Employees working for building companies that do not have a clearly defined company culture fail to take ownership or responsibility. They engage in blame games and are lacking in both commitment and loyalty to their company.
Where as a building company with a strong company culture runs smoother because its employees are fully engaged, they take pride in what they do, they use their initiative to solve problems and they have a ‘can-do’ attitude.
Company Culture Must Come From The Top Down
None of this happens by chance. A company’s culture has to be set and enforced by the leadership.
And it’s probably easier that you think.
Because rather than creating a 1,000+ page company manual outlining all the dos and don'ts that make make up your ideal company culture, you can shortcut the entire process by setting 6-10 Core Values.
Anymore than 10 starts to become a challenge as they cannot be easily recalled or memorised, so aim to start with 6 or less and then add new ones when a situation arises.
The reason why core values are so powerful is because they can replace hundreds of pages of procedures in a company manual.
Have you ever experienced an employee who says ‘that’s not in my job description’
That’s the sort of problem you face when you try to document everything an employee is expected to do within their role.
Empower Your Employees
For example, if you find yourself constantly fielding phone calls from a site supervisor asking what they should do next every time they face a challenge, the worst possible thing you can do is give them the solution.
When you do that, you are training your team to always come to you for a solution. You’ve inadvertently created a bottleneck in your delivery process and taken on a whole load of stress for yourself.
However, by creating a supportive company culture where it’s ok to make mistakes and establishing a core value that states ‘We make decisions and own the results’, you have created a safe environment for that supervisor to step up.
The next time you receive a call from the supervisor asking for a solution you simply remind him of the relevant core value and ask what action he thinks should be taken.
Very soon the supervisor will cease calling you and start taking responsibility.
If you have budgeting concerns to take into account you can set a daily limit on what can be spent to solve a problem by authorising them to solve any problem by using up $100.
If that causes you concern regarding an individual's integrity then a second core value that states “We always do the right thing even when no one else is looking” clearly demonstrates what is expected from your team at all times.
Core values by themselves will not fix or even maintain a company's culture.
Team members also need to understand the company’s purpose. What is the company's long term goal? What is it trying to achieve and why?
Hot tip here, don’t say it’s to make lots of money so you can sell the business and retire. That simply won’t have the same motivation effect on your team as it has on you! :)
Involving your team in the quarterly process of goal setting and updating them on the progress is also a very powerful component of setting a company culture.
However, the most important thing is recruitment and ongoing communication with your team.
Create Your Company's Culture Starting Today
When you hire the right people and create a communication structure that allows the information to flow both ways, your company culture will strengthen automatically and you will no longer be the bottleneck and #1 problem solver in your building company.
If you need help getting started, check out the APB Membership Demonstration to discover how we can help you.
The builders that previously felt it was quicker to ‘just do it themselves’ rather than keep explaining what needed to be done to their team members, were able to free up more time and improve productivity within 14 days.