by George Hedley
March 26, 2012

Inspire your employees by establishing an exciting vision for your construction company to achieve results.

To get employees to follow your vision and achieve company goals, you must give them a reason to follow you. Most people want to work for someone who cares about them and lets them be involved in making decisions and taking on responsibilities. They want to follow a leader who has a passionate vision, specific targets and excellent communication skills.

Make a Change 

A lot of managers say, “My employees won’t do what I want them to do, so I should fire them and find some good help.” But hiring new employees will not always solve the problem. The leader of the company has to change first. Leaders must have the courage to change their behavior and try new methods.

Effective leaders influence others to follow them. As the leader of your company, you must encourage your employees to do tasks in the most efficient, productive way possible and go beyond the minimum required effort. They must want to do the work.

Create a Dynamic Vision for your Construction Business

I regularly speak at conventions to small- to medium-sized construction company owners, and I have noticed they have a common business challenge: how to make a profit in a competitive market. Making profits and achieving bottom-line results begins with having a dynamic and focused vision that excites others in the company. People want to be a part of something exciting. 

If you tell your employees to “work hard and see what happens,” this will not encourage them to produce bottom-line results.

Some companies have a vision to be the best company, best contractor or best service provider. But this is not an exciting vision. Examples of exciting visions include some of the following: to be recognized as the area leader in customer service; to be No. 1 in building difficult, technical projects; to finish jobs faster than the competition; or to become known for helping customers make a profit. 

Set Clear Goals for your Construction Company

Weak leaders assume people understand the job requirements and do not list their employees’ responsibilities and hold them accountable. You must tell your employees specific tasks you need them to accomplish. For instance, “By Friday, I expect you to have this installed and complete,” or “By the 30th of the month, all invoices must be sent out.” 

Clearly define targets, and make sure employees know them. Let them know when they hit or miss goals, and explain the consequences for not achieving results and the potential rewards for doing a good job. Your employees will not meet your goals if you simply tell them to work hard and try their best.

Recognize and Praise

Leaders must provide ongoing recognition and praise to employees who meet their goals. Weak leaders who do not thank employees for a job well done will get weak results.  

People need feedback and positive reinforcement for their efforts. Try to praise your employees once a week by simply saying “I appreciate you” and “Thanks for a great job.” Also, let your employees know you care about them as individuals. People must know their needs will be considered as they contribute to the company’s success. 

Explain the Big Picture

Employees need a clear understanding of how they fit into the big picture. Leaders must share where the company is headed and any changes required to be successful. 

I present seminars to managers who come up with great ideas to improve their businesses. When they go back to their offices, their employees sometimes think they have been scheming to find a way to squeeze more work out of them. If you do not properly communicate to employees, they will often fear the worst. 

Company leaders must let employees know how the business is doing. They need to know whether sales are up or down, if productivity is acceptable and if they are doing a good job. 

Put Leadership to Work

Ask the people who work for you: “What’s the vision of our company? What are we trying to accomplish? What are our top three priorities? What specific targets are we shooting for? What results are important?” You will get 37 different answers if you have 37 people working for you. 

To get the results you want, you must get everyone on the same page. Getting results starts with you. To achieve success, try new ways of doing business, communicate your vision, and define specific targets with expected results.