With more and more owners mandating new construction methods on their jobs, it presents construction companies with challenges to live up to.
Adopting different ways to build results in quicker culture shifts, and the tools are emerging on the scene to help you change your company’s culture. A company’s investment in IT infrastructure, construction technology tools and tech-savvy people will vary, depending on the size of the company. Each one will have different resources for implementation.
Working through change in your company requires that you have a compelling reason for that change. When you do, it’s important to explain the “why” and motivate each stakeholder group that will be impacted. What clicks for upper management is not the same as what others might relate to. Motivations shift with audiences.
If your company is trying to transition to a model-driven business, for instance, that may clash with the mindset of people who have been in the industry long-term and are used to hands-on processes. The “timeworn” style of construction is personal. To maintain a healthy culture, you need to be prepared to explain why leveraging the model will make life better for them.
After teams are informed and changes are rolled out, it is important to follow up. Managing change successfully requires continual follow up and communication. This encourages your teams to become champions of change, even if they were skeptics earlier in the process. There are many creative problem solvers in construction, which was proved when companies were able to solve most pandemic-caused technology challenges virtually overnight.
We are seeing modern technology tools that harness data in ways that team members never had access to before. In the construction industry, collection of usable data has been lacking, with some companies basing decisions on gut-feel or guesswork. New technologies available in the industry, like building information model (BIM)-driven processes, enable more exacting decisions using real-world metrics.
The data you collect on a job can also help alleviate fears your teams might have around change. While it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the types and volume of data that can be tracked, there are ways to collect information, interweave it and make it more usable. A proper base of data can bring clarity to a job. It can help with tracking job progress and adjusting budgets and schedules instead of waiting until the end (when it’s too late for adjustments) to see how they compare to the estimate and original plans.
Since tech implementation requires education of your teams, a company culture shift needs to involve all the teams on a project. Companies with the greatest success in integrating technology in their processes have established a solid culture for change. A culture not prepared for change will experience clashes with the timeworn mindset.
As we have had to adopt new technology in a faster way in recent years, most companies have learned to assimilate change at a greater speed: the reality is that construction companies can change faster.
Tune in to learn more about change management on episode 115 of the Bridging the Gap Podcast with guest Randee Herrin of TDIndustries for great insights on change management.