A new report released by Autodesk and management consulting firm FMI Corporation found that construction organizations with very high levels of trust within their companies and project teams reported better financial and organizational performance.
For the study, “Trust Matters: The High Cost of Low Trust,” FMI and Autodesk surveyed over 2,500 construction professionals worldwide who ranked trust within their organizations.
The findings revealed that organizations with very high levels of trust achieve better financial and organizational performance, yet 63% of survey respondents noted that their organizations had less than very high trust.
Compared to organizations with lower levels of trust, very-high-trust organizations generate more repeat business, retain more employees and drive a higher level of operational success.
“The performance advantages at ‘very high’ trust organizations can represent millions of dollars in profitability,” said Jay Bowman, research and analytics lead at FMI. “With margins in the construction industry continuing to shrink, organizations should be aware of their trust ranking and how it can be improved to increase profitability.”
In terms of repeat business, 57% of very-high-trust organizations reported working with repeat clients for more than 80% of their projects, while only 42% of above-average-trust organizations reported the same. In addition, very-high-trust organizations reported gross margins 2%-7% higher than organizations of similar size with only above average trust.
In terms of turnover, 56% of construction professionals in very-high-trust organizations voluntarily choose to stay in their jobs, compared with just 32% in organizations where trust is just above average.
In terms of timely project delivery, organizations with very high levels of trust are twice as confident as those with above average trust about meeting their project schedules, 43% versus 21%, suggesting a higher sense of reliability among their teams.
Another benefit of very high trust levels, according to the report, is the opportunity to generate more employee engagement.
Ways to improve trust, according to Bowman, include focusing on ways to minimize uncertainty and simplify collaboration. The report also noted that additional ways to increase trust include placing a high value on collaboration and working to build stronger relationships externally.