5 Tips To Create Company Culture in Construction

Company Culture in Construction –

If you think it is just some buzzwords that will fade out in a couple of years and it does not apply to your construction company…you may be setting yourself up for failure. Company culture is not just for corporate cubical farms or tech companies. Your employees spend a lot of time in the workplace, and they want to be somewhere they feel valued, that doesn’t suck the life out of them. (We talk about this a lot over on the blog)

 

By cultivating an inspiring and positive place to work, you are setting up values and purpose that will trickle down to other parts of your business. There is no downside to being an attractive place to work! A positive work environment will go a long way to ensuring you’re catching the attention of top talent and growing throughout the years.

 

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How to Create Company Culture in Construction?

1. Define What You Want Your Company Culture to Look Like

You can’t work on creating the right culture if you don’t know what you are aiming to achieve. This is a good time to take out a pencil and paper and jot down answers to the following questions:

  • Why does my company exist?
  • What do we believe in?
  • What does the next level look like for our company?

Once you have these questions answered, it’s time to take a look back at your mission statement and vision statement and see if they line up.

2. Take a Hard Look at Your Current Culture

You do have a mission and vision statement, right? What about a core value statement? (If not, we have you covered on the news wire.) It’s important to realize that whether you are creating something purposefully or not, you do have a company culture.

Company culture exists regardless of the actions you take. Your culture manifests in a variety of ways. Here are a couple of examples:

  • When you hire new people, what kind of team are they joining? Do others on your team jump in to help teach them? If so, you have a culture that embraces helpfulness.
  • When you’re up against a challenge on a project, does your team actively work on problem-solving or do they sit back and wait for someone else to figure it out? If they jump in with possible solutions, you have a culture that encourages critical thinking.

If your company has been around a while and you have realized that your culture isn’t what you want it to be, consider the following:

  • Revisit the questions that we asked in section one to discover your values and vision.
  • Do some industry research.
  • Create a safe space to meet with your entire team and get their feedback about how they see company values coming to life each day.
    • Open and transparent conversation can be daunting, but you can’t begin building an inspiring company culture if your team isn’t on board with your vision. On the other hand, they might have different ideas to consider — perhaps they’ll open your eyes to different or new values you didn’t recognize!
  • Re-visit your hiring practices. Are you hiring a legion of mini-mes instead of bringing in people with different perspectives?

 

Focus on creating your culture early on in your company. If you’re a new company or if you’re thinking of starting your own construction business, make company culture a priority so that each new hire aligns with your vision. While some company perks like free snacks, fancy break rooms, or “fun” outings can look glitzy, they don’t mean anything if your employees don’t feel a real connection to the work and the company and they will become disenchanted and move on.

Incorporating ‘play’ into your company culture – it’s not just about a beer tap and table football – Richard Branson

 

3. Identify Who Your “Leader of Culture” Will Be

While it may seem appropriate for HR people to lead company culture, that’s not necessarily their job. Most of the time your employees only see HR for changes in benefits, or if there is a problem. And in a lot of our construction companies, HR is not a position. We see accounting, office manager and even the owners being this point of contact.

Who is your “leader of culture?” or Who should be?

The biggest mistake a company can make is assuming that your HR person is going to create company culture and maintain it. To be successful in this endeavor, you absolutely must have everyone on your team buy into your core values and actively work towards maintaining a positive and inspiring culture. It is not just the job of one person or department.

 

Another mistake is assuming that a “great culture” will happen with team outings and by hosting events for your employees and their families. It’s something to consider but only when it makes sense. There are financial costs and a time commitment for everyone involved, from those who plan the event to those who attend. Make sure that when you do plan events, they’re meaningful and that they align with your overall vision.

4. Build Your Talent Brand

Your talent brand is different from your company brand. While your company brand is about the values associated with your company, the talent brand has more to do with the public persona that your employees take on as they incorporate your brand with their own feelings and thoughts about what it means to work there. Yes, your employees are sharing their work experiences with the world. Either through conversations with friends or family, or online via social media.

What are they saying about you? What do you want them to be saying about you?

Use your company culture and values in your recruitment efforts so that everybody knows what to expect going forward. When discussing core values during the interview process, you will get a feel for their thoughts on your company vision, and you’ll know if they are a good addition to the team.

With everybody on the same page, a strong talent brand can help you tremendously – it will strengthen your voice in a crowded marketplace and help you recruit more talented workers and new projects. Talent branding is recognized in various industries — it’s not just for the tech giants. So, who is to say that it won’t work just as well in the construction industry?

 

5. Consistently Reinforce Your Values

It’s not enough to hang your values on the wall or display them on your website; you need to work toward reinforcing them every day with everyone on your team. No, that doesn’t mean dozens of team meetings or motivational posters. It means how you relate to your employees, how you treat them, and how you encourage their work.

 

With our core value of trust, we don’t give our clients the runaround; we leverage our experience, skills and honesty to deliver a straight-forward path to success on every project. – South Bay Construction

 

Consider having initiatives, programs, and awards in place for employee recognition. When launching an award program to recognize individuals who are upholding the company’s values, ensure that it’s peer-nominated. This allows everyone to get involved, and for the team to take a good look at the inspirational employees surrounding them every day.

You can also do small things for clients and customers that exemplify your company culture. For instance, if an employee’s car is in the shop, send them an Uber to help them get back and forth from work without the expense of a rental car. Or send meal kits to employees that have something come up like a family illness or funeral. Some companies also pool sick days to help fellow employees with unexpected absences. It is easy to extend these thoughtful gestures to clients by hand delivering small items such as cookies or balloons as thank you gifts for their business, or important personal milestones like wedding anniversaries or promotions.

Conclusion:

Cultivating an inspiring company culture isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to ensure that your company is on the right path. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new business, or if you have been around a while. Nor does it matter if you’re a big, medium, or small business. You can start today to build a place that employees want to work.

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Josh Denton
Co Founder of Ground Up Construct. Josh Denton came to the world of construction through a broad career in consumer goods, specifically in the Action Sports Industry. He was surrounded by career minded leaders that lead him to project management in construction for retail locations globally. Through this experience he was exposed to the amazing professionals in construction and the talents they hold. As he witnessed amazing careers in construction he also realized that this was not a career path actively spoken about. This was solidified as he became the GM for a contractor. Professional glaziers and installers surrounded him yet none of them considered themselves the professionals that they are. He partnered with Josh Munns to change that narrative and bring a spotlight back to the strong careers that exist in construction.

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