Construction company bosses should bring the caring qualities they display in their home life into the workplace, a management expert told delegates at the CIOB’s annual conference in Leeds.
Ann Francke, chief executive officer of the Chartered Management Institute, also told delegates that better management would increase productivity and improve profit.
“Research shows that people have a more caring ethic at home than they do at work, and don’t always take decisions as a human being. Managers should be taking more rounded decisions,” said Francke.
“Managers need to bring their caring ethics to work with them. We spend too much time focusing on the negative, we need to learn to praise positives and learn from strengths to offset weaknesses. Happy people are more productive people. Good management builds businesses, improves ROI and attracts and retains talent.”
Franke also identified what she called “three mega trends in management”: increasing diversity, a move from control to coaching, and greater collaboration rather than competition. “Diverse work forces have fewer corporate failures,” she said.
She said that all companies, including those in the construction sector, should mentor their talented women to help them reach the top. She also said that they should also publish salary levels of staff at all levels as a way of measuring and ensuring pay equality.
“On average women earn £500,000 less for the same job over their lifetime – that’s on average £10,000 less per year,” she said.
The second big trend was to put more emphasis on coaching managers rather than controlling them – including a more caring touch. “Coaching pays. You need to think about the management culture you create in your organisations. Project management is about people management. Bring your caring ethics to work — praised people are happier and more productive. Everyone appreciates a thank you once a day.”
Franke says that, generally, too little emphasis was placed on line management training. “Every manager should be trained from day one – and that includes apprentices.”
The final trend she highlighted was the move from competitive to collaborative ways of working, which should be reflected in the way firms run their organisations internally.