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Are Construction Employees Thirsty for Feedback?

Are Construction Employees Thirsty for Feedback?

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Home Vendor News Are Construction Employees Thirsty for Feedback?

Juan is a quiet, reflective guy. He’s also a musician’s musician.
And when it’s sizzling hot during the summer months, Juan’s instincts are right on target. He knows instinctively that certain employee needs must always be quenched. Yes, his construction crew needs water, but just as desperately Juan knows his direct reports need to know he cares. Perhaps it seems odd to link these seemingly disparate issues so closely. I’ll explain.
The first time I saw Juan leading a corporate business discussion it was mid-July. Juan was emphasizing the criticality of consistent hydration to a team of beleaguered roofers. That’s right. He was discussing the natural healing properties of water. Not the benefits of Big Red, Cappuccino or Monster Energy. Water! I watched the compassion with which he conveyed his message. I sensed the appreciation that washed across the faces of his employees. They were drenched and relieved that he appreciated the reality of their hot workplace. After all, they were only human. Aren’t we all?
The metal roof manufacturing plant in which Juan plays a pivotal role leans heavily on sophisticated physics, control system integration and efficient processes. The paint line Juan oversees each day depends on management’s knowledge of polymers, chemistry equations and the aerodynamics of heat dissipation. But most of all, it relies upon leaders who care.
So what’s the message?
As we become more and more technically oriented, many company leaders have forgotten that every employee needs the human touch — a routine dose from a boss who cares. And the thirst for targeted instantaneous feedback is growing exponentially. On a rooftop or in an office.
The great news is that the internet generation constantly reminds us of their emotional needs with their frequent requests for validation and confirmation. While they may be technically proficient beyond their years, they yearn as desperately as any other generation for someone to say “good job!” And while we sometimes laugh about participation trophies for everyone on the team, the truth is that they are fiercely loyal when treated like individuals with unique goals and objectives. A healthy corporate culture is particularly important to this next generation. Treat them right and you will be amazed by their contribution.
Here are five questions you can ask yourself about your corporate culture to know if the human element is being given enough attention in your construction company:

  • When we walk through a job site do we generally see smiles on the faces of colleagues?
  • Do we take time to celebrate the successes of our team and our team members?
  • Do we typically thank each other for the help we receive from one another?
  • Do we promptly apologize when we realize we failed to live up to a commitment?
  • Do we usually take time to encourage one another when the challenges are fierce?

If you answered yes to four of the five questions, you should go back and encourage your team to keep it up! You have a very special workplace where the stage is set for success. Thank each person for the active role they play in making your workplace friendly.
If you answered yes to three of the five questions, you are on the way to building a rock solid team. Now press a little further and ask for suggestions from your boss, peers and direct reports on how to take your group to the next level of camaraderie. It may be as simple as encouraging everyone to practice public recognition of a peer who has achieved a recent accomplishment. That’s a fun exercise to build momentum!
If you answered yes to two of the five questions, you may want to talk with senior management about ideas to build collaboration, teamwork and stronger loyalty to your company. You can be a leader for the cause by introducing positive articles and ideas on a regular basis despite any push back you may encounter. Your company will need a makeover in order to hang on to good talent in the future.
If you answered yes to only one of the five questions, you will have a hard time retaining young talent. Before you throw in the towel, it may be time for a little self-examination. Is there a possibility that you too have fallen into the rut of ignoring the foundational needs of your employees? Perhaps it’s time to plant your feet firmly in place and commit to helping reshape the environment in which you and your team can thrive. After all, they say the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is today. Act now!
I spoke to Juan last week. They have made vast improvements in the infrastructure of their company over the past year. Their profitability is at an all-time high and revenue growth is extraordinarily strong. The future looks brighter than ever for this fifty-year-old company.
Juan is a keyboard man. And when the lights come up and the syncopated salsa rhythms rumble through the crowd, Juan comes alive. His energy, leadership skills, and musicality blend seamlessly to create a music that refreshes the soul. Sure, Juan likes a steady drumbeat. He loves a jazzy melody. But most of all, Juan lives to help his fellow man!
Juan balances technology and humanity in a company that cares. And if you answered “yes” to five out of five questions, send us an email and we may feature your construction company in an upcoming article like this. You are building a great leadership team!
Keith Martino, author of Expect Leadership, has a passion for helping construction business owners achieve stellar results. Martino is head of CMI, a global consultancy founded in 1999 that customizes leadership initiatives in the construction, renovation and remodeling industries. In addition, Keith Martino has helped strengthen leadership development programs for major manufacturers to the construction industry, with articles published in such magazines as Builder and Remodeling. Prior to founding Keith and CMI Assessments, Martino has successfully led sales and marketing organizations for multinational companies. His group was twice recognized as the top global accounts team in the world for FedEx.


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