Happy Workers think Small is Beautiful
- survey by the Supply Chain School
Love it or Hate It
At the end of last year a survey of construction workers showed less than one in four would recommend their place of work to family or friends. However, those working for smaller companies were happier than those at larger organisations.
Rising to the sustainability challenge
The Supply Chain School is an online learning platform that has received £2.5 million from the CITB Structured Fund to improve the construction industry's ability to understand sustainability issues and innovate. Funded by CITB and 50 Partner organisations the award-winning School has surprised industry experts. From being sceptical when it was founded in 2012, the School has brought together a range of clients, consultants, contractors and supply chain to develop their sustainability knowledge and provide an industry wide training platform.
Safe & Comfortable
Around 1,000 companies in the 14,000 strong membership of the school gave their view on fairness and inclusion in the workplace. Around 1,000 responded to the survey. 98% said they felt safe at work, while 85% felt able to “be themselves”. However, the survey revealed that a culture of fairness, inclusion and respect was still an aspiration.
The survey also found that:
Respondents within smaller organisations were consistently much happier with their workplace – as many as 53% within client organisations believed people had quit jobs because of the way they had been treated, whereas the figure for labour agencies or SMEs was far lower at only 29%;
The proportion of respondents that did not feel managers and supervisors behaved and spoke to people in a way that helped them do their best was more than double among clients (39%), compared to labour agencies and SMEs (17%);
There were marked differences between the responses of operative-level employees and those of directors or management staff. Whilst 39% of respondents on average believed certain groups of people were treated unfairly, or less favourably, than others at their place of work, the discrepancy between a mere 19% of managerial staff and a whopping 51% of operatives was dramatic.
Dale Turner director of procurement and supply chain at Skanska UK and a member of the industry Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Steering Group at the Supply Chain School, said: “Ultimately, most damning is the concluding statistic that more than one in four respondents would feel unable to recommend their place of work to family and friends – this is not the kind of endorsement hoped for by a sector desperate to attract and retain talent.”
Call for Inclusive Leadership
In Turner’s view, construction has clear issues to address, both within the industry and individual organisations. He calls for ‘inclusive leadership’ to optimise the performance value of diversity going forward. “Success will require us to hear, understand and respect different perspectives, better; whilst at the same time challenging divisive behaviours and unfair practices, constructively. The good news is that we have both the incentive and now the tools to change.” he claims
Our Off-Site Approach - Job Enrichment, Involvement & Collaboration
Working in a factory may avoid the elements, but can be monotonous and boring. However, creating tram engagement, providing task variety, and encouraging each team member to understand and take ownership of the project they are building ‘Off-Site’ has multiple benefits. Greater accuracy, less waste, real ‘Pride in the Job’, on-time deliveries, and easier, faster on-site assemblies. Establishing wider collaboration with other construction professionals means that Design & Build is safer, easier, and more sustainable.
This is an often misunderstood, but important factor. The earlier we can become engaged with a project, the better the result. From early design, through technical development of the structure and manufacturing to transport and erection, our timber based pre-fabrications minimise the need for special equipment and make delivering the affordable high quality buildings that architects and their clients want – especially on difficult to access sites.