How to improve the motivation and loyalty workers have to projects
The boss of one of the world’s biggest contractors asked us, “What can we do better to improve the environment operatives work in and the motivation and loyalty they have to our projects?”
As dawn breaks across London, Gal, a dryliner, lies awake in bed.
Yesterday, he found out today’s his last day. Now, he won’t be able to concentrate till he’s found new work, he'll lose a week's pay by the time he does, and he won’t even know how long the new work will last.
It's hard for Gal to feel motivated or loyal to any projects when his job feels so dispensable.
Not just that. On the tools, experience is rarely rewarded. Gal sees youngsters coming through the ranks earning the same as veterans of the trade – who’ve grown bitter because their seniority is not reflected in their rate.
Gal’s neither motivated nor loyal because projects have no story. Stories inspire millions to worship gods, fight wars and follow football. But construction projects come and go and no one talks enough about why they matter.
Gal stares up at the ceiling and imagines a different construction industry.
One where workers put down roots, build lasting relationships and feel part of a team.
Where youngsters see a path of progression.
Where veterans, paid-up for their progress, are given the respect they have earned.
Gal dreams of choosing jobs not on the basis of their pay and proximity but on the power of their stories, their characters and the parts he can play.
This, he thinks, would be worth jumping out of bed for.
Worker Feedback Club is supporting contractors to meet face-to-face with the realities facing people like Gal – who make up a growing proportion of their essential workforce.
Tying purpose to projects is fundamental to inspiring peoples’ motivation and loyalty, particularly if, as in Gal's case, many of the other benefits of employment are not available to them.
Purpose is also powerful for companies. A study by Harvard Business Review shows when companies have a clearly articulated purpose that's widely understood in the organisation, they have better growth compared with companies without it. Specifically, 52% of purpose-driven companies experienced over 10% growth compared with 42% of non-purpose-driven companies.
The construction industry is facing a skills "time bomb" with 200,000+ new workers needed to meet demand. When workers choose to leave a site, join a new one or remain in their current role, purpose is a factor that will significantly influence their decision.
The Worker Feedback Club platform provides a means by which leaders can share information about the company's or the project's purpose, vision and values with site teams throughout a project's lifespan – and get feedback on it.
In fact, using the surveying feature, leaders can track the effectiveness of interventions through time – providing a fuller, real-time picture of site culture and where challenges and opportunities exist.
The boss wanted to know what they can do better to improve the environment operatives work in and the motivation and loyalty they have to their projects. With Worker Feedback Club he could poll the workforce and find out right away.