Construction is a tough industry to work in, period. Tough people, tough bosses and long hours with tight schedules to meet. It’s loud, dirty, and dangerous. A lot is expected from these individuals on a daily basis and rarely are they ever appreciated for it on a daily basis. Why is that?
Is it a matter of tough guys showing no weakness by expressing themselves to their workers to let them know that they are appreciated? Or could it be the fact that now in a position of power supervisors feel that they are above workers? Or can they only relate to when they were coming up in the industry that’s how they were treated?
There is no solid answer to that and solely depends on each individuals personality and experience. However, each one does nothing positive for workers, company or the job site and is one of the reasons that the construction industry is lacking a pulse.
My views after twelve years in the industry has shown me that accolades and positive reinforcement are missing in this industry. In my experience I have really only gotten a “good job today” or “nice work” maybe a couple dozen times……….. In twelve years.
Bosses want you to move mountains for them, but what do workers get in return?
I believe that this can weigh heavily on morale and production on site. Workers work very hard everyday and without some positive reinforcement workers begin to realize, “what’s the point?”
It begins a vicious downfall into lack of caring about the job or taking pride in what you’re doing, no matter what the job. This can lead to poor workmanship and unhappy workers in all aspects of a company.
How to change this;
Start by acknowledging the workers in a positive manner, its so easy to get caught up in the negative. Negativity is much easier to point out to people than the positive. Start with some positive feedback in whatever tasks workers are doing. Don’t make yourself out to be the bad guy all the time. Don’t create a culture that when supervisors come to site workers are scared of you because all you do is bring bad news. Most people are looking for a sense of accomplishment, for someone to take notice in what they have achieved. You will be amazed at how far “good day today guys, thank you” can go for some people. They feel like they put in a hard days work and can go home feeling good about what they did that day. This attitude will then bleed into the next day and so on. On the off chance that you have a really bad day, workers will be more able to adapt and problem solve those days to figure out what went wrong, so they can have more positive days.
So try to change the industry, try some positivity and I bet you will start to see more out of your work force. You will have people who want to come to work, be part of your team, and create a good work site culture.
Don’t forget coffee and donuts go a long way too.