We show benefits of diversity training

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Holding on to your best talent

The industry is currently struggling to attract and keep the right talent and this makes it harder to keep good staff and attract good subcontractors. Our products are designed to help you create working environments that your employees want to stay in and progress in, whatever their background.

By working across the industry as well as focusing on the structural challenges facing the sector such as late payment terms, along the cultural and personal ones faced by companies, the framework is much more than a business tool; it is a strategy for improvement across the industry. That means that it needs your support. By signing up to the framework and backing its vision for positive industry change, the momentum can influence clients, main contractors and government.

  • An action plan tailored for your business, written by industry experts
  • Access to an online upload system for assessment documentation
  • Behavioural assessment of your organisation

Chrissi McCarthy is managing director of Constructing Equality email patrick@constructingequality.co.uk

How to tick a box and build a business

Published: 11.12.2015

Finally the market is starting to grow again and as a sector we are aware that we need short term solutions to get onto procurement lists or meet the needs of our existing contracts. This must be done alongside longer term strategies for fairness, inclusion and respect in the workplace.

With equalities legislation meaning equality training is often a public sector requirement, we have been working hard to create a training package that can fulfil your procurement needs as well as lay down a foundation for employee engagement with future inclusion initiatives undertaken by your organisation.

The key to this is understanding your audience. Since our courses were written by people who have worked in the sector we have first-hand knowledge of the industry’s understanding and in some cases concern about areas around equalities. Combine that with our vast knowledge in areas of equality and education and we have a course that is not only able to answer those concerns, but one that can do it in a way that appeals to
 all of the learning styles in the room.

The Christmas package we are currently offering is intended to not only tick the procurement box but to help your employees see how work around diversity and inclusion is important to them. From just £25 per head and with a consistent record of work what shows engaged and informed learners what better present could we give your business?

Workshop training Stats

 

Construction Marketing Awards - Winner

FIR: What is ‘fairness, inclusion and respect?

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FIR: What is ‘fairness, inclusion and respect’, and why have all the words changed again?

We know, we know… you had just gotten your head around “equality” when you were told to talk about “diversity”. Then as soon as you’d introduced this terminology into your vocabulary you were instructed to start saying “inclusion”. So why, oh why, are we now advising that you talk about “fairness, inclusion and respect”

 

 

 

Well there are a number of reasons, and ‘cos we quite like you, we thought we might list them out: –

 

1.    You see the problem is, when we talk about ‘equality’ it can often seem like we are talking about someone else. It takes a brave individual to stand up and say “yes my experience is different, and some support would be rather useful, thank you very much”.  Even as a woman working in construction as a Site Manager I did not think ‘equality’ was about me; and not in a self-deprecating way either. I felt that if I couldn’t do it on my own, I shouldn’t do it. Clearly I see things differently now, but it raises the question – in construction, how many people really identify with ‘equality’ in a positive way? I know there are many that do, but isn’t it a lot easier for us all to identify with the term ’fairness’? Or ‘inclusion’? Or ‘respect’?

2.    It’s about US not THEM – respect in the workplace needs to be about keeping the best people in it. If someone is being treated badly we shouldn’t allow it – it’s not funny if only one person is laughing. By making this about ‘them’ we are saying these people can handle abuse; by making it about ‘us’ we are saying no one should have to put up with it.

3.    It’s a little bit more than race and gender. Now do not get me wrong – research has shown that women and minority groups are likely to have a different and, unfortunately, more negative experience of the industry than the typical ‘white male’. But that doesn’t mean that currently the average white male in the sector is having it easy either. With long hours, false self-employment and adverse working environments quite often being the norm in the sector there’s a bit of work we need to do before we can focus on people that reflect a protected characteristic – otherwise we will just see more and more people leave.

4.    Fairness is something we can all get behind and work towards. If you don’t want to work in a fair environment, where the best are allowed to succeed on merit alone – then, quite frankly, I would question your motivation and ability in general.

5.    It’s where the sector is heading: the group sitting above the industry is the FIR Strategic Group; the CITB has just piloted the Be Fair Framework; and clients are starting to use this terminology in their tender list – so we need to look ahead at where the industry is going – not where it’s been.

I believe the sector can become a leading industry that the best talent strives to become part of. For too long we have rested on the variety and brilliance of the work we do, but this is no longer enough. Now we need to focus on providing better working conditions to attract and retain the talent of tomorrow, because if we don’t, even modular building and BIM won’t be enough to save us.  

Taylor Wimpey Logistics

Taylor Wimpey identified a business need within their workforce for improving the awareness of Respect in the Workplace.

By commissioning workshops from Constructing Equality Ltd. that integrated open discussions on subjects like language, banter and power in the workplace with a look at relevant legislation they were able to offer staff and managers a fun, non-confrontational and constructive way to learn.

Taylor Wimpey Logistics have a strong belief that people work most efficiently and effectively when they understand boundaries, work in a happy and positive environment and enjoy the company of the people they work with.

However, they identified that they needed to improve the awareness of Respect in their workplace. So, they commissioned workshops that integrated open discussions on subjects like language, banter and power in the workplace, with reviews on current legislation.

Over two days, more than 45 staff and managers completed these tailored half-day workshops. It was a fun, non-confrontational and constructive way to approach the subject, and the Managers developed action plans that they could implement immediately.

5 reasons why respect for people isn’t peripheral:

Last week we blogged about the amazing news that the CITB   BE FaIR Frameworkhad gained interest from 148 companies in the construction sector, and that 110 of them had been accepted onto the pilot. Off the back of that blog we had some really positive comments supporting the framework and the work that companies have been doing to drive this agenda forward in the sector.

“So encouraging to see such great take up of this by Main Contractors. Well done to Constructing Equality for helping to make some small steps towards a fairer and more respectful Construction Industry…”

By Nicola Dibb

Unfortunately, we also had some comments, like those from Dan Lewis below: that felt the agenda around respect was peripheral to more important issues in the sector – that resources should only be put into this area when there was a surplus and other factors are dealt with.
 

“It is peripheral because the focus of a company is on serving its clients and customers. The colour of one’s skin, one’s gender, or the nationality of one’s parents has nothing to do with the mission of the company. As an executive, the first and only requirement of an employee is to serve the company’s clients with respect and diligence. Yes, that requires people working together and well. But race, gender, et al have nothing to do with it. Management has to foster an environment built toward service and excellence. In a prosperous market, there are resources and time for such efforts. Most companies have to focus on something else right now. And as Matthew points out, employee development and recognition are important management activities, but that is because it is focused on what is performed, rather than who you are.”By Dan Lewis

 
We feel this sentiment is missing the point and to consider that issues around respect affect only those visibly different from the norm is missing the point. Furthermore, to assume that equality is only an important factor when recruiting misunderstands the challenges faced by individuals in the sector and organisations trying to retain key talent.
 
Therefore we felt that we should explain why equality and respect for people are not peripheral but at the core of everything a business does.
 
1.       Innovation – groups of different people are more likely to be more innovative. This is true of personality types and factors like gender and background. A mixed range of experience is more likely to produce innovative solutions – imagine the solutions that would come from 12 people with the same experience and background. Then imagine the response from 12 people with a varied range. Not only does a mixed group have more experience to share, it is also much more likely to feel able to do so.
 
2.       Procurement – Public sector bodies procuring work in the UK are legally committed to improving equality in the workplace, so are their supply chain. I’m going to credit you all with the smarts to work out why that’simportant to your business.
 
3.       Productive teams – We are at our best when we are happy – we are more productive and encourage productivity around us. Therefore, if members of the team are worried, harassed or unable to build a rapport with colleagues we are not able to get the most out of them. Things seemingly unrelated, like sexual orientation or religion, can have a huge impact here; if a colleague makes jokes and other people laugh it sends a message about how the group feels about other groups and can make individuals less likely to talk about what’s important to them. Imagine if you felt you couldn’t talk about your friends, hobbies, partners and interest for fear of giving away an identity that might be rejected by your colleagues.
 
4.       Retain Talent – If people don’t feel they are respected and valued within their roles, it is highly likely that they will seek employment elsewhere. Women and minority groups, especially those with a visible indicator, are likely to have a different experience in the construction workplace; usually a more stressful and discriminatory one. This experience is not something that others are aware that they are contributing to or think is something negative, but nonetheless it has a negative impact on careers. For example: – the site manager who protects the female trainee from the site environment by giving her more work in the office; the QS who only employs from their own pool of past colleagues; or the colleague who makes jokes around homosexuality. Whilst these acts might seem inoffensive, they can hold back a career by not providing the right experience and limit the opportunities from those trying to get a start in the sector who are not already in the main pool as well as making people afraid to be themselves and form real friendships in the work environment. You see… race, gender and a host of other factors have a lot to do with people working well together, and whilst you can choose to ignore this it will not stop it affecting you as you watch your key talent walk out the door.
 
5.       Encourage the best recruits – we know there is a shortage of skills in the sector and this problem is only likely to increase as we come out of the recession. That means the fight to attract the best talent is an important one. A good salary is only half the battle people want to know that their place of employment is committed to respect, and by being able to show this you are much more likely to attract key talent.
So there you have it, 5 reasons why this agenda is so important to your business. Thank you to all those who left comments – even ones we do not agree with; this blog shows they are a great way of furthering the debate, so please continue to let us know your thoughts on this agenda.