Contracting firms have been grappling with the labor shortage issue for years now, and times are tough, but that doesn’t mean success is unattainable. The most successful contracting firms share these five traits in common.
Leadership Through Service
Talent and drive for success propel great leaders to the top. Once they are there, though, they do not let their strategies become stagnant. A great leader keeps in mind the fact that they do not know everything, there is more to learn, and they must not allow egotism to impact their conduct or hamper progress as they drive the company forward. If a leader makes a conscious effort to serve employees before self, that attitude and its benefits trickle down through the entire company structure.
This kind of inspiring leadership attracts people who hold similar values, including members of the Millennial generation which must step up to replace workers that are aging out. This age group is known to be averse to “my-way-or-the-highway” management styles and to place a high value on work/life balance. They have high expectations for leadership to lead by example. These are reasonable expectations.
It’s vitally important to foster within the company, from the bottom up, a culture of open communication. Employees at all levels should not work under constant fear of repercussions for mistakes, and instead, feel motivated to immediately report any problems to supervisors if they need help correcting them, or if they might have a ripple effect on subsequent tasks.
According to research by The Traveler Cos, 80% of construction firms that went out of business in 2017-18 failed because of a single bad project. That’s how important communication on the worksite is, and that information has to make it all the way to the top to ensure it will be thoroughly and properly addressed.
A leader who puts service to their employees first will not place blame on them but will be grateful that a potential crisis was detected early enough to correct because of their attention to detail. Mistakes that are readily corrected are readily forgiven and employees feel secure in their positions when they can report mistakes without fear of punishment.