Offline workers within the construction and manufacturing industry are ‘conflicted’ in their emotions

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The construction and manufacturing sector is a unique and forward-thinking industry with a vast employee population.  One which interestingly enough, actually holds one of the highest scores in engagement! This is based off our engagement index score which demonstrates significantly higher than average scores compared to other industries.

However, despite this great result on engagement, there are still 20% of the construction population who feel conflicted emotions, and a further 16% who feel entirely negative emotions about working for their organisation. Amongst the overall positive result, it is important to not turn a blind eye to those who do not feel positively at all.

The construction and manufacturing industry often involves working around various sites and offices. This mix of environment needs to be planned carefully so that the different ways and styles of working for colleagues can be addressed properly. It is down to the HR teams to acknowledge that, as well as finding new ways they can engage with all teams and sites, regardless of their location. Doing this may see an improvement in the negative and conflicted emotions demonstrated above.

Operations-focused vs The People?

From our engagement software data we can see that whilst the industry expands rapidly with new projects and opportunities, many employees still find they work on fixed term projects. This means that their long-term vision at the company can be hazy compared to other employees who work full time in central functions.

The leaders managing these projects are frequently operations focused as opposed to being more people centric.

This format of working means that low engagement can be particularly disruptive, as those who feel demotivated at work often work slower on projects, create a potential significant safety hazard, and cost the industry in resources and money.

Improving engagement by a third!

A well-known, large, construction company have been working with Inpulse now for more than five years, and in that time have improved their engagement index score by a fantastic 34%!

This score reflects greatly on how this sector are showing their devotion towards transformational change, employee experience and engagement.

This industry also takes the lead within engagement by an 11 point % increase on the Positive Emotions Score in 2022 when put up against all other industries. Construction received a 76% score, whilst all other clients sat at 65%.

Understanding how people truly feel

Here at Inpulse, as an employee engagement survey platform, our unique focus is on emotional analytics so that we can delve deep into how people really feel. The emotional analytics gives us insight into over 60,000 employees who work within Construction and Manufacturing.

From these emotional employee survey emotional analytics, we can see that people are highly committed to their organisation and intend to give their best. They believe their employers are highly reputable, and they have clear goals that help to play a huge part in achievement. Leaders are working on investing more time and resources into wellbeing, safety and trying to build a more people-centric culture. This means that more and more, employees are feeling increased value, and ultimately recognised for what they’re contributing to the organisation.

However, stress relating to the employees’ work remains to be seen across industries, which is actually becoming more apparent in recent years, after the pandemic. This presents the businesses with challenges to retain talent, and employees are facing the forefront of the uncertainty coupled with the expanding workload and ongoing symptoms of burnout.

The top feelings of negativity in 2022 were Irritated, Frustrated and Stressed, and we know these feelings are due to outdated systems and processes, as well as poor cross-team collaboration. The feeling of “effective collaboration between different departments,” had seen a decrease and, “long-term career opportunities within the organisation,” had also seen a drop.

Despite these negative feelings, we are still seeing top positive emotions of Committed, Valued and Happy. Employees felt they “have the opportunity to share ideas to improve the business,” and “would recommend the company as a great place to work.”

The next steps

With these high levels of commitment, the next steps are to find ways to modernise technology, facilitate positive colleague interactions, and demonstrate that they are truly listening to what their employees are saying, and as mentioned above, not turning a blind eye to those negative feelings.

This year, the main focus of attention should be on Modernisation and Automation, Bringing people together, and Managing the process of change.

The Construction and Manufacturing industry can look to action these by keeping up with the latest technology, implementing new practices with an innovative mindset, increasing financial investment, and encouraging training. These small steps together help break those feelings of irritation, and develop a stronger sense of care towards employees. These can also be actioned through providing a clear communication structure that employees can follow, so that on-site colleagues can expand on relationship building. By doing so, this will help create a greater connection to the wider business and community, and help retain employees.

Change is unavoidable, however regular communication shows that the employees are a crucial part of the change, and in turn the organisation should recognise the importance of bringing the employees on the journey.

It is a frequent thing seen in this industry where changing projects, work location and personal circumstances create anxiety and fear, so managing this process of change clearly and concisely, will help. 

If you’re interested in partnering with Inpulse, and using our employee engagement survey platform to your advantage, as well as revolutionising your approach to engagement in 2023, have a chat with Lucie. She’s really friendly and would love to get you booked in here!  

Master Engagement Throughout the Employee Lifecycle