Construction: Identifying and mitigating psycho-social hazards

CASE STUDY 04

Construction: Identifying and mitigating psycho-social risks

CEO BRIEF:

We need to maintain project schedules and address team mental health as part of our government contract. Please help.

 

LESSON

Unidentified psycho-social hazards have an impact on physical safety, absenteeism, presenteeism and employee well-being.

The impacts of unaddressed psycho-social hazards are well documented and evidenced in our growing case studies.  As a result of our findings we have been able to refine a predictive modelling tool to assist us identify high risk teams, prioritise actions and resources, and build tailored programs that show improvement within 90days.

PROBLEM IDENTIFIED
Psycho-social hazards are critical to identify but are lagging indicators. We need to identify what the root causes of issues are to really address the problem to co-design solutions that are sustainable and replicable to the next project.

 

OVERVIEW
A national construction organisation was contracted by various clients on across many sites. Teams generally consisted of up to 6 employees from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Employees were becoming increasingly disengaged but this was only noticed when it impacted the highest performing team which happened to be in the “home state” – therefore was noticed by the CEO. He reached out and asked for help as he wanted to understand what was going on across the sites and state teams.

Miscommunication and misunderstandings were creating mistrust  with the managers and the executive leadership team.

No formalised process for complaints or escalating issues was in place and in any case many cultures would not have used any formalised process.

High levels of empowerment and autonomy were being eroded by poor client processes and procedures.

There was no accountability for managers with regards to evaluations, reviews, or overtime scheduling.

The miscommunication resulted in 6 previously unreported physical safety issues relating to equipment, vehicle usage and transportation.

 

Our performance was measured by – engagement in the survey and workshops. Strategic outcomes, increased team psychological safety, number of compliance resolutions, increase in employee retention.

Upskilling of the management team continues with a focus on cultural mapping and diversity and inclusion training for managers. 

Quarterly psychological safety reviews are held to evaluate the success of programs.

Priorities are identified to feed into 90 sprints on repair. 

WHAT WE IDENTIFIED

  • Great intentions by the CEO and executive leadership team.
  • Highest eNPS of any construction company
  • Issues had been unidentified and started to create problems but the trust in the management team made repairs easy to initiate.
  • Support for an overworked HR and communications team was provided.
  • Evaluation criteria and progress reports were templated for management team to provide consistency and a basis for new management.
  • A complaints and “chat box” was established for private and confidential discussions which were “safe places”.
  • Employees felt heard and understood.
  • The organisation saved millions by prioritising the needs of the team and not the perceived issues of management.
  • Risks were uncovered that previously had not been identified that could have resulted in serious injury or death.

RISKS AVERTED

Risk of prosecution.

with regards to psycho-social hazards

Churn Reduced

23%

reduction

in churn

RESULTING IN A POTENTIAL COST OF 

$2.3 million and 9months delay

0

_

factors
identified

Fifteen factors that were
previously unidentified, with a potential risk of death or injury under uniform WHS legislation were uncovered. They carry a maximum penalty of;

FOR COMPANIES

$1.5 million

FOR INDIVIDUALS

$300,000

23

churn

forecasted

%

RESULTING IN A POTENTIAL COST OF 

$346,400

Productivity lost.

$1.9

million

per project

Due to Psychologically unsafe or disengaged teams.

OUTCOMES

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