Communication, Trust, Transparency: How The Culture Of A Contracting Firm Can Impact Project Outcomes

When developers set out to choose a general contractor, the first things they look at are cost, schedule, past projects, safety measures and a contractor’s overall ability to handle the job. While these are fundamental things to consider and essential for success, one key factor that shouldn’t be overlooked is a company’s culture.

“When choosing a GC, you should look beyond the fundamentals and explore the company culture and how employers treat their people,” said Lauren Nunnally, chief talent officer at Swinerton, a national contracting firm. “Culture is more than just the values and beliefs a company lists on its website; it’s how those values and beliefs drive actions and decisions and ultimately influence the experience developers have when working with them.”

Nunnally said that there are several things developers should take into account when evaluating the culture of a GC firm. They include how the firm interacts with its community, interacts with its partners and treats its employees.

On that last point, Nunnally recommended developers do a little digging to find out what the firm’s employee experience is truly like: How are employees recognized and rewarded for their work? Are they even rewarded at all? How does the company invest in employee development? What efforts has it made to drive diversity and inclusion?

“A lot of research has shown that having happy employees who feel empowered and a strong sense of belonging tends to lead to happy customers,” Nunnally said. “So I think understanding how employees are treated and feeling about their organization is really important.”