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The Impact of Diversity in the Building Industry
After facing the challenges of the pandemic and spikes in demand, the building industry is in need of skilled people. While the sector has traditionally been male-dominated, there are many benefits to tapping into a broader and more diverse pool of talent.
The high demand for housing, combined with supply chain disruption, sharp inflation, border closures, and a lack of tradespeople has created an unpredictable environment in the building industry.
To navigate the uncertainty, builders need to build teams with diverse experiences, skills, and perspectives. While seasoned builders might know the ins and outs of the industry, they can find new business opportunities by tapping into perspectives that differ from their own lived experiences and focus areas.
Why? Because when we can illuminate a problem from different angles, we have a far lower risk of blind spots tripping us up. While we can’t predict the future, diversity and experience can help us make better decisions within the scenarios we’re presented in any given moment.
Diversity Helps You to Relate to More Customers
While the industry simply needs more skilled tradespeople to keep up with demand, creating pathways for a broader and more diverse pool of talent can also help you increase your market share. When you embrace diversity, you can attract a greater variety of candidates, who can then naturally relate to the diverse needs and requirements of your customers.
Diversity in the business environment now extends beyond more than gender, race, and ethnicity. It also includes employees with diverse religious and political beliefs, education, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientation, cultures, and abilities.
The movement also applies to the building industry, as a home being built right can be one of the greatest experiences in life and a diverse team can give you the insight needed to support others in this important life journey. All of us have a rich mix of cultures and reflecting the diversity of the local community within your team can help you connect with more people.
Diversity Helps You to Become More Creative
Appointing talent from new backgrounds at the fringes of the building industry can also be a huge competitive advantage. People with alternative backgrounds such as sustainability, legal, design, engineering, project management, or HR can provide unique perspectives that could boost your profitability and help you capture market share in a challenging environment. In fact, companies with more diverse management teams have been shown to have 19% higher revenues due to innovation.
When your old ways of doing things aren’t working for you anymore, you need to tap into new ideas and resources. That’s why diversity of experience can give you the strategic upper hand. Rather than using the same points of view, thoughts, and suggestions for problems that need unique solutions, you can tap into different perspectives to support creativity and problem-solving.
Diversity Drives Productivity
When you create a culture that welcomes a broader range of opinions and perspectives, you can maximize everyone’s potential. It’s impossible to be good at everything and by tapping into diverse experiences, you might find better ways to design or more efficient site management processes. A simple tweak could add significant value to your business, helping you deliver better outcomes to everyone, including your customers
A stressful situation might become manageable when you’ve got a team member who has a unique approach or has dealt with the same problem before. While one leader in your business might be exceptional at rallying the troops and building morale, another leader might have a bigger focus on how to get the job done. Difference skillsets can complement each other and drive productivity.
For example, a survey conducted by Pew Research Centre recently demonstrated that women are 34% better at working out compromises, 34% more likely to be honest and ethical, and 25% better at mentoring. As such, they are a huge asset in the building industry and we often see our female franchisees develop strong relationships, deliver high customer satisfaction, and create an empowering workplace culture.
Broaden the Brief
The building industry changes daily and we simply need more skilled people. It’s important that we start designing our success profiles around the expertise required to thrive in an uncertain future, rather than those that worked in the past. Diversity also relies on an inclusive culture, so it’s important that we carry a learning mindset and create a welcoming environment for unique perspectives to be shared.