New construction industry survey

reveals construction managers rate themselves poorly on leadership skills

Crelos recently worked with the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) to explore the impact of the recession on managers, in particular how it has changed their role.

The survey shows that the majority of managers (70%) rate themselves strongly on generic technical skills but poorly on leadership skills.

So, what are the best companies doing?

One of these examples is a Costain’s award-winning Project Management Academy, which is based on the leadership behaviours identified by the Association of Project Management.

To read the full CIOB report, click here

To discuss any of the above, please contact

Key findings:

  • 70% of respondents believe that the skills needed by construction managers are different from those of managers in other industries.
    However, the skills in which managers are rating themselves highest (Managing Projects, Problem-solving, Decision-making, Managing Team) are actually quite generic for technical managers, such as project managers (biggest population in the survey) in many industries. The skills they are indicating as being their weaknesses however are more aligned with what would be expected from leaders (Promoting equality and standards, Encouraging innovation, Managing Business Process, Transparency, Planning and implementing change, Managing risk). These are skills which enable leaders to challenge the status quo, communicate a new vision, and provide direction and strategy which will motivate and inspire others.

  • 55% of managers say they are developed using CPD
    The perceived lack of leadership skills may point to an insufficient focus on developing leadership skills in the construction industry’s CPD. Without these skills the industry is likely to fail to come out of the recession in good shape, repeating past mistakes observed during the previous late 1980’s economic crisis when a whole generation left the industry, leaving large skills gaps to be addressed. There are however some very good examples of in-house leadership development programmes, such as the Costain Project Manager Academy.

  • 54% have not received any additional support or training during the recession. 48.7% say they are demotivated and 31.3% say their efforts have not been recognised.
    Those who displayed leadership skills during the recession and came out stronger managers as a result will want to be retained by their employers. Like most industries the construction industry is suffering from high levels of disengagement and the risk of these talents wanting to move either across organisations, or worst, outside of the construction industry, is high. There appears to be a window of opportunity for the industry to show vision and engage with its talent pool.

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