The past few years have highlighted the good, the bad and the very ugly of leadership in construction. The Carillion collapse that made massive headlines at the time, highlighted that no matter the size of an organization poor leadership can make it fail. Navigating the pandemic in 2020 also put construction leaders to the test – operating in unfamiliar environments influenced by unknown external factors; having to keep an eye on productivity and project progression while making provision for additional safety requirements; and managing office based teams remotely. It hasn’t been easy, but the pressure and unusual work circumstances have highlighted who the good leaders are. Here’s what they’re doing differently:

Supportive Leadership

Good leaders don’t only make sound decisions, they are also highly engaged with their teams, co-leaders, clients and supply chain. They build relationships that facilitate collaboration and help them keep up to date with project progress. This means that when things do go wrong, people are not afraid to report on it, because they know the leader is solutions orientated rather than looking to assign blame. This makes a massive difference in how teams operate and how quickly mistakes get rectified.

Workplaces may have become disjointed, but technology has enabled people to continue working remotely. Good leaders keep connected with team members as a group and individually, making sure they have the resources and support they need to be able to work effectively.

There is also the recognition that the many unknowns and physical restrictions create additional stress for people and affect how they’re able to work. Leaders that respond with empathy and understanding help alleviate some of the pressure that employees feel in terms of performance.

Creating opportunities

Life has changed in so many ways in the past year, but the change is also creating opportunities. Leaders that recognise this, are moving their organizations forward in terms of streamlining processes and upskilling staff. By doing this they are ensuring they have more depth of talent in an organization. Additionally, it makes the company more attractive to potential employees. If a company is invested in career progression and forward thinking when it comes to innovation and new technologies, they are more likely to attract higher caliber candidates when hiring.

As we emerge from the pandemic and construction starts to build back better, leadership will have a vital role to play in ensuring business resilience and success.