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Where are you ‘burning cash’ in your business?
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Where are you ‘burning cash’ in your business?

This weekend there will be lots of bonfire nights happening all over the UK and it’s prompting me to ask the question, ‘where are you burning cash in your business’?

I asked this question yesterday in a workshop I facilitated at the FIS (Finishes and Interiors Sector) Conference in Manchester which was all about how you can be more profitable in 1 hr.  The theme of their conference was about growing your business in a changing market.

These are uncertain times we are operating in and we don’t know exactly what the impact of Brexit will be, but there are things that you can control that will make a difference to your profit margins.

The phrase ‘burning cash’ originated from one of my Clients and it’s about where you are wasting money, time and resources in your business.

The four key areas I look at when I’m working with companies are:

Purpose (which I talked about in my blog last week)

People

Productivity

Process

All of these impact on your profits.

If you don’t have a clear sense of purpose and direction it’s hard to motivate yourself, let along your employees and it should never just be about the money.

Productivity is a massive challenge in our industry.  If people feel part of something and they are working towards a common goal, they are more productive.  It’s also about having clear roles and responsibilities and being able to get the best performance out of your employees.

Not having the right processes in place can hugely impact on resources and waste time and money.  As businesses grow and expand what worked in the past may not work in the future and it is definitely worth mapping out your processes to make sure they are as efficient and effective as they can be.

Here are some of the areas I’ve helped my Clients identify where they are ‘burning cash’:

  • Employees / Sub-contractors leaving early to get cheaper trains out of London – £21k / year.
  • Lack of productivity from sub-contracted stone mason – 12k in 13 weeks.
  • Not putting together programmes and having the right contractual arrangements in place – thousands of pounds of acceleration costs.
  • Not being organised with materials – 1 day / week at the Builder’s Merchants.

Every business will be different depending on the size and type but there will definitely be areas where you are wasting money, time and resources, the question is where?

To help identify these areas I’ve devised a tool called the ‘Profit Wheel’.   I go through this in my 1hr to Change webinar below and if you want to fast forward directly to that, it’s around 42 minutes in.  I’m saving you time already!

I hope you have a great bonfire weekend and with the money you will save in your business by doing this exercise, you can spend more on fireworks next year!

Strategy-Vision

Do your clients really value you or are you just cheap?
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Do your clients really value you or are you just cheap?

I took this photo in London recently.  I’d been to a conference in the city and I got such a buzz walking to the tube station afterwards taking photographs of the fantastic architecture and the new buildings underway.

Yesterday I was in Manchester at Salford University delivering my first ever guest lecture.  I was asked to do a lecture on Corporate Strategy to their final year Construction and Project Management students.

The students have been given a project to study a large construction company to prepare a strategic appraisal of their organisation.  This includes how they compete in terms of pricing and differentiation.

Earlier this week I was at a Construction Industry Council meeting and Dame Judith Hackitt gave a presentation on her report,  ‘Building a Safer Future‘  and her recommendations following the Grenfell Disaster.  One of the things that is highlighted in the report is the “race to the bottom” stemming from a prime motivation to do things quickly and cheaply which we know happens in our industry as the profit margins are so low.

In my lecture I talked about the importance of vision, mission and values and how value and ethically driven organisations are proven to be so much more profitable.  A lot of people think this is just ‘fluffy stuff’, but it makes real business sense as well as being the right thing to do.  It also makes a difference in attracting new talent.  Young people coming into our industry want to feel part of something and they want to know why you do it and not just what you do.

This is the subject of a fantastic book and TED Talk by Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start with Why’.  He talks about how much more powerful and magnetic the ‘why’ is to a prospective client and employee rather than the ‘what’ and how that impacts on profitability and talent retention.

“Knowing your WHY is not the only way to be successful, but it is the only way to maintain a lasting success and have a greater blend of innovation and flexibility.  When a WHY goes fuzzy, it becomes much more difficult to maintain the growth, loyalty and inspiration that helped drive the original success”.

As part of my research I looked at quite a few websites of both large and small companies (including the one the students are looking at) and what I found really interesting was hardly any of them had their vision, mission or values on their home page.  There was nothing on there that really gave a snapshot of who they were and what drives them.  If I were a potential client or employee, I’d be underwhelmed.

I truly believe it’s time for a revolution in the industry and part of that revolution is for companies to really start to value themselves and really demonstrate that value in how they communicate and are perceived by the outside world.

In my lecture I talked about the importance of a ‘Value Proposition’.  This is a statement that introduces you to prospective buyers and helps you make a strong first impression.  It describes the value you promise to deliver to your customer and it’s what makes your product attractive and stand out from your competition.  It’s specific, pain-focused and exclusive.

Again, there were no value propositions on the websites I looked at.

If we are ever going to stop the race to the bottom, companies need to really look inward and pull out all of the amazing value that they bring to the table.  We build some awesome buildings, just like in this photo.

One of my clients is doing just that at the moment.  I started working with a small house building company earlier this year and they are flying.  They’ve gotten really clear on their values, which is making a positive impact on their culture and their profits as one of them is ‘zero waste’. When you look at their website their values and mission are prominent and they are really standing out from their competitors, so much so that they’ve just been awarded their biggest contract to date and their profit margin is 10%.  They were asked to reduce their costs during negotiations but refused to budge on their profit margin.  They weren’t the cheapest, but they are the best.  It can be done.

So, my questions for you now are, what is your ‘why’ and when are you going to start your own revolution?

If you want any help in getting started, click here and let’s talk.

Have a great weekend.

Maria

Do you want women in construction?
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Do you want women in construction?

Yesterday I was privileged to be asked to be on the panel at the Construction News Inspire Me event in Birmingham.

Inspire Me is the CN’s campaign to get more women into Leadership positions but yesterday it was also asking the question, ‘how do we attract more women into the industry and retain them?’

I was joined on the panel by Ann Bentley, Global Board Director of Rider Levett Bucknall, Naomi Connell, Chief Finance Officer for VokerWessels UK, Rachel Toor, Assistant Site Manager for Shaylor Group and Adelaide Forbes, HR Director for Mace Macro.  All very different, inspirational women……. and me!

As you can see it was an all female panel, we were meant to have a man join us but he couldn’t attend at the last minute.

The statistics around diversity and inclusion speak for themselves.  Reports such as, ‘Delivering Through Diversity’ from Mckinsey proves that a more diverse workforce, particularly at board level, increases profits.

There are a lot of positive initiatives happening in organisations to improve diversity and attract more women into the industry but this isn’t necessarily being filtered down the supply network.

One of the most powerful questions that was asked was, ‘do men want women to come into construction’?  The woman who asked this said she would like to see men on the panel who work on site, someone in the trades, someone further down the Contractor’s supply network answer that question.

Attitude on site is definitely a big blocker for women.  There is still a lot of misogyny going on, you certainly need a thick skin at times to put up with the ‘banter’.  So, where did this ‘special’ culture stem from?  Is it because it’s mostly men and a lot of testosterone?  Do men actually like the ‘banter’? Or deep down does it hurt their feelings but they don’t feel they can say anything?

If we want to attract more women into the industry then site needs to be a more welcoming place for them.  I believe that people feel that they just can’t be themselves in construction, would you agree?  Women sometimes feel that they have to be like men to progress and men feel like they have to be the ‘tough guy’ and put on a mask when really, they’re struggling with all sorts of emotions but they can’t let it out.

Another big takeaway for me yesterday was the blocker of inflexible working for women.  A lot of companies say they have a flexible work policy but quite often this doesn’t apply at site level.  This was certainly the case for one woman I spoke to yesterday who is really struggling to juggle getting to site and childcare, especially when her Site Manager wants to organise a meeting for 8am.

There is also the perception by men that ‘woman’s networks’ are just ‘jollies’ to get out of the office.  Because we are in the minority, women need networks like this to join together, share experiences and boost their confidence and push back more.

Women are different to men, fact.  There is more and more research being carried out about the neurological differences between us and how we think differently, this is why Diversity matters.

So, two ways we can get more women into the industry is for Contractors to work with their supply networks to change the culture at site level and to be more flexible about flexible working.

I would also recommend 3 books.  The third one, by Helena Morrissey, founder of the 30% club has one of the best quotes I’ve read recently and really sums up what needs to happen:

“It’s not about women adapting to the male environment, but about creating a new environment with men”.

The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships and Live Their Fullest Lives

Gender Intelligence: Breakthrough Strategies for increasing Diversity and Improving Your Bottom Line

A Good Time To Be a Girl: Don’t Lean In, Change the System

How do you make a cheese sandwich?
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How do you make a cheese sandwich?

How do you make a cheese sandwich?  Seems like a random question for a construction related blog but it’s very relevant.

In January this year I had a meeting with Leanne Bonner–Cooke (now MBE) CEO and founder of Evolve Consultants.

Evolve specialise in bespoke software and product development to help companies be more efficient.  The first stage in this is process mapping.

When we had the meeting, Leanne gave me, what I think is a brilliant example of understanding the need for mapping out processes.  How do you make a cheese sandwich?

If you asked  your employees to make a cheese sandwich they would all be different.  Some would quickly butter some bread, grab a couple of slices of cheese and whack it on.  Others would grate the cheese, perhaps add some salad and mayonnaise, take a bit longer over the process.  I think you can pretty much guarantee that no two sandwiches would be the same.

This can be the case in business too.  I met a Director recently who’s consultancy has grown rapidly over a 2 year period.  They’ve added more and more people and opened a couple of new offices but what he is finding is, he doesn’t have the time to be as hands-on as he’d like and there is inconsistency of service delivery.  New people are coming into the business who can technically do the job, but they are delivering in different ways and some more efficiently than others.  This inconsistency is impacting on their profit margins.  I know from my days as a QS and PM, there is a set fee and if you take longer to deliver, it eats into the profit.

A great way that you can maximise your profits, and I do this with my Clients is to map out your processes.  Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What do you want your Client experience to be?
  • How do you set up a project for success?
  • What are the standard processes that need to be followed for the services you deliver?
  • How long should this take to deliver?

You can then identify where the inefficiencies are and you can bring these standards and processes into performance managing your teams as well.  Where are the skills gaps?  Where are the inconsistencies of service delivery in your teams?  Who needs additional support but aren’t asking for it?

There is such a lot of pressure in our industry to be perfect at everything, and we certainly are not.  It can also be a sign of weakness to ask for help.  One of the worst experiences I had as a trainee surveyor was being given a cut and fill exercise to do, I felt like I couldn’t ask for help and it took me forever.  It was so demoralising and I’ve never forgotten that experience.  In fact I quit my job not long after that and became a waitress in an Italian restaurant briefly!!

Leanne recorded a 1hr to Change webinar with us in July and I’ve put the link below.  Taking 1hr out of your business could save you thousands.

Process Mapping/ IT Solutions

How social media could solve your recruitment challenges
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How social media could solve your recruitment challenges

This week I’ve been in Manchester.  I led a strategy session with the board of a new Client on Monday and on Tuesday I was at the Inspire Summit; Women in Construction, Housing and Social Media.

One of the biggest challenges my Client has is recruiting the right people, in fact, it’s the same issue that pretty much everyone I speak to has at the moment.  One of the themes of the Inspire Summit was how we attract the next generation into the industry and there is a solution that could solve both of these problems.

SOCIAL MEDIA

This is an area that I’ve had to learn since I started my business 4 years ago but I don’t do it alone.  I have a Marketing Coach, I’ve read lots of books but I still feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights with it all sometimes! (You can’t beat a good snapchat filter!)

Snapchat-265405018

As part of the 1Hr to Change programme I hosted a webinar and recorded a podcast with Peter Watson from Distract who are the fastest growing Ad Agency in the East Midlands.  According to Peter, “we are living in a mobile-first world” and if you want to build a successful business, you have to build a brand.

What Peter means by this is using social media content to showcase who you are as a company but most importantly, what it’s like to work for you.  If you visit a company’s website they will likely have something on there about their values and what they do but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great place to work.

According to Peter, Video is one of the best ways to build a brand.  Everyone watches videos, the majority of people reading this blog will be on Facebook, scrolling through our feeds and watching videos.  More and more people are starting to use video on Linked-in, Twitter and Instagram including your competition. This is something you can do on your phone, it doesn’t have to be perfect with a proper video camera etc which makes it cost effective for smaller businesses.

Peter’s advice is to find people in your company who are comfortable with video and start from there.  He’s doing this with his own company, by getting his team to create video content, he is getting the message across that he has a range of experts which means that Clients don’t just want to work with him.

In this webinar we also talk about the role of the Marketing Manager.  A lot of people employ Marketing Managers and think they should be able to control the social media but there is so much to learn.  Social media platform algorithims are changing all the time.  Stuff I’ve learned so far:

  • Facebook doesn’t care about hashtags but it does like video and Facebook live, although not as much as it used to because you don’t now get the same reach without paying.
  • Facebook doesn’t like you posting links to other websites in your posts and taking people off Facebook.
  • Linked-in previously wasn’t bothered about hashtags and now it likes them.
  • Linked-in doesn’t like people posting website links in the posts so put it in the comments bit.
  • Twitter likes photos and videos now where previously it was about the words but it’s still ALL about the hashtag.
  • Instagram loves hashtags but you can’t put any links to websites on there except in the bio section.
  • Instagram loves instagram stories where you can post a video or photo with captions throughout the day.

If this is double dutch to you and you feel overwhelmed just thinking about it, you might need to think about getting someone on board who knows about this.

Ultimately building a brand is about creating a positive culture that would attract people to come and work for you and using social media content to get that message out there.  If you feel overwhelmed or dislike social media then you could be missing out on a great opportunity to get the best people in your teams.

One last thing, this approach could make you more profitable.  If you are showing how you add value and Clients can see that, they will want to work with you, not because you are the lowest price but because you are the best.

The link to Peter’s webinar is below including a great giveaway at the end…….

Social Media Marketing

What’s it like to walk in someone else’s shoes?
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What’s it like to walk in someone else’s shoes?

I took this photo at Nottingham Pride in July.  It was the first time I’d been, I went on my own, not part of a group.  I didn’t officially march, but I did jump off the pavement and join in.  The person wearing these killer heels, marched, they meant business.

This year has been a big year for me so far.  I became Chair of the Construction Industry Council (CIC)  Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)  panel and I also undertook the most ambitious project I’ve delivered so far, 1 Hr to Change.

The CIC D&I panel brings together representatives from the professions in our industry including RIBA, RICS, APM, RTPI.  Our purpose is to collaborate and raise awareness about the challenges we are facing in our industry around D&I.  The key thing is, we have a skills shortage and we are not attracting talent from the diverse talent pool that is available to us.  Part of this issue, I believe is that we have created an industry where we can’t be ourselves.  To me, D&I is about everyone being able to bring their whole selves to work, men and women.

I recently vlogged on linked-in about a Client I was working with who told me a story about some advice he was given early on in his career as a Site Manager.  He was struggling to work in the tough, adversarial environment he found himself in.  He was told by his Manager that he had to either put on an act, a mask, or it wasn’t for him.  That attitude definitely still exists today.  Men can’t show emotion and if they do, they are weak.

D&I is about understanding each other and breaking down the barriers but it can be tough if we don’t know how to act, or what to do to create an inclusive environment.  I know of a woman who tried to tell her boss she was gay so she could be open about who she really was.  It was not well received and she felt she had to go back to hiding her personal life and continue to adopt the ‘we’ did this rather than her and her girlfriend.  I worked with a man at the start of my career who is gay but never came out at work, he only talked to people he really trusted, that was 20 years ago and he is still not openly gay.

In June as part of the 1 Hr to Change programme I recorded a podcast and webinar with Sharon Slinger from Constructing Rainbows.  Sharon is an award winning Chartered Quantity Surveyor who worked predominantly with large Contractors prior to setting up her own consultancy advising companies on Diversity and Inclusion.  Sharon has also been involved in setting up a number of LGBT networks in her career and is now co-opted onto the CIC D&I panel.

There is a link below to listen to the podcast and sign up to get access to the webinar for free.  There is some great information in there as to what companies can do to start to generate a more diverse and inclusive culture.  One of the things we can do as individuals is call out bad behaviour.  I did this recently and got a bit of a backlash!  It prompted me to make a video of me ironing….. the link to my Facebook page is HERE to watch the video and hear my story.

If you want to find out more about what you can do, watch the webinar, there are also some great resources available on these websites:

Sustainability Supply Chain School Fairness Inclusion and Respect Toolkit

Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) BAME in Property

Stonewall, a charity who’s mission it is to make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people feel like they are not alone.  There is a great toolkit here.

Disability Confident a scheme to help employers make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace.

Sharon talks about the importance of stories bringing to life people’s experiences and helping others to understand what it’s like to be in their shoes.  I don’t know the story of the person wearing the amazing shoes in my photograph but I would love to hear your stories, especially any initiatives you have going on in your workplace to encourage diversity and inclusion.

The CIC are working on an exciting new project we are launching in November 2018.  If you want to find out more about this then click HERE to sign up to my newsletter.

The link to Sharon’s podcast and webinar is below.  Have a great week!

Diversity&Inclusion

 

Are you ‘in joy’ with your Job?
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Are you ‘in joy’ with your Job?

I recently recorded a #1hrtochange webinar with Nigel Risner who is a fantastic motivational speaker, business turnaround specialist and author of a number of books including ‘It’s a zoo around here’. Hence the monkeys in the photo!  More on that later…..

The theme of this webinar was about how to motivate your people.  As an industry we have a massive skills shortage which is only going to get worse when Brexit happens.  Everyone I speak to in the industry is talking about the challenge of recruiting good people but it’s not just about recruiting them, you’ve got to keep them.

Some of the key questions that Nigel asked is, ‘How many of you know the top 5 personal needs of your people’? ‘What drives them to come to work’?  ‘What do they need to perform well’?  ‘What is getting in the way’?  Do you know the answers?  It’s not about the money, that is a short term gain and you won’t build a successful business if it is all about the money.

I totally get that and it made me reflect on the recession which first hit 10 years ago this week.  I remember how training and development fell away, how it was all about the money, people were fighting for survival but not in the right way.  Those that were beaten up badly in the recession, as soon as things got better, they left.  Their personal needs weren’t being met, it was bleak and there were lots of redundancy sticks about.  As an industry we cannot afford to make that mistake again.

One of the questions I asked is, how do people motivate themselves?  If you’re a business owner or leader you have to motivate yourself first.  Nigel talked about the importance of passion.  If you’re passionate about what you do, you will have passionate people working for you.  Hence the question, ‘Are you in joy with your job’?

If you don’t love what you do, you will never be successful and if you’re not happy where you are, move was the key message, Nigel doesn’t mince words!

Another key takeaway, is, Inspire or Fire!  If you’re not willing to inspire them, then why?  Are there negative people in your organisation who are disrupting others?  A lot of business owners are in fear of getting rid of people precisely because there is a skills shortage but, and I’ve seen this happen, if people are allowed to get away with disruptive behaviour, you will lose your best people.

Now we come to the zoo bit.  I mentioned at the beginning about the importance of knowing your people’s personal needs.  Everyone is different but there are key character traits and Nigel describes these as, Monkeys, Lions, Elephants and Dolphins.  They are motivated by different things and as a business owner or Manager, it’s your job to be the ‘Chief Zoo Keeper’ and know what their needs are.  Not only will it increase their motivation, it will increase your bottom line.

So, this week, have a think about whether or not you are ‘In Joy’ with your job or business and about how well you know your people.  It will make a massive difference.

You can listen to the podcast I recorded with Nigel and watch the webinar replay HERE, it will definitely give you food for thought.  Oh, and different animals like different food!

Have a great week!

 

If you gave yourself time to think you could be a millionaire
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If you gave yourself time to think you could be a millionaire

I took this photograph on Sunday en route to Sardinia.  Technically I’m on holiday right now but I’m taking some time out to write this in probably the most beautiful surroundings I’ve ever written a blog in!

So my question today is, when did you last give yourself time to think?  When I was studying to be a coach, one of the most memorable training sessions we did was based on a book by Nancy Kline called ‘Time to Think’.  It basically involved the coach asking the coachee, ‘what would you like to think about today‘?  Sounds so simple but it is so powerful.

I’ve read a few articles recently about how technology is chipping away at our ability to be able to think and focus.  Our brain loves shiny new things, we can’t not look when the phone pings with an e mail or a call.  I recently tried to do a coaching session with a Client and it was really challenging as he felt he couldn’t switch off his phone or even put it on silent.  He definitely didn’t get what he needed from the session which was a wasted opportunity.  Nigel Risner, 1hr to Change week 4 trainer has a great quote, ‘if you’re in the room, be in the room’.  My Client definitely wasn’t in the room that day.

When  you’re in business, ‘big picture’ thinking is so important.  Do you have a vision for yourself and your business?  Do you know where you want to be in 3, 5 or 10 years time?

Reflecting back on week 3 of the #1hrtochange programme, this was my session on strategy and vision.  This was the lynchpin of the series as it gave you the opportunity to have time to think about where you wanted to be and where you needed to focus your energies to get there.  You could then pick and choose the webinars that would be most useful for where you’re at right now.

When I’m working with a Client the first question I ask them is about their vision for themselves and their business, you can’t separate one from the other because if you’re not happy personally and your vision isn’t driving you forward, you will never achieve what you want.  Also, I often find that my Clients aren’t thinking big enough.  I recently did a session with a new Client and asked the usual question.  He said, in 10 years time he’d be happy earning 150k / year.  This really didn’t seem a lot for 10 years work.  I then asked him some more questions and he had a lightbulb moment.  He realised that if he built up his business in the next 10 years he could sell it for around 12 Million.  At that stage he’d be 50, he’d be a millionaire and have financial freedom to travel with his family, start a new company, the possibilities were endless.

So, if you can find ‘1hr to Change’ this week it could make a massive difference to you and your business.  The link to my webinar is below and I will take you through a process to help you think about your business and also identify the areas you need support in.

All you need is a pen and paper and Time to Think.  It could change your life.

Have a great week.

http://1hrtochange.com/members/strategyvision

 

Do you know what Burnout really is?  It’s worse than you think…
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Do you know what Burnout really is? It’s worse than you think…

We are coming towards the end of the holidays and I’ve already seen some of the ‘first day at school’ photos on Facebook.  Before you went on holiday, did you feel ‘burnt out’ as you would call it?

In my blog this week I’m reflecting back on the 1hr to Change webinar I hosted recently with Anna Pinkerton from Kindness Incorporated about the 5 signs of burnout, and how to avoid it.  Anna is a Psychotherapist who works with business leaders and entrepreneurs who have broken down or are close to it.  She is also passionate about raising awareness to make sure they don’t get to that stage in the first place.

When I was a Project Manager I remember working on a really stressful project that required me to do a lot of travelling around the country.  I recall sitting at my kitchen table at 6am on a Saturday on the day I was going on holiday trying to clear e mails and I hadn’t event packed.  For the first time I took my laptop away with me.  In my mind I felt ‘burnt out’ but I wasn’t in the truest sense, although if I’d continued at that pace, I could have been.

Burnout isn’t about getting tired and needing a holiday,  it’s a traumatic event, when all of your senses and defence mechanisms are overwhelmed in 1 moment.  Prevention is simple as Anna talks about in the webinar but recovery is difficult.  Burnout can take up to 2 years to recover from.

So, how do you get to that stage?  Only the most hardworking, strong and dedicated people burnout.  They are the ones that can extend themselves beyond their limits, regularly, until they can’t.  They are phenomenal in their ability to put their work and other people above themselves.  They are the people that rarely say, ‘what do I need’?

Before the webinar, Anna told me a story about one of her Clients who was a Project Manager in construction.  He was responsible for delivering a complicated project and he made the decision to do it a certain way.  He was so constantly stressed throughout the project he literally felt like he was carrying the weight of the building on his shoulders and when the project was finished he broke down and had that ‘sliding down the back of the door’ moment.  Has this ever happened to you?  Can you see it happening to someone you are working with?

One of the standout quotes for me on this webinar is:

“An industry that is all about constructing stuff that is great, solid and robust is requiring its people to deconstruct themselves”.

Anna also talks about the macho culture in our industry, as if we say that rest, sleep, reducing adrenalin, being looked after, basic needs,  “that’s all good for other humans but not us, we are the Construction Industry”!  “Does the Construction Industry have special powers to avoid burn out?”

The answer is no!

So, what can be done to prevent it?  There are some great tips in the webinar but the key message is, you have to look after yourself which starts with, not skipping lunch, getting away from your desk at lunchtime, taking regular breaks to have a cuppa.   Simple things that collectively make a massive difference.

A ‘top down’ approach is also needed from business owners and managers.  It’s all well and good saying that you care about the wellbeing of your employees but it’s about what you do, not what you say.  If you are brutalising yourself as Anna calls it, not taking breaks, continually working late, e mailing at midnight then what message is that giving to your employees?

I asked the question, what should an employee do if their bosses aren’t looking after themselves and expect the same from them?  You have to be companionable to your yourself and set your own boundaries.  Going back to the Project Manager earlier who had the breakdown.  He’s back at work and is setting boundaries for himself.  He was recently asked to attend a lunchtime meeting and said no, that he doesn’t attend meetings at lunchtimes because he needs to take a break to recharge and eat his lunch.  Sounds fair enough, right?  His boss accepted it.

I could go on and on about the golden nuggets that came out of this webinar but it’s probably easier if you just watch it yourself, access is free when you sign up to the 1hr to Change website.  If you don’t want to do that, then at least listen to the podcast Anna recorded with a Director from the industry to get his perspective including the role Clients could play in burnout prevention..

One final thing, something great has come out of this webinar.  One of the attendees is implementing a new initiative in their organisation and myself and Anna are going to help promote this in our industry.  It’s being launched at an industry Wellbeing in Construction Summit, so watch this space!

Click HERE to access Anna’s page on 1hr to Change.

 

Is Construction bad for your Mental Health
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Is Construction bad for your Mental Health

I’m very conscious that I’ve been very sporadic on the blogging front but I’m dusting off my page and starting again with my latest journey…..

I’ve just finished the biggest project I’ve done so far, 1 Hr to Change .

I set a goal for myself at the start of the year that I wanted to have a membership site.  Little did I know how quickly that goal would happen.  Some funding became available from the D2N2 LEP to spend on SME’s and Micro-Businesses in the Construction sector as part of the Skills Support for the Workforce project in partnership with Learn Direct.

I knew what the challenges were with these businesses through working with my Clients.  Lack of headspace, fire fighting, cashflow, being pulled in lots of different directions, don’t have the right processes and procedures in place and are wasting time, money and resources.

I wanted to extend the reach of the funding to as many businesses as possible so I suggested building a membership site hosting a series of webinars, podcasts and films from local and national industry experts to help businesses to grow and be more profitable.  1hr to Change was born!

Between 8 May and 31 July 2018 I hosted 13 webinars and podcasts over 13 weeks with 13 different trainers plus bonus content.  It was a complete whirlwind and I didn’t get time to reflect on any of the amazing content as it was a case of, ‘done, done and onto the next one’ (name that tune?!).

At the time access to the webinars was just for businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire but am delighted to say it’ s now available nationally for the next 12 months, AND IT’S FREE!!

Week 1 was all about Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing.  In a recent Construction News’s 2017 mental health survey it was found that 1 in 4 workers had considered suicide.  This statistic was still the same in 2018.

One of the main differences between men and women is that women talk and men don’t.  I know this first hand because I had depression a few years ago and boy, did I talk to my best friend about it, a lot.  How many of you reading this right now are suffering but have never said anything to anyone for fear of being weak?

Andy Dean, Managing Director of Building Site to Boardroom delivered the webinar.  BS2B are a not-for-profit organisation specialising in creating e-learning and face-to-face courses around wellbeing in the industry.  Andy has experience in the industry but is also a trained Counsellor, a perfect combination to get the industry’s attention.

“We have tools for everything in the industry but not for developing who you are on the inside”, was one of my favourite quotes and in this webinar there are some great tools to help in the moment but also to prevent getting to that moment in the first place.

Here’s the link to Andy’s page on the website where you can listen to a podcast I recorded with him.  You can also sign up to the site to get access to the webinar replay.  I hope it helps you and your teams in the future and it raises awareness to get people talking and bring this horrible suicide statistic down.

Mental Wellbeing