Why Company Culture Matters

Company culture may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering the paving business. Still, your company culture matters if you’re running a pavement company or any company. Ultimately, it’s the difference between your success and failure.

Navigating the construction industry is no easy feat. Recruiting and retaining high-level talent demands considerable effort. The nature of the work is physically demanding, often demanding long hours—especially during peak seasons. The way you consistently treat your team can be the deciding factor in whether they remain steadfast with the company or if you find yourself back in the hiring cycle for roles you believed were secure. Within the Pavement Network, members have shared impactful ideas that have cultivated a company culture centered on unity, job satisfaction, and unwavering loyalty.

Money Matters

Salaries are your biggest draw to new employees; there’s no getting around that. If you’re not at least offering the average salary in your area of the country, you need to take a hard look at your budget. If your salaries are on par, consider ways to push up starting salaries.

Raises Equal Retention

Raises are a great way of acknowledging that you value your employees’ work and that they deserve to be paid for their time and dedication. Raises also recognize that the cost of living has increased, which has risen rapidly in the last several years. Keeping employees in a stagnant salary is the quickest way to find yourself with a shortage of workers.

Raises also draw attention, especially if you allocate several within a year. Of course, that’s only doable with some positions, but it’s possible to reward workers for time spent on the job within the first few months to two years. Transparency about salaries for each job and what certifications and experience are needed also incentivize employees to stay on the job, receive more training, and get promoted.

Incentives Keep Employees Focused

Installing an employee incentive program for everyone will also give employees goals to hit within a year and reasons to continue on the job. One-time bonuses are generally less effective than an incentive program that is communicated clearly.

Incentives don’t always have to be tied to salaries. Certain companies offer additional perks such as company-paid cell phones, travel passes, or health and wellness benefits like gym memberships.

Bonus paid time off is another initiative that employees like. This could include giving employees most bank holidays off, some paid Saturdays, occasional three-day weekends, or one week of paid vacation during the busiest season.

Giving Back Where It Counts

To foster a meaningful culture, consider contributing to charities and organizing events or opportunities for employees to volunteer either for a company-endorsed cause or one of their choosing. Every year, allow employees to decide who they want to give back to and organize an event or an ongoing fundraiser, with paid time off to volunteer for the organization.

Having Fun Matters, Too

Having fun and working don’t have to be separate events. Fun should be part of your work culture, too. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways. Some of our members hold large events several times a year: a family BBQ with food and family activities, a nice Christmas party held off-site at a classy location, or a casino night with games, raffles, and drinks. Aim for at least two to three events each year. There’s space to be creative and find fun ways to remind employees that it’s not always about business.

Show Up Every Day

One of the best ways to create culture is to get to know your employees. Get to work early to see them before they leave for job sites. Get to know them, and ask about their families. Don’t be a stranger who dictates business choices from an indoor office. 

Know Your Culture and Communicate It

Perhaps the biggest step any company can take in creating a good company culture is knowing what you’re pursuing as a team. DRCYO adopted the acronym “TOFIT” when creating its company culture. TOFIT refers to their five company goals: Teamwork, Open Communication, Fun, Integrity, and Trust. With these five goals in mind, DRYCO can base everything they do on their company values. If you operate without clearly defined values, your employees will feel as directionless as the company.

It’s worth your time and your employees to explore who you are as a company and what it is that’s important to you. Then, relate everything you do back to these key values, including how you reward employees for excellent service and celebrate them throughout the year.

Read “Pay and Incentive Programs that Work” by Construction Business Owner for more information on creating incentive programs. Access Perks also has an interesting article on workplace perks called “Inflation and Workplace Discontent: 20 Creative Compensation Ideas That Avoid A Wage Increase.” 

What has worked best for your company to create a culture that values its employees and customers, too? We’re always happy to hear from our Pavement Network members about how they have successfully navigated the challenges of running a pavement business.