It’s that time when many of us set resolutions for the New Year only to see them fall by the wayside months, weeks or even days later. The most common downfall of resolutions derives from impatience when results fail to come quickly enough; unrealistic goals from the outset; or an inability to adapt needed changes to the realities of daily life.
Successful resolutions, whether personal or professional, call for a firm commitment toward an achievable goal; a large degree of willpower; and a plan to meet a specific objective(s). They also require a means to measure success (with target dates, if applicable), as well as a method to hold yourself accountable.
Of course, resolutions need not be set only on January 1, and not all must be measurable in pounds lost or dollars gained. Often, the best “resolutions” are those set with personal and/or professional growth in mind. Here are my top picks for the construction industry in 2016:
Resolution #1: Take time for training
For construction contractors, training can take on many forms — management, equipment, technology, safety, regulatory, etc. The key is to encourage and provide training of various types whenever and wherever possible. Developing and retaining a skilled workforce is imperative in this era of aging baby boomers and labor shortages.
Resolution #2: Get educated
The construction industry has seen dramatic advances in design and technology over the past decade. It’s critical to stay abreast of equipment- and technology-related trends that may influence your company’s competitiveness in future. And with OSHA looking to boost fines in 2016 by 80+% in some cases, it’s essential to stay on top of regulatory changes to maintain compliance on your jobsites.
Resolution #3: Keep those around you safe
While safety falls under OSHA’s purview, it is also a mindset that must be promulgated from the top down of any organization. Do more than put a safety program on paper. Promote “safety first” at all times, and provide the tools needed to ensure your people return home safely each night.
Resolution #4: Clear out the clutter
Whether it’s in your equipment yard or in your office, it pays to do a periodic purge of outdated equipment, materials and systems that no longer work or provide value to your operation. This will open the path to new methods and tools that can enhance efficiency and productivity.
Resolution #5: Be open to new ideas and opportunities
Those working in the trenches — figuratively and literally — are often your best sources of ideas and suggestions. Resolve to solicit their input on a regular basis. In addition, be open to new opportunities, whether it’s taking on a new type of project or piece of equipment, expanding outside your market territory or partnering with another firm to tackle a big project. But be sure to do your homework first so you don’t get caught short.
Resolution #6: Take time out for what matters most
Most contractors are entrepreneurs, and most entrepreneurs tend to be “workaholics.” So resolve to take more time out this year for family and friends. You’ll be happier and more relaxed, and this will be reflected in how you manage your business.