Your people are vital to your organization. After all, they are the ones helping to make the growth happen, so if they aren’t motivated and engaged, then rapid growth can become more of a stressor than a cause for celebration
When a company is constantly growing, it can be easy to be consumed with business management – what prospects you are going after, how your company is structured for increased bandwidth, and more. However, it’s important not to allow company culture to fall to the wayside.
Your people are vital to your organization. After all, they are the ones helping to make the growth happen, so if they aren’t motivated and engaged, then rapid growth can become more of a stressor than a cause for celebration.
Park Square Homes started as a family business, and we didn’t want to lose that atmosphere. When we decided to enter new markets and ramp up the company’s growth, we enlisted a business coaching firm, Petra Coach, which I discovered while attending a CEO boot camp organized by Verne Harnish, author of “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.” With our coach’s help, we were able to implement the principles Harnish teaches, which we would not have been able to do on our own.
As a result, our company doubled in size in the past year alone – we hired nearly 50 employees and expanded into a new market. Plus, we reduced employee turnover from 25 percent to 15 percent because we made our employees’ well-being a priority. Keeping people is key in the construction industry.
Want to know how to achieve the same results? Make sure your team is aligned with your growth by:
1. Involving the whole team in your efforts
Buy-in is the most important puzzle piece to get a new initiative off the ground. When we first brought in the business coach, there was some initial resistance, as the team was pushed in ways they weren’t used to. But when we sat down to write a core purpose (why we exist) and core values (how we live out our core purpose) for the company, the team was eager to jump in and share their ideas.
Their level of engagement skyrocketed, to the point that they felt compelled to create a video illustrating our core purpose and values. As the team later said, it was the first time that they felt they had a voice, and an opportunity to make changes and help the business grow.
2. Improving communication at all levels
The construction business as a whole is experiencing a lot of turnover – an average of 21 percent according to the ADP Workforce Vitality Index – and my company surpassed that at 25 percent. Our coach helped us realize that communication was a big weakness of ours, and we knew that we needed to do everything we could to keep our people with us.
That’s when we implemented more opportunities such as weekly leadership meetings and daily huddles where everyone shares their day-to-day schedules, and can air any concerns. We also encouraged employees to collaborate more, and forego email whenever in-person discussions are possible.
Employees tend to burn out quickly when they feel disconnected from management, and consequently bottle up their concerns that they feel they can’t share. After putting a plan in place to prevent burnout, our turnover rate dramatically reduced to only 15 percent and continues to decrease.
3. Making trade partners part of the team too
Fully aware of the constraints of the current labor pool in construction, especially in residential building, we had to get creative in our recruitment efforts. Since our trade partners have always been a key source of labor referrals, we began thinking of them as part of our team and treating them as such.
We invite them to participate in company functions, and we do things to show our appreciation for them, like sending food trucks to each of the company’s communities while they’re being built. Our strengthened relationship with them has helped us build a stronger team, which in turn has contributed to less turnover.
Every industry has its unique challenges, but one solution everyone has in common is focusing on the manpower that keeps everything running. Especially in a time of growth, if the management is open about its vision and how valuable each member is to achieving those goals, then the team will be more cohesive and motivated to work through challenges toward greater successes. That’s the secret to getting through any growing pains.