Can you call your construction business a COMPANY?
Updated: Jul 28
For many construction Project Managers, the ultimate goal is to open a company of their own. But, is it a true construction company you want to own or a money-making system? Learn how to distinguish both things.
Understanding the difference between money-making business and owning a company is what makes all difference he in the business world.
WHAT IS A COMPANY AFTER ALL?
✳️"A company is a group of people brought together around a common set of values and beliefs."
That is the definition of a company by Simon Sinek, the author of many best-selling books about leadership.
He shows that a company is not just about making money; it's about a passion, a shared between a set of people with common goals. They achieve these goals by combining efforts to achieve their common goal.
A company is designed to operate as a business, provide services for customers at a price. Sadly, many business owners today have forgotten all about the service and the passion behind creating a company.
Many construction companies today only focus on profits and ignore their people or any attempt to create a culture. In this case, this is not a true company but just money-making system. People that work for money-making systems tend to not love their job, but just bare it.
THE QUESTION IS:
Do you ACTUALLY have a construction company?
Do you and your Construction Workers (Supervisors, Labourers, Fork Lift Drivers, etc...) have a set standard of values and beliefs? If you do, you'd be a member of a rare company in the construction industry.
The rareness is understandable. It's pretty hard to develop a "vision, mission, values" statement when we're doing jobs that may sound a bit dull. But we still do this all while employing mean-looking labourers and tradies that cannot care less about "leadership bullsh*t."
Maybe our fellow trader's building/renovating homes or doing the landscape for beautiful looking gardens have a better chance of doing that.
I am not writing this to guide you on how to come up with those (even though they're valuable), but if I had to suggest you one thing and one thing only, it would be:
As human beings, we have one common feature, which is, we like to feel part of something. We choose football teams; we go to churches, we join clubs, etc. We do all of this to chase the feeling of belonging.
▶️ If you do nothing else but create a company something that workers are proud to be a part of, you will be winning. You should believe us because we speak from experience.
Construction workers created Spades, and at the beginning, all we had was the brotherhood, and we still have it to this day (we establish more values along the way, but this is a different post). But keep in mind that having a true team starts with having empathy.
PUT YOUR WORKER'S BOOTS ON
Empathy is one of the greatest ways to create leadership. By empathy, I mean your ability to understand the thoughts, feelings, or emotional state of those around you.
⚠️ As much as possible, create an environment that workers feel compelled to share what they want for their personal future and the company's future. Ask your workers what they value and truly listen.
The key is by helping workers individually; you are helping the company as a whole.
Look after them, and get them to look after each other. The things little people do may sound strange at the start, but it can bring you positive results in the long run.
Besides that, valuing your workers is an incredible market advantage, considering that most companies don't do it. (An illustration expresses friendship - like one big family)
The culture of caring for each other is the first thing to create a true team, instead of just having a bunch of individuals.
REMEMBER: THINGS GO WRONG
When the unexpected happen - that's when you know if your team will act together or just run for the hills.
If your workers feel a sense of connection with the company, they won't leave because the job is too difficult, the conditions are not ideal or they even got better offers. If they feel valued they will say through the bad times and the good.
Even more important, you should remain humble enough to admit that you made mistakes or you did not communicate well enough, if that is the case.
Remember always to be respectful towards your workers, regardless of your frustration and disappointments. As far as possible, keep your emotions at bay.
Make use of assertive communication and, above all, know how to forgive, accept, and handle the feedback with responsiveness. Learn how to properly feedback here
Yes, we can't ask you not to run a profitable business; without money, you will fail. However, your drive behind any company you build should be to help. Your company should have a soul. It shouldn't be run only to make profits, especially outrageous ones.
Many CEOs today may believe that it's hard to run a profitable business and a clear conscience, but I don't think so. Research has shown that passion-driven companies are more successful than money-driven ones.
Look around; companies with an objective other than making profit are known to do better than companies that are hungry for profits at all costs.
Your company shouldn't only serve the purpose of making profits, but it should change lives. Keep that in mind and your company will do great.