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    Collaboration - Why It's Essential To Your Construction Company

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jan 24, 2020

    Many elements are vital to a growing construction business. A financially-astute leader is one. A confident and motivated sales team well-versed in your construction company's service line is another. But starting and growing a business requires more than employees with extensive functional skills and appropriate personal characteristics.
     
    Growing a construction business requires collaboration - the deployment of employees in a way that allows them to work together to problem-solve and act with a shared sense of urgency. 
     
    When this occurs, group members come to leverage the strengths of one another as they work to achieve shared objectives vital to the construction company's growth. Also, mutual learning takes place, which increases the probability that each employee's performance will evolve from good to better and then best. In turn, a company's performance improves as well.


    Engineers in mechanical factory reading instructions

    As collaboration occurs, teams leverage individual differences to produce exceptional outcomes. This knowledge sharing creates a learning enterprise in which construction employees more readily identify solutions to problems. As a consequence, the company may become more operationally and financially successful. 

    There are many reasons that collaboration has these positive effects.

    • Makes The Best Use Of Available Skills 

    A collaborative environment makes a range of disciplines accessible on an as-needed basis, which leads to the efficient use of employee talent in a way that isn't possible otherwise. Collaboration allows multiple individuals to participate in the completion of a task at hand, which makes it more likely that the right talent is available at the right time. With collaboration, tasks are completed more efficiently, leaving more time for staff to concentrate on activities that contribute to your construction company growth.

    • Facilitates Problem Solving 

    Collaboration allows a company to throw the most skilled resources at a problem, which may mean a solution is identified more quickly and more cost-effectively than might be possible otherwise. Leveraging the most appropriate resources means a team's overall functional breadth and depth increase, which can improve the quality of a project's processes and result.

    Besides, diverse and complementary talent may enhance individual work processes as each employee becomes a part of a greater whole, which can positively affect a construction company's culture. It's the change in culture that contributes to new thinking, which may lead to new ways to perform, which helps the company to grow.

    • Leverages Individual Differences 

    Asking employees with very different skills to collaborate to accomplish an objective leverages individual knowledge, strengths and capabilities and maximizes organizational potential. A team succeeds or fails according to the combined capabilities and commitment of the individuals involved.

    Deploying a variety of unique strengths and skills advances a team's understanding of a problem, which can lead to faster problem scoping and solution formulation, and more effective solutions.

    • Builds Company Knowledge 

    A group brings different perspectives to a problem at hand. As individuals share their views, each team member considers issues from multiple viewpoints, and the person begins to think like the group.

    Likewise, as each individual demonstrates a particular skill, other team members may learn these skills, which will be helpful when attempting to accomplish new goals. In effect, team interaction allows team knowledge to build up, like compound interest. In this way, a construction company leverages individual perspectives across the enterprise. 

    • Creates a Learning Enterprise

    Collaboration provides an opportunity to move beyond learning management systems and content to learning in context, which can be empowering to an entire team.

    When two people work together, they inevitably share knowledge, which contributes to a culture that supports ongoing learning. Consequently, collaboration creates a safety net that protects a company from a lack of appropriate expertise.

    As an individual collaborates with others, his knowledge expands as does the reach of his skills. When this occurs throughout the organization, its knowledge boundaries extend, leading to new opportunities and new ways of doing things. 

    One way to improve and encourage collaboration in your workplace is by developing your communication skills, whether you are a construction business owner, project manager, or staff. Here are a few ways to improve it:

    1. Always maintain control of your emotions in stressful situations

    Leaders are often called upon to make difficult decisions under circumstances that are not ideal. If you can keep a cool head and calmly make decisions in a crisis, the people around you will begin to recognize you as the go-to leader when new or challenging situations arise.

    2. Remain focused on the conversation at hand

    When you are in the middle of working on a project, it is easy to get tunnel vision that prevents you from focusing on what is happening around you. When someone engages you in conversation, always make an effort to stay focused on what they are saying. Occasionally repeat back your understanding of what the other person just told you. Not only will this behavior make them feel you value their input enough to listen, but it will also increase the level of respect they have for you as a leader/coworker.

    3. Pay attention to your body language

    It is important to remember that your body language can be just as essential as what you say. If you are in the middle of a conversation with someone and they see you furrowing your brows or not making eye contact, they could walk away with the impression that you are disinterested or angry with them. Try to maintain a neutral expression when conversing with your staff or coworkers.

    4. Do not interrupt

    When you are a leader, people will often approach you because you have the answers. However, it can be easy to speak without a full understanding of what is being asked and provide someone with incorrect information. Always allow the other person to finish their thought and ask their question in its entirety so you can give a thoughtful, helpful answer.

    5. Do not make snap judgments when speaking to someone

    Occasionally, leaders are sought out when someone has made a mistake or poor business decision. If someone you are leading comes to you and admits they have done something wrong, try your best to withhold judgment. Sometimes this will require you to listen to their side of the story and reschedule a meeting later in the day or week to discuss a more productive course of action. Other times, it may be as simple as asking them what their solution to the issue would be and addressing it from that angle.

    6. Be consistent with your feedback

    When you are leading people, ensure that you look for opportunities to offer positive and negative feedback consistently. Many issues in building sites can be prevented by merely mentioning positive behavior when you see it and constructively pointing out negative behaviors as they occur in hopes of it ending there.

    Final thoughts

    If you are looking for ways to lead and collaborate more effectively, communicating better is one of the easiest and most valuable skills you can learn. Effective communication will help you to gain the trust and respect of individuals around you, which is one of the most valuable assets you can acquire.

    Collaboration supports a company's efforts to act with a shared sense of urgency by deploying employees with particular skills in a variety of ways. Collaboration is also an effective means of problem-solving because it allows a construction business to leverage individual employee differences, evaluate employee efforts in the aggregate, and create a learning enterprise. When problems are solved more readily, resources become available to achieve other construction company objectives, including business growth.

    P.S.

    We are excited and honored that Randal is nominated as the 2020 Small Business Person Of The Year in our city. If you are on Alignable, I would appreciate it if you can connect with us and "like" our recommendation.

    Alignable Small Business 2020

    Screenshot of Alignable nomination

    About The Author:

    Sharie_DeHart_President_Fast_Easy_Accounting_Serving_Contractors_All_Across_The_USA_Including_Alaska_And_Hawaii-1Sharie DeHart, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or sharie@fasteasyaccounting.com

     

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