Use Technology to Create an Inclusive and Effective Culture
In life, culture keeps us bonded to groups of people—whether it’s in the context of our families, our communities or even our workplaces—and allows us to establish similar understandings and motivations behind what we do and how we should do it.
2020 taught us that it's never been more vital to have a unified culture across a construction team. From the CEO at the home office to the concrete pourer who shows up for one shift in the middle of the night, everybody in an organization and on jobs deserves the same opportunity to know what’s going on around them. If establishing a high-performance culture on projects is the goal, it’s essential that contractors provide everyone access to information about the job they are on and the company they are working with. By standardizing and guaranteeing access to critical jobsite information, contractors will help keep people safe and establish a high-performance culture onsite.
In construction, technology played a huge role in keeping the industry moving as the world changed quickly during the pandemic. When working with a highly fluid and distributed workforce, technology is the most scalable and effective solution for a reliable, consistent space to propagate an organization’s culture.
Each construction project is made up of various teams and tradespeople. There are a ton of moving parts, which makes communication and coordination critical. Adopting a digital communication platform allows contractors to onboard and communicate with all employees involved with a project, subcontractors included. Yes, it’s possible—and it’s easy.
Two-way communication can be rare to find on a construction site, but it is critical for providing last-minute updates to shipping delays or changes in priorities, as well as firming up the team’s culture. Team can also get their questions answered quickly, and easily get on the same page about a certain task. It sounds simple, but even just incorporating a two-way messaging system on a jobsite streamlines how contractors manage, train and engage with workers—and it’s something many construction teams don’t have the ability to do right now.
Worksites with more transparency tend to have fewer stoppages and delays. With a digital communication platform, contractors can ensure each employee knows what his or her rights are while on the jobsite and keep this information in an easily accessible place to feel confident the company is watching out for them. This two-way communication gives the folks on the front lines the ability to post questions, celebrate accomplishments and engage with communities as a whole. Giving employees a space to share knowledge and interact with one another helps solidify a high-performance team culture.
Right now, many construction teams still use a morning huddle, but if something changes throughout the day it can be difficult to notify all employees quickly. Digital communication platforms allow contractors to close communication gaps with instantaneous updates pushed out to the field, taking safety and quality to the next level. Providing these real-time updates to the team can help them swiftly pivot to a new task and reduce the amount of time away from the task at hand.
Technology can’t and shouldn’t replace everything on a jobsite. When it comes to getting new team members up to speed, it’s important to look new hires in the eye to ensure they’re fit for duty, but contractors can use technology to then deliver the orientation details so they don’t have to deliver the same information over and over again. Technology can help distribute tailored orientation and training videos for specific projects to help keep the transfer of knowledge consistent while saving time so contractors can get back to other important stuff.
With projects all over the map and a workforce that brings together all kinds of different experiences, it’s nearly impossible for construction companies to make sure everyone on their sites is prepared. By adopting a digital communication platform, contractors can connect the home office with the front line and build a culture of performance excellence with ease.
Technology alone will not help the industry overcome the challenges contractors face. First and foremost, constituents need to recognize the need to establish a unified culture. Adding technology on top of buy-in is what will make the difference and bring about much-needed change in the construction industry.
Shahin Aftabizadeh is the Vice President and Co-Founder of MindForge, a subsidiary of the International Risk Management Institute. As Vice President of MindForge, Shahin oversees MindForge’s efforts to identify and lead industry trends, conducts field research and manages the overall success of product design, implementation and adoption. MindForge is a holistic communication hub designed to unite construction organizations. The platform simplifies workforce communication and maximizes quality with tools that keep job sites safe, efficient and connected, ultimately driving increased performance excellence. This technology equips and empowers workers to avoid hazards and do great work.