WELL WORKS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Outcomes and Testimonials
Using an emotional intelligence framework, the 12-week, mobile-based Well Works Leadership Development Program (WWLDP) reframes critical soft skill concepts (communication, leadership, critical thinking, self-control, etc.) into easy-to-learn content and easy-to-implement tools accessible and applicable to our construction workforce.
Crew members further cement (retain and apply) the content through a weekly, industry coach-led, live-video discussion with 5-10 other industry members (cohort).
Increased productivity and motivation of project teams
Winter ‘23 Cohort Crew Member Board Post
“I actually ran into this last week with my crew. I tasked them with reorganizing and cleaning the building to allow for finishes to start in multiple areas. After walking in and seeing minimal effort and lack of production, I grabbed a broom and pallet jack and went to work. Without saying a word to my crew, I noticed almost instantly that they started working extra hard. I think just buy showing the importance of the task and my by in to what needed to be done, the crew was more motivated and upbeat."
GC Superintendent with 24 years experience
Recent research suggests that the brains primordial motivation is to satisfy the need to experience social connection or avoid social pain (Lieberman, 2013). The reasoning behind this research stems from the innate drive of humans to survive. To increase chances of survival, the human brain recognizes that working in groups increases those chances. This means that the brain must figure out how to motivate itself, learn, remember and apply the information to become accepted into and retain a position within a social group to keep the chances of survival high. “Our genes may bias the way we act, but the systems responsible for much of what we do and how we do it are shaped by learning” (LeDoux, 2002, p. 9).
Improved effective communication, conflict resolution, and feedback
Summer ‘23 Cohort Crew Member Board Post
“Last week we had a crane pick and it caused quite a lot of chaos with the exterior GC. I could tell his frustration as soon as the crane showed up simply by body language. He had quick hand gestures, sudden body turns and undesirable posture. I let him talk to the crew as his team was demoing some concrete and then after a few, I approached him for a conversation. I simply started the conversation by saying that I knew he was frustrated, but we had to figure this out. That is why we get paid the big bucks. After listening to him vent, I put on my problem-solving hat and presented multiple solutions to the issue. Of course, one worked, and everyone lived happily ever after. He just needed to vent as he was not thinking clearly. I did that for him."
GC Superintendent with over 20 years experience
Baharudin, Egbu’s work (as cited in Farooqui, Ahmed, Saqib, 2011) stated that “of the 75 types of management skill and knowledge, the six most important are leadership, communication (oral/written), motivation of others, health and safety, decision making, and forecasting and planning” (p.10). Educating construction leaders on relevant soft skills not only has the potential to contribute to the success of a construction project and higher retention rates within a company but also sets the individual up for success in that it reduces frequent stressors commonly found within our industry. The main contributors to stress within the construction industry have been identified as: a lack of feedback, poor communication, inadequate staffing, too much work, conflicting demands, ambitious deadlines and pressure (CIOB, 2006).
Greater individual well-being resulting in increased self-motivation and more effective leadership
Fall ‘22 Cohort Crew Member Testimonial
"Effective communication and leadership techniques are areas that have been ignored for many years in industry. Instead of allowing for the status quo to continue, Well Works focuses on strengthening the effectiveness of how we communicate and how to apply leadership and communication techniques to achieve a more successful project. Between exploring my leadership style and how the brain responds to stresses or praise, this program dove deep into how to add these tools to my tool-belt, and how important these long-ignored skills are to managing a construction project. I would highly recommend this program to any number of trade-associated people, from a carpenter looking to advance their career to a construction executive looking to streamline how a job should run."
GC Project Manager with over 14 years of experience
“As organizational leaders endeavor to navigate an uncertain economic outlook, their employees’ stress is impacting productivity and performance. Addressing these wellbeing concerns and improving engagement should be top priorities for the world’s political and business leaders who seek to make the most of the recovery” (Harter, 2023). According to a Gallup study, 70% of employees are “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged” at work. As a consequence, they are “less emotionally connected” and also “less likely to be productive” (Seppala, 2018, p.94).
Enhanced emotional intelligence, increasing knowledge transfer, delegation, and team efficiency
Fall ‘22 Cohort Crew Member Testimonial
“The program introduces and familiarizes the participant with the why's and how's of leadership, starting with the individual through the team. Week by week it builds from the foundations of leadership through the practice of leadership, daily, on our projects. From understanding what is important to us and how we currently lead, to how to better lead and influence those teams we are entrusted with."
“Emotional intelligence (EI) accounts for 85 to 90 percent of the difference between outstanding leaders and their more average peers” (Boyatzis & McKee, 2005, p.28). Swart (2022) explains that “Emotional intelligence is an essential leadership skill and component of being a resilient leader. Far from being a soft skill, emotional intelligence, both in terms of your emotional self-awareness and your ability to attune to your colleagues’ emotions, is key for successful leadership, and not easy to achieve. According to large-scale scientific research, 95% of people believe that they are self-aware, but only 10–15% really are (Eurich 2018). Working with colleagues who aren’t self-aware can reduce your team’s success, leading to increased stress and decreased motivation (Dierdorff & Rubin 2015; Eurich 2018). Being emotionally intelligent helps you to maintain perspective, have a more accurate idea of what will inspire and motivate the people in your organization, regulate your emotional responses, and feel less reactive toward other people.
Applicable and immediately implementable in daily challenges and tasks
Summer ‘23 Cohort Crew Member Testimonial
"I had been looking for something like this for a while. The program was easy to access, and it was nice to have the "read-aloud" narrated option. It was very helpful. You can catch up on some stuff while you are driving, and you don't feel like you have to have the book. 80% of the program content was applicable and implementable in the moment or shortly afterward; 10% I wish I had years ago, and the other 10% is probably growth for the future."
GC Senior Superintendent
Although the information can be written down or memorized, it will only stay in memory for a certain amount of time before it has to be linked to something applicable or deleted to create memory storage for more relevant information. “New data flows from the sensory neocortex toward the association regions in the back of the brain. As it flows, bits of data are merged into combination that begin to produce a larger, more meaningful image.” (Zull, 2006, p.5 ) This is important to understand when learning or teaching because this instruction can take a lot of time but have minimal results if they do not have the foundational knowledge of processes that build up to the process being taught.
Heightened awareness of frequent construction leadership traps and how to avoid and get out of them
Winter ‘23 Cohort Crew Member Testimonial
"Well Works is a great tool to enlighten industry folks about how our bodies work and what could be causing people to react the way they do, and how to manage that as a leader of a crew or team. It is good information for all levels to increase their understanding of the situations that happen on a daily basis. Thank you for putting together this tool!"
“People under stress often perform at higher levels initially, but if the stress continues and exhaustion sets in, a range of problems ensue. A decline in productivity is one of the most obvious task consequences of excessive stress (Leung, Chan and Olomolaiye 2008; Tarafdar et al. 2007). Construction personnel are the cornerstone of any project. Their productivity and performance directly influence success in various areas, such as time, cost and quality” (Leung, Chan & Cooper, 2015, Loc.5422). "Crum's research shows that that people who believe stress is enhancing are less depressed and more satisfied with their lives than those who believe stress is harmful. They have more energy and fewer health problems. They are happier and more productive at work. They also have a different relationship to the stress in their lives: They are more likely to view stressful situations as a challenge, not an overwhelming problem. They have greater confidence in their ability to cope with those challenges, and they are better able to find meaning in difficult circumstances" (McGonigal, 2015, p.22).