Posts Tagged ‘construction labor’

Social Media for Recognition and Retention – Part 1

March 27, 2009

One of the attendees at my social media presentation to the local Associated Builders and Contractors board mentioned that he felt that there were many wasted opportunities to share stories about the great work his crew did.  He went on to say that his superintendents problem solving abilities were a real competitive advantage, but he found it difficult to convey that to current and potential customers.

I thought social media would be a great mechanism for sharing such stories.  The company benefits in a couple of ways. First, as the gentleman above suspected, these stories make great marketing copy. They create an opportunity for current customers to emotionally invest in the work of their contractor and paint an enticing picture for prospective clients.

However, I think efforts to recognize your crews’ success on the web will pay bigger dividends for the morale of the crews themselves. Think about it. If you see yourself mentioned in the company’s print newsletter, you might take it home to share with your spouse. However, if your mentioned in a blog post, with a link to the recognition page on the company website, then you’re likely to share that with all of your friends and family by email. Chances are that more than a few of those folks are in construction too, which means that your recognition effort can have recruiting benefits too.

See part 2 of this post for a 7-step approach for promoting the work of your crews.

The Factory Worker vs. The Construction Worker

October 17, 2007

The Factory Worker shows up to work every day ready to put in a hard day’s work.

The Construction Worker shows up to work every day ready to put in a hard day’s work.

The Factory Worker reports to the same building every day. That is unless his job has been outsourced to some far away land where the same job can be done at a fraction of the cost.

The Construction Worker reports to a job site or a union hall or a day labor center every day. His job can’t be outsourced, but he does depend on a growing economy to provide the finances that enable new development.

The Factory Worker has a relationship with his employer that continues on for multiple product cycles. Their relationship is stable enough to encourage the employer to invest in training and systems that make the worker and his team more productive, which contribute to profitability which can then be re-invested.

The Construction Worker has a relationship with his employer that continues on for no longer than the length of one construction project. The employer invests in individual skills (sometimes) but rarely invests in job site systems because it’s impossible for an employer realize any return on his investment.

The Factory Worker is proud of his work and does his job to the best of his ability. If he notices a defect he is empowered to correct that defect and initiate a process that will prevent similar defects in the future.

The Construction Worker is proud of his work and does his job to the best of his ability. If he notices a defect outside his trade he keeps it to himself. After all, it wasn’t from one of his guys and he doesn’t want to be the one who gets chewed out by his foreman for slowing the job down. And when some manager eventually notices the defect, he might even get paid overtime to get it fixed before the concrete pour that is scheduled for next week.

The Factory Worker is motivated to work hard so that he can provide for his family and keep his company competitive in the marketplace. He identifies with the company and is proud of its products. He can advance and prosper by continuously improving his company’s productivity.

The Construction Worker is motivated to work hard so that he can provide for his family. His allegiance is to his trade first and his union after that. His allegiance to the company that he works for falls someplace behind the guy who delivers coffee and donuts to the job site. He can advance by putting in more time and he will get paid whether or not this building succeeds. As a matter of face, he will probably make more money in overtime if the schedule slips. If things don’t workout at this particular job site, the worker will head to the one down the block, in the next town or state.

The Factory Worker goes home at the end of the day, exhausted from a hard day’s work. He cracks a beer, complains about his boss, but knows in his heart that he helped to make things a little better today than they were yesterday.

The Construction Worker goes home at the end of the day, exhausted from a hard day’s work. He cracks a beer, complains about his boss, but knows in his heart that he’s perpetuating the same practices and traditions that have been in place for the last hundred years.