak, Compass’ Chief Innovation Officer. “Through this program, we are doing something unprecedented in the industry: empowering frontline supervisors to be vocal, candid change advocates, making job sites safer, driving continuous improvement and so much more.”

The Frontliners program will strengthen safety by creating a culture which welcomes and celebrates supervisors who humbly acknowledge areas for improvement – including times when there have been mistakes or setbacks.

“Can you imagine a climate in the construction industry where frontline supervision is celebrated for talking openly about their vulnerabilities and things they could do differently to create a safer work site?” said Rachel Neal, Compass’ Vice President, Global Safety. “We encourage participants to ask questions which may appear simple, but they are groundbreaking for the construction industry. People and organizations both grow when they acknowledge failures and learn. This is one of our core convictions as a company, and it is in the program’s DNA.”

Frontliners encourages and positively recognizes frontline supervisors for asking questions such as:

  • What could I have done differently last week?
  • What can I do to make the job site and our processes safer?
  • What can I do differently to eliminate error?
  • What can I do differently to better support my crew’s mental health?
  • And other questions sparking dialogue which fosters safety, identify areas for improvement and drive change.

In addition, the program will embrace mental health, while encouraging Frontliners to be supportive and create healthy relationships with their crews – providing a platform for discussing issues such as depression, anxiety and the rising rate of suicide.

Rachel Neal added, “Too often, frontline supervisors are expected to be superhuman, feeling isolated and burdened with high levels of stress. As a result, these critical employees suffer and so do their projects. We can do much better as an industry, and this program provides a guideline for how we can better support frontline supervisors. This program is driven by Compass’ corporate promise to make lives better, which extends to customers, neighbors, employees and the men and women building Compass’ data centers. I’m so proud we are leading the charge on these important changes.”

Rachel Neal, Nancy Novak and other members of the Compass team will share best practices from this program with other construction and data center organizations in the coming months. There will be a series of presentations and demonstrations aimed at driving industry-wide adoption of the program. More information about the program and its best practices will be published at www.compassdatacenters.com.