Groundbreak 2023 in Chicago is officially upon us and we’re covering this year’s top sessions so we can bring the event home to you. From cultural transformation to digital transformation, conference speakers are diving into key industry topics and sharing knowledge with their peers and industry experts on how to better their business, build more efficiently and help create a more diverse and skilled workforce.
Follow along throughout the event and check out some highlights as we share updates Live from Groundbreak — the construction technology event of the year.
How Culture Drives Business
The first breakout session was an engaging and insightful look into the role of culture in construction, hosted by Procore’s Industry Culture Team.
The session offered a panel featuring experts who discussed the significance of fostering a healthy organizational culture. Since the shift to remote work, many companies are navigating the challenges of engaging and retaining employees who may be required to work onsite.
Procore’s Chief Culture Officer, Steve Zahm, says authenticity around why certain teams need to be in office is key.
“Connect the authentic business why and the authentic business purpose behind returning to office to the people that you are requiring to be in the office.”
According to Zahm, clearly communicating business needs and the significance of each team member also helps build engagement for employees, whether they are in-office or remote.
The panel emphasized that a positive work culture does more than create a pleasant environment — it drives business results by increasing productivity, improving employee satisfaction and fostering innovation. The session also highlighted Procore’s partnership initiatives aimed at driving culture change within the construction industry.
Attract and Retain High-Performing Talent
The second session shifted focus to a long-standing challenge for the construction industry: the labor shortage. Experts shed light on studies highlighting the issues of talent attraction and retention. Topics such as employee burnout and “Tall Poppy Syndrome” (being cut down for being ambitious and successful) were discussed as challenges that potential talent face in the industry.
Yuhi Aizawa Combatti, Director of Workforce Community Development for AGC of California, says one issue with attracting and retaining employees is the value placed on people with extroverted personalities.
“In the U.S, it’s no secret we value extroversion over introversion. People who are social, people who are relational-based people who are really outgoing draw more people in,” says Combatti. “Their performance is sometimes tied closely to how they are in social situations, especially in our industry because relationships are so important to how we do business. Somebody who is really extroverted and always making time to build relationships with clients, owners and trade partners are essentially being valued higher.”
Andrea Janzen, Founder and CEO of Ambition Theory shared that many women in the industry face Tall Poppy Syndrome, and are often criticized being both confident and meek in the workplace.
Speakers shared five steps to mitigate Tall Poppy Syndrome, including:
- Raising awareness
- Holding people accountable
- Setting a standard of transparency
- Adopting zero tolerance
- Investing in training for all employees and celebrate wins
Given the increasingly competitive labor market, the need for a paradigm shift in thinking about talent recruitment and retention was stressed by speakers. Emphasis was placed on implementing practices that promote the sponsorship of high-performing talent in order to contribute to the overall organizational health of the construction industry and attracting and retaining a top-tier workforce.