Many say recession had positive impact

Fifty-four per cent people in the construction sector say they received no additional support or training during recession. (EB FILE)

The Chartered Institute of Building's (CIOB) latest research has revealed many construction professionals are now looking beyond the negatives of recession and asserting the positives.

The research explored various elements of management skills in the industry and how managers have been affected by the recession. The majority (41 per cent) of the 704 industry interviewed were professionals, who described themselves as senior managers or company directors. The investigation of this topic was done in collaboration with change and talent management company Crelos.

Respondents were asked to state what impact the economic climate was having on their role. Forty five per cent indicated that the recession has had some positive impacts in the industry. Because of the economic downturn many construction professionals have had to adapt quickly to a diverse range of challenges. This has involved new skills being learnt in the industry by looking outwardly at other industries in turn these have helped to create greater organisational efficiencies.

Michael Brown, Deputy Chief Executive at the CIOB, said: "It is important the industry crystallises on these efficiencies so that it can be maintained beyond the recession. What is being highlighted in these difficult times is that we have many talented, intuitive people working in the industry, who are showing true leadership potential. It is important we keep hold of these people and offer the training and development they need to ensure we have leaders to take the industry forward."

The research has also identified some of the significant weaknesses in the construction workforce. Many highlighted that skills often aligned with leadership are their worst, particularly promoting equality and standards, encouraging innovation and planning and implementing change – however, it is these skills which are required to guarantee a flourishing future for the industry.

"Training and development needs to build on the positives we are seeing and address the apparent weaknesses. This is essential if we are to retain, attract and supply people who will lead tomorrow's industry. As the most popular management training tool, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses must ensure they are recognising and responding to the industry's needs", added Brown.

Claire Topping from Crelos said: "Like most industries, the construction industry is suffering from high levels of disengagement and risks losing talented employees to other organisations, or worst, to organisations outside of the industry. We believe the industry will see a window of opportunity to show vision and engage with its talent pool."

Key stats

- 60 per cent felt promoting equality and standards was one of their worst skills

- 90 per cent consider managing projects to be one of their best skills

- 55 per cent stated that in their organisation managers are developed via CPD and 93 per cent indicated the importance of CPD

- 70 per cent believe the skills and qualities needed by construction managers are different from those in managers in other industries

- 54 per cent had not received any additional support or training

- 46.2 per cent said their company was downsized


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