It’s no secret the building industry expects many challenges in the coming years. Long lead times for supplies and material shortages are likely to continue. Economic uncertainty and discussions of a recession are top of mind.
Then, there’s labor.
A recent analysis by the Associated Builders and Contractors estimates that the industry will need to hire 650,000 workers to keep pace with buyer demand. Shortages are impacting project scope, budgets and timelines.
To meet demand, construction businesses are being forced to get creative. Some businesses are recognizing the need for a change in mindset to stay one step ahead of industry obstacles. Changing mindset is more complicated than it may seem. First, it’s important to understand how you’re currently operating and the benefits of a new approach. Once you do, you can support the new way of working across every part of your business.
What is the difference between fixed and growth mindset?
There are two basic mindsets that all people identify as: growth or fixed.
Understanding these mindsets is especially useful when looked at as a part of management. Different approaches are proven to impact productivity, employee retention, morale and revenue.
A person with a fixed mindset believes talents, skills and knowledge are deep-rooted. As such, it’s hard to learn new things or change based on different situational requirements. In many ways, this mindset can be self-limiting and keep that person from reaching their full potential.
A person with a growth mindset is the opposite. They know the importance of learning and improving. They often feel less tied to specific strategies, are quicker to pivot and try new tactics. With this mindset, challenges become opportunities instead of immovable roadblocks.
Who needs a growth mindset in construction management?
A mindset for growth starts with leadership. Even so, it’s important for everyone in the business to practice it. That even includes subcontractors and third-party suppliers.
Here’s why it matters for each role.
A construction company’s success depends on good leadership. CEOs and owners are responsible for setting company goals. To ensure those goals are met, they need to make sure their team has the right resources and tools to do their job well. Leadership also needs to be able to overcome obstacles in a way that benefits employees and clients, even if that means overhauling tools and strategies.
Construction project managers manage the day-to-day of the business. Responsibilities vary from creating project timelines and schedules, managing relationships with suppliers, communicating with clients and more. To do that, it’s important to recognize when things are working and when they’re not. When a new path towards growth is identified, it’s a manager’s responsibility to break down what’s needed into achievable steps. This can include identifying the right project management tools to ensure success.
Construction workers and subcontractors:
Laborers on job sites make the difference between quality and subpar work. Knowing home buyers’ demands are constantly changing, having a growth mindset ensures construction workers are able to meet new demands as they come. A positive growth mindset is also proven to improve motivation and individual productivity. It also helps in career development, especially if laborers are exploring how to become a construction manager.
As recent years have demonstrated, changes in the supply chain can happen quickly. When they do, they bring significant impacts on projects budgets, timelines and client satisfaction. It’s important to build relationships with suppliers who foster growth mindset as a practice. They’re more likely to offer the right alternative materials, work with different budgets and maintain relationships long-term.
How to adopt a growth mindset
1. Make time to learn
With packed project portfolios, it can be hard to make time to learn new things. Still, the more proactive you are about the learning, the better prepared you’ll be when the industry shifts next. Make time to learn new skills, be open to new technology and train on new techniques or leadership methods. Ask your suppliers questions, explore different brand partners and budget-saving tactics – like rebate programs – that may be outside your comfort zone.
2. Practice change management
Change almost always brews uncertainty. Uncertainty can be toxic for company morale and employee retention, and it can easily cause a step backwards into fixed mindsets. Take steps to prevent that from happening by communicating often and transparently. Streamline communication, especially when discussing job-specific comments, so there’s a clear record of project status. By keeping all communication together in one place, you can gain real visibility over a project – and the needs of the people working on it – at a glance.
Make sure to visit the job site for your projects. Talk to your construction workers and subcontractors. See the challenges they’re facing firsthand. You may get ideas to improve working environments and use those findings to improve hiring strategies. Or, you might discover a certain appliance is easier to install than a previous go-to. This type of information can then guide future strategies while positively improving your team’s day-to-day.
4. Fine-tune feedback
Too often, feedback is confused for criticism. Depending how you’re approaching the situation, you can still deliver areas for improvement without being negative. That’s where positive feedback comes in.
Praise what went right with a process while highlighting areas that didn’t meet expectations. If the gap isn’t solvable by one person, bring in reinforcements. Work together with your team to brainstorm what can be done to solve the situation in the present, while ensuring a solid foundation for the next project.
5. Be prepared to pivot
When you’ve spent time developing a plan, it can be hard to turn away from it. Sticking with a plan that isn’t delivering on key performance indicators, like building timelines or budget constraints, can do more harm than good. Work to understand your contractual agreements and relationships with suppliers and subcontractors. If change needs to happen, you can navigate the opportunity while minimizing legal risk and added cost.
6. Be positive
One of the key differentiators between the two mindset concepts is positivity. It’s human nature to sell yourself short, but flaws don’t have to be a bad thing. Acknowledge your areas of strength and your areas of weakness. Then, build out your team in a way that complements and compensates for each area. Recognizing each project as an opportunity to learn and improve can go a long way towards a healthy work mindset.
Start shifting company mindsets
As you reevaluate strategies to best address the changing building industry, make room for growth mindset in your company values. Growth mindset should be a building block of your company culture. When it is, you’ll see clear benefits with employee retention and client satisfaction.
Are you looking for a small step to start applying growth mindset? Start with your communication and project management processes. Buildertrend’s construction management software can improve these two areas.
Then, make time to learn.
Schedule a demo today and learn the value Buildertrend can bring to your business.