How To Keep Your Workforce Motivated During A Long Construction Project

Keeping an office full of bored workers motivated to complete a project can be difficult enough, but if you run a construction company you will find that motivation is a much bigger and more pressing challenge.

If you are in construction, then you won’t just need to manage motivation and concentration – you will need to manage energy and keep your team enthusiastic even when the sun is bearing down and they’ve been lifting heavy materials for hours on end. Here is how to do it.

Be Sensible

The first thing to ensure when motivating a team of workers is that you are being realistic and sensible when it comes to your expectations. If you are demanding too much of your team then that’s when they’re likely to become disheartened and you’ll find that mistakes end up happening. If you force everyone to stay late or to work in atrocious weather because you’ve made unrealistic promises to the client then your staff will end up resenting you and you’ll find they are much less likely to put in the extra work to ensure that the end product is perfect.

Project Management

What can help a great deal here is to be smart about how you approach the project so that you don’t need to force your team to force themselves to work to an unreasonable deadline or under the wrong conditions. Break down your project into smaller jobs, work through those jobs in a logical order, and make sure that you use each team member in such a way that takes advantage of their particular skills. Always have contingency plans and make sure that you always remain calm even when things aren’t going well – as a site manager your mood will impact the mood of your staff and the team in general.

Manage Energy

I mentioned energy management earlier, and it’s important that you take this seriously. Time management is important if you are going to make sure you can complete everything within your timescale, but if you don’t manage energy levels as well then you aren’t going to be able to make the most of that time anyway and you’ll likely cause an accident.

So how do you manage energy? Well for one, it means spacing out energy-intensive jobs so that they aren’t packed too tightly together. If you can alternate between these and the more relaxing work then you’ll find that every job gets done more efficiently.

At the same time it also means making sure to take breaks seriously and again not to push your team too hard. Make sure you all get home on time, you all get an hour for lunch and you all get to eat and drink properly throughout the day. Taking shelter from the sun regularly is also important.

Autonomy and Achievement

These tips will help you avoid burnout and ensure that your staff don’t reach the point where you want to give up, but that alone won’t ensure that they feel motivated or driven as such. To accomplish this you also need to ensure that they have the sense of achieving something and making progress. Some jobs never give you that satisfying moment of being able to stand back and admire your work, while others are easier to take pride in. Make sure that you emphasise throughout the process what you have all achieved and that you often take stock in it. Furthermore though, you should also ensure that you occasionally draw attention to the accomplishments of individuals on your team. By highlighting a specific contribution you can make everyone feel like they played an integral role – not as though they were simply lifting and moving while everyone else got to soak up the glory. Give everyone their little moment, and encourage camaraderie while focussing on the bigger picture.

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The author of this article, Gary Fernandes, is an employee at Sefton Construction, a metal fabrication company in Fremantle. Gary loves to play the piano and composes his own notes in his spare time.

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