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Strong, positive workplace culture adds value

An image of a project manager working with blueprints

UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES A positive workplace culture can attract and retain skilled workers, improve productivity and contribute to the success and growth of the industry

28th July 2023

By: Nadine Ramdass

Creamer Media Writer


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Innovation within the construction materials and equipment industry can be cultivated through a strong and positive workplace culture, resulting in an improvement in the quality of products and services, says built environment industry support platform The Engineer's Table director Koketso Moloto.

By cultivating a positive workplace culture, the construction sector can create an environment that attracts and retains skilled workers, improves productivity and contributes to the overall success and growth of the industry.

Moloto explains that factors that contribute to positive workplace culture include prioritising safety, skills development, clear communication, equipment maintenance, recognition, and diversity, among others.

Further, an environment that encourages employees to think creatively while encouraging collaboration can increase the collective intelligence and problem-solving capabilities of teams.

Many organisations in the construction sector have hierarchical structures and conventional working methods, where decision-making and authority are centralised at the top, explains Moloto.

He elaborates that such structures can inhibit open communication and collaboration, hindering a positive work environment and industry culture.

Therefore, he stresses the importance of creating a workplace environment that nurtures innovation and open communication between the various levels of employees.

Further, the environment should drive the development of more efficient and durable products and services, improved construction techniques, and the integration of “cutting-edge” technologies.

He adds that encouraging a culture of innovation can promote the adoption of new policies and practices, which, in turn, can promote environment-friendly and energy-efficient products and services that sustainably enhance construction methods and overall project outcomes.

Encouraging the adoption of new policies and practices can also mitigate issues associated with quality control in construction materials.

“There have been cases where substandard materials were used in construction projects, leading to structural failures or premature deterioration,” says Moloto.

Such failures have raised concerns about the need for standardised quality control processes and stricter regulations to ensure that materials and equipment meet the required standards.

“With a stronger, more positive workplace, employees are more likely to adhere to new policies with less resistance.”

Moloto adds that a positive workplace culture is also essential for attracting and retaining skilled and talented professionals.

“This talent pool spurs innovation and develops high-quality products and services to meet the needs of the engineering and built environment industry at large.”
The construction industry has experienced a shortage of skilled labour, putting additional pressure on existing employees, says Moloto.

He explains that increased workload, coupled with the need to train new employees, can lead to fatigue and decreased job satisfaction. This impacts the overall work environment when employers fail to take the necessary action.

Qualified professionals and skilled personnel in the industry are more likely to remain in companies that prioritise their well-being, offer them opportunities for advancement, and promote a healthy work-life balance, Moloto explains.
He adds that companies should also provide the necessary training and resources, accompanied by skills development programmes to enhance employee expertise to help make employees feel valued.

Companies also need to adopt stringent safety procedures. This can be done through hazard identification and mitigation processes before work begins, machinery training and materials handling procedures, as well as regular safety meetings to promote a safe working environment.

Further, ensuring that machinery and equipment are well maintained through regular inspections and upgraded when necessary is essential in promoting an efficient working environment that mitigates deadline-related frustrations.

Implementing reward and recognition programmes that acknowledge employees’ hard work and contributions and establishing open lines of communication that include employees in decision-making can foster a sense of ownership, collaboration and inclusion among employees, Moloto concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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