As I was planning the criteria for our foreman meeting last week it struck me that maybe they didn’t understand that they can shape or change the culture out on the job site in the same way we in management try to shape the culture of the company. I believe it is our responsibility to build positive relationships with general contractors, subs and vendors that result in a culture of team work and success. This should resonate with the crew on the job site as well; our goal is to give our foreman the tools and guidance they need to accomplish this goal. We feel it should be their responsibility to cultivate a positive work culture on their site and in this way influence the other trades as well.
The culture in construction today seems to be open to this teamwork approach of building together, as opposed to the old school culture of adversity and independence. I believe that the rough economy that we have been experiencing the last 8 years has challenged us to work together for success. If all the trades and their workers strive to build a culture of partnership and ownership the possibility of a successful and profitable job would be greater. Wouldn’t it be something if we were able to manage our crews knowing that the culture they were working in each day was part of a framework of teams that were working together towards success? What is stopping us; let’s look at a number of road blocks that can hinder us from creating a positive and successful culture where we work.
I want to identify 3 roadblocks; people, places and things. People affect your attitude to the site every day. It may be a grumpy or inexperienced contractor or sub- contractor. It could be employees’ that constantly show up late, unequipped or struggling with personal issues. You name it people influence your day weather in a positive or negative way. It’s up to you to decide what your culture will be today and how you want to influence it. The second is the workplace, such as out of town jobs that create their own challenges, an unkempt and unsafe site or bad weather conditions can influence the culture in a negative way. Lastly it’s the things that seem to challenge us during the course of the day that keep us from our goal of a successful culture such as mistakes, incomplete plans lack of good communication between Subs and General or supply issues. There are many more examples that can’t be covered now but need to be identified so as not to block you from your goal of a successful culture.
I hope this challenges you to go to your workplace tomorrow and change the culture you find yourself in. You can be the difference, you can be the positive influence, and you in can set your workplace on a path to a successful profitable culture.
“Cornerstone in the Work zone”