In the construction industry, we are builders first. Our goal is to complete successful projects. A savvy business owner knows to take advantage of strategies that can help accomplish that. One of those processes is developing trust within their company and with other companies involved in a project. Although trust is intangible, it’s a pervasive foundation for success.
Different industry surveys have been conducted that indicate a high level of trust can have a positive impact on your company’s revenues and profits. A recent Autodesk & FMI study titled “Trust Matters: The High Cost of Low Trust”, is an incredible resource. Success is founded on an environment of trust formed by all the different parties coming together to complete a project. After all, everyone is rewarded if the customer is happy with that finished project.
Trust is developed through communication and in developing relationships, both internally and externally. Cultivating personal connections may be easier in smaller companies, but, regardless of size, every company can benefit from making the effort.
Internally, building trust involves the creation of an intentional culture. You can empower your teams to bring new ideas to the table and share them by letting them know they are safe in that process. When you give employees space to try new things, it brings new perspectives to your work processes. The subsequent diversity of thought can result in unexpected innovations that help boost your company’s success.
Within your company, transparency is key to a positive working environment for employees, and that begins at the top/leadership level. In a safe and secure work culture, employees know what to expect and what is expected from them on each project. They are not afraid to share bad news, and they receive regular and candid feedback on their work.
Sharing project information is important both internally and externally. When bad news isn’t shared right away (because of fear), it negatively impacts the project. Sharing information externally is important in building trust with owners and other companies working on your projects. There are technology tools that can help you create transparency and help measure success. This extends to companies you collaborate with.
A foundation of trust yields customers (and collaborators) that are more likely to work with you again and refer your company to others. Repeat business is less expensive to acquire than finding new customers to work for.
Likewise, it’s more cost effective to retain employees than to replace them. Keeping your trained workforce is an ideal way of coping with the skilled labor shortage. By ensuring employees understand expectations and their responsibilities, it’s more likely they will form a bond with and remain at the safe workspace you provide.
Oftentimes, the real failure companies suffer is in not trying something because they are afraid to look bad. But looking at this dilemma from a different angle, whether something works or it doesn’t, you’ve laid the groundwork for how to tweak the process, and you’ll know what to do differently next time.
Join me for episode 77 of Bridging the Gap podcast, where I talk with Eric Thomas of Autodesk and host of the Digital Builder podcast about the importance of building trust in the construction industry.