Coffee Break

Key Motivation Strategies for Leaders in Construction

Leadership roles are universally difficult roles to adjust to, especially after a hard-won career working from the ground up. This is especially true in the construction industry, where the shift from worker to leader can be particularly jarring. But there are strategies you can employ to strengthen your position, and to ensure your shift to an authority position is met with respect.

Rewarding Safety

Legislation around health and safety on construction sites is comprehensive and airtight. Your obligations to your employee and site health and safety will be an integral part of your leadership role, whether in the supply and provision of PPE or the institution of legal policy surrounding breaks and equipment use.

But there are some elements that you cannot directly control, chief of which is the attitude of your staff to health and safety policy. Many of your staff may not understand the legal pressure under which you act, and may be unwilling to adopt new procedures – especially in the case of older workers with a preferred approach to specific tasks.

One smart solution here is to judiciously utilise rewards and recognition in the promotion of proper health and safety etiquette. Simple recognition of employees doing ‘the right thing’ can go a long way to enshrining safe behaviour, while monthly rewards for reporting hazards or assisting workers safely can incentivise safety-forward thinking in contractors.

Providing Quality Equipment

The provision of equipment is a given necessity when it comes to construction teams and projects – but there are still choices that can be made when it comes to the equipment and materials you provide. Many companies big and small make the mistake of cutting corners when purchasing power tools.

Not only can cheaper tools be less safe over time, but their results can be sub-par, and – more importantly, with regard to leadership and employee motivation – workers may resent having to work with poor quality equipment.

By investing more readily in higher quality equipment, you can demonstrate a commitment to the safety and effective working of your team. Stocking your workers with DeWalt power tools over cheaper tools with no brand recognition will ensure they can work efficiently, effectively, and, crucially, comfortably.

Leading By Example

Another common mistake found in construction leadership relates to the division of labour, and the level to which leadership figures are visible ‘on the ground’. Camaraderie is a vital part of the equation for forming an effective and harmonious team, and invisible management figures can do a lot to disrupt it.

Rather than remaining behind a desk when giving orders, a good leader should be hands-on with the project. By working alongside your team where possible, you can lead by example and demonstrate the commitment you want to see from your staff.