Whether in the office or on the building site, people working in the construction industry constantly rely on teamwork to see a job through. The foremost goal on a jobsite is to hit milestones on time and on budget, which requires effort from all parties.
Typically, people are better suited to work environments that give them the freedom to communicate and work together with their fellow employees. Putting emphasis on collaboration in your company culture will encourage people to feel like what they’re doing matters to the big picture. In our industry, it’s never a one man job – so people should never feel like they’re on their own with a job.
From general contractors to subcontractors, everyone needs to be on the same page with what needs to be accomplished. Timelines need to be clear, issues need to be disclosed, and objectives need to be outlined. If you’re aiming to have a more collaborative company, arm your employees with an active role in the group.
Here are our top 3 tips for building a collaborative environment in our industry:
1. Be clear with expectations – at all levels
Give your employees defined roles as both individuals, and members of the larger team. Everyone’s work matters. Place focus on shared responsibility and what their contributions will add to the bigger picture in both the short and long term.
2. Set goals as a team
Choose a time frame that makes sense for your team, set one or two realistic goals together, and encourage each other along the way. Positivity fuels more positivity and a good momentum. At the end of the chosen time frame, review the results together as a team. People appreciate transparency and this way, everyone can be involved in the conversation around what went well and what can be improved. Feedback doesn’t always have to be from the top down.
3. Encourage employee socials after hours
This is a great way to “break down” walls and open communication channels on topics or issues that don’t have to do with work. Creating real connections with those you spend the majority of your waking hours with can lower levels of bias, and allow one another to be seen as more human. (Leave the hard hats in the office!)
Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more. Follow Lauren on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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