Building and construction is an industry that sees a lot of change. New materials, innovations in design, new regulations—all these things can disrupt the way work has traditionally been done. And all this change means that there are more opportunities than ever before for people who want to build their reputation in the building and construction field. It also means that there are many risks if you don’t take some basic precautions to protect your reputation and livelihood.
Here are eight ways you can keep your reputation strong, so you don’t get left behind by today’s changes:
Know what to do when something goes wrong on the job site
It may seem obvious, but you need to know how to handle problems as they arise. No job is perfect, and there will always be times when issues come up—either at your own hand or with the materials you use, the work of others on site, etc. Be prepared for what might happen and make sure you know how to manage the situation.
Remember that what you say about someone or something can profoundly affect their reputation.
There are stories of people losing jobs because of what they said on social media. If you think it’s tough to lose your job, try seeing how difficult it is to get another if everyone thinks badly of you. Before you post anything that might even be remotely construed as negative about someone or something, take a moment to stop and think of the impact your words can have.
Follow through on every promise you make
You’re almost certainly going to forget to do things at some point. But when you do, always follow up with clients or customers as soon as possible—even if you just send a quick email to let them know. People will remember what you said and did—and they’ll hold you accountable.
Hire trained and certified personnel
At this point, it’s common knowledge that hiring non-certified workers is a bad idea. But what you may not know is that even people with certification can perform below standard work. Make sure everyone on your team has training and experience to go along with their certification—and if they don’t, find someone who does. Among the tests necessary in the construction field are CSCS card tests.
Maintain your client notifications
Regardless of how simple the task is, do whatever you can to ensure all clients are notified when something happens—whether it’s a change in timeline or price or an issue that arises with their plans. A quick email can help avert problems before they become too challenging to manage.
Make sure everyone on your team is on the same page
Finally, it’s not enough to simply take any one of these steps—you need to make sure that everyone on your team is doing everything they can to protect their reputation. If someone is careless about their words or actions, it can be damaging for the rest of you. Ensure all your employees understand the importance of protecting their reputation and encourage them to help you maintain yours.
Have integrity with clients
Keep your promises to clients, and make sure you let them know when something changes. Making modifications to the plans or materials without explicit approval from your client is a great way to get yourself in hot water.
Also, maintaining deadlines and schedules is a must in this industry. If you fall behind or miss a date, always explain why. Be honest with clients and let them know your timeline for completion so their particular project won’t be held up due to yours.
Protect your work from damage or theft
It may sound obvious, but you can’t afford to lose any of the items that pass through your hands—especially not while they’re still on site. Always make sure everything is properly locked and insured while it’s in storage.
Finally, don’t pass off other people’s materials as your own. Either get the proper documentation for their work or start from scratch on your own. There are horror stories of companies getting caught using products that aren’t theirs and potentially losing contracts because of it—even when they didn’t know about it.
Never reveal company or trade secrets
If your client is building a super-secret data center or research site, don’t post pictures of it online. Keep all the information about a client completely confidential unless they give you specific permission to reveal it. Additionally, don’t discuss your company’s financial situation or future plans with anyone—even casual acquaintances or people outside of your direct team.
Keeping a stellar reputation is not easy, but it’s definitely possible. Taking the steps listed above will protect your business—and yourself—from any long-term problems in this tough industry. The tips listed here will help you keep your good name and maintain good standing throughout the community and with clients and customers alike.