Culture change Ellis Fox Blog

Achieving Culture Change in Construction

As life returns to normal in terms of going to work in an office and being able to enjoy a meal at your favourite restaurant, there is also recognition that not everything about the old normal was that great. It is almost as though having been through the Covid-19 pandemic, people are aware that some things need to change. In particular in the corporate environment culture is at the top of the list. This means shifting priorities within organizations, defining values and taking decisive steps to improving the workplace. How does culture change come about?

Change needs a champion

If companies are serious about changing their culture, it needs to be driven from a senior management level. Executives need to do more than just talk about the new vision, they need to champion it. This means being aware of what needs to change and how the company can go about it. Inviting open discussions and creating a safe space where people can be honest and vulnerable without fear of it negatively impacting their career.

Holding everyone accountable

Construction is still male dominated which means that often jokes about women or minorities are considered acceptable. But this can’t be the case if a company is determined to be more diverse and inclusive. Sexist remarks are discriminatory even if said in jest and is what’ll hinder efforts to create a more equitable and diverse workplace. There needs to be a policy in place that holds everyone to account and where colleagues can call a stop to negative remarks and those stops are respected.

Understanding the benefits

It can’t just be about implementing Diversity, Equality and Inclusiveness because it’s trendy. For culture change to take root, employees need to understand the benefits. Analyst studies have demonstrated that diversity leads to greater collaboration, productivity and profitability. When companies embrace this fully, it makes an impact.

Being deliberate

Culture change does not happen overnight and it doesn’t happen on its own. It requires a concerted and ongoing effort by everyone in the organization, from the senior executives to junior employees. It also needs to become a factor in the hiring process. Not hiring a stereotype to tick a box but rather drawing from a broad and diverse pool of candidates to find the best person for the job.  Finding someone who fits doesn’t mean exactly matching an employee profile, but rather looking for people who add value through new ideas and experience.