I own a small construction company and am experiencing an ever-increasing problem with lack of employee loyalty, higher than normal turnover, and employees who give minimal effort in almost everything they do. I’m not sure why. What can I do about it? HELP!
Dear Concerned Carl,
Yes, you should be concerned. Turnover, low productivity, and a lack of commitment signify a substantial employee engagement problem. You didn!&t mention low morale, but I expect you have a bad case of that as well. A disengaged employee generates unexpected costs and unwelcome turmoil while rarely contributing to executing the business plan. Understanding the causes of disengagement and knowing the drivers of an engaged workforce is important for all construction leaders. Here are two main causes of disengagement to pay close attention to:
Poor communication leads to confusion, chaos, frustration, conflict, and so many other problems. These in turn contribute to a disengaged workforce. So, look for ways to improve communication with your people. Start by listening more and asking questions such as: “What communication is breaking down? What processes need to be fixed? What problems are they experiencing?” Also provide continual feedback and eliminate surprises, conflict, gossip, and the rumor mill. Share information. Be upbeat, helpful, encouraging, and supportive.
DISTRUST OF MANAGEMENT
Take a close look at the trustworthiness of those in management and supervisory positions. Get feedback anonymously from the employees through carefully designed surveys. You can ask questions such as: “Are they doing what they say they’ll do? Are they taking credit for the good things happening and shifting blame on the not-so-good things? Are their actions in alignment with our company’s values?”
Of the many drivers for engaging your workforce, pay close attention to these two:
RESPECT FOR EMPLOYEES
Everyone wants to be treated with respect. It doesn’t cost anything to show respect, but it sure can cost plenty when you’re not respectful of your employees. Actions demonstrating respect include treating your employees fairly and showing an interest in their ideas and opinions. Convey that you care about their well-being, including their families and their professional development. When you treat employees with respect, you will receive respect back.
Almost everyone wants to see leaders in their organization demonstrate strength. You can accomplish this by making timely decisions, being ethical, respectful, consistent, and building a culture that employees want to be part of. You will maintain credibility as a leader by not micro-managing or letting little problems get big, being proactive not reactive, remaining positive during challenging times, developing plans for growth, and communicating those plans to everyone.
Leaders play a key role in creating an environment in which their employees can be engaged and perform at their best. Have a plan for the company’s future that makes sense. Ensure employees know what it is and how they can contribute to it. And make it exciting enough for them to want to be part of it!
About the Coach:
As a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Register to receive his Leadership Tip of the Week at www.LeadersEdge360.com, or contact him directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, September 2021
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