Creating a better work culture leads to many benefits for any company, including those in the construction industry – and these 5 steps will help.
1. De-emphasize a chain of command. It’s human nature that people don’t want to feel like underlings because they are treated as such. Leadership in creating a better culture begins with placing less emphasis on someone being in absolute command and more on the value of everyone’s contribution to a project, ensuring that everyone shares in the responsibility to complete it according to the contract.
2. Make your company values clear. A company culture simply doesn't exist without core values. Everyone must understand what principles and behaviors best represent the company’s philosophy and how the company wishes the wider world to perceive it. Company leaders are often surprised to find that when core values are established, most if not all employees are willing to follow and exhibit them and are pleased that they work for a company with clearly defined core values.
3. Long-term goals are dependent on core values. Without core values, it’s essentially impossible to set long-term, shared goals and expect them to be achieved. Once everyone understands and agrees to a company’s core values, they are more likely to understand the company’s long-term goals and maximize their contribution to their achievement.
4. Diversity is a priceless asset. It’s not just ethnic and culture diversity that helps to create a strong company culture, but also diversity at an individual level. Each person’s uniqueness should be cultivated, not disregarded. From such a garden, leadership sprouts from individuals who were never viewed as leadership material and problems are solved because individuals are encouraged to apply their unique value to any group challenge.
5. Provide a channel for workers’ voices. Few actions create a better company culture than allowing everyone’s voice to be heard through surveys or other avenues of input. Employees have specific tasks to perform for which they earn a living, but having the opportunity to contribute to the direction and future of the company is one they will value the highest.
Andrew Arena is founder and president of Construction Pro Manager, a document control software for the construction industry.