TSI Blog

Experts in the Construction Sector

July 7th, 2017 by Gary Cattermole

The Survey Initiative - employee survey experts. We’ve been assisting organisations in the construction sector for over 10 years. Our staff surveys consistently achieve higher than industry average response rates, which has helped us grow our client base with a wide range of construction and building industry organisations, such as BuroHappold, Saint-Gobain, Mouchel, Atkins and Story Homes.

Over the past quarter we’ve secured a number of new business wins in the construction sector, and delighted to add crane hire specialists, Ainscough to our client list. Thanks to our very high customer satisfaction levels, we’ve also managed to win contracts from our existing client base and will be overseeing employee research and consultancy services for engineering specialists, BuroHappold and construction materials specialist, Saint-Gobain.

How to increase staff productivity?

The construction industry is booming but are you getting the most out of your employees? Is everyone in your team prepared to go the extra mile? Gary Cattermole, Director of staff survey and employee engagement specialist, The Survey Initiative, offers his advice on how to boost productivity.

  1. Recognise and reward hard work - it’s important to recognise and reward both hard work and effort. Let’s face it, hard work doesn’t always translate into success but if you don’t encourage initiative and effort, you’ll wind up with a workforce that isn’t incentivised to try. Also, don’t forget the benefits of praise – reward doesn’t always have to be financial – praise when it’s due goes a long way.
  2. Engage with your staff – make sure you listen to your staff. Running a regular staff survey is a good way at focusing on areas that need improvement and realising things you do well. You also get the chance to understand your employees so much better, for example: we’ve recently been working with a large crane hire company – following group workshops with their employees we found that slight tweaks to their staff uniform could really help boost staff satisfaction.  They specified new workwear that didn’t just comply with Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (PPE), such as high viz jackets being yellow, or hard hats being capable of deflecting falling objects, they now offer jackets that are warm and comfortable that will keep out wind chill or hammering rain.  They also provide T-shirts that will wick on a hot summer’s day and boots that keep feet dry for an eight hour stretch.  If staff have the right gear to do a good job productivity levels will soar.
  3. Good communication – make sure everyone’s kept up to speed with what the company are doing. It may seem tricky to keep everyone informed when teams are on-site, others working solitary in show homes etc, but there’s now so many ways to communicate with your staff that there’s really no excuse in not keeping everyone ‘in the know’.
  4. Promote from within - always consider your existing talent before looking elsewhere when recruiting for a position within your business. If you are in touch with your staff; their skills, ambitions and what motivates them, you should know whether you have someone in-house who could perform the role. If you recruit externally you risk putting noses out of joint and when that happens, people vote with their feet. You could also spend hard earned money on recruitment when you didn’t actually need to.
  5. Offer secondments – many teams that need to work together do so much better when they know the stresses and strains of the other department. For example: make sure the purchasing team get to meet the bricklayers on site to ensure they have all they need to do their job efficiently. Second your top talent into different areas to stretch them and for these employees to bring new ways of working back to the team.
  6. ‘A good company to work for’ - offer a great personal development programme from the word go and employees are far more likely to stay put. The knowledge that they can develop within a business and achieve their career goals without moving will keep them focussed on the business and their work. Of course, you also need to be sure you can pay them what they’re worth when they gain new skills and take on more responsibility. If you don’t, they’ll move on and another business will benefit from your input.
  7. Be consistent - inconsistency builds distrust and that will affect how your staff perform. If you say you will deliver something make sure you do. This could be something as simple as a water fountain for the office or outdoor seating for lunch breaks. By failing to deliver, you will also convey a message to staff that they are not valued – once again, potentially leading to unwanted staff vacancies and delays in completing contracts.
  8. Share successes – if you’ve recently won an award, or a new contract off the team’s ability to work fast, safely and to a high level etc, celebrate the success with the teams. Offer a reward system and talk to the staff to see what would motivate them to try and gain a reward. Success breeds success, so share your news in the company’s newsletter, local and trade media etc.
  9. Provide healthy snacks, plenty of water and sun tan lotion – working on building sites is tiring. Keep your workforce healthy by offering fresh fruit and water to fuel their productivity levels. Also show you care by offering free-of-charge sun tan lotion to ensure your staff avoid sunburn or skin cancer.
  10. Finally, say ‘thankyou’ – a thankyou at the end of the day really does go a long way. Just the same as telling staff that you’re really grateful for their efforts and hope they have a wonderful break before they go on annual leave. This simple message can be easily adopted by managers, costs nothing, engenders loyalty and builds a team that will be with you every step of the way.

For further information about employee engagement, visit www.surveyinitiative.co.uk.

Written by Gary Cattermole
Gary Cattermole is a Director at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Gary has extensive expertise and experience in a range of employee research techniques from employees surveys and 360 degree feedback to workshop facilitation and action planning sessions, working with a diverse range of clients such as EPSON, Telegraph Media Group, Natural History Museum, AVEVA and Accor. Gary is an avid sports fan, in particular table tennis and football. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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