Business Unit Leader
Years ago, when I first joined BE&K Building Group (BE&K), our company was in the process of rebranding. The subject of determining our new corporate tagline was on the table. I recall sitting in a room with our leaders at that time brainstorming various ideas. Someone asked the question, “What’s our business really all about?” Many obvious responses were floated, such as construction, buildings, serving our clients, etc. But then someone said, “Guys, it’s really very simple. Our business is ‘all about people!’” And thus, our tagline, “It’s All About People,” was born.
BE&K’s tagline is unique in the construction industry. In a business centered around highly technical projects driven by detailed micro schedules, granular cost accounting, and exhaustive documentation, our work, while very rewarding, can often require a nose-to-the-grindstone effort. The technical aspects of our projects and the type of work we perform typically demand higher education training and/or years of relevant commercial experience to perform our jobs well. But beyond the specialization and details required to do our work, when we zoom out to a 30,000-foot-view, it doesn’t take long to realize that PEOPLE are at the core of everything we do and all that makes our work so productive and rewarding.
In today’s demanding economic climate, there is always the risk of perceiving people as a tool or component to accomplishing the company’s ultimate purpose and goals. An illustration involves a building (representative of a company) and the building’s various components and parts (representative of a company’s people) required for the building to perform as designed. The well-known adage that states, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” would certainly apply. But I believe there’s a twist to be had to this old saying that really gets to the heart of the matter. Take a moment and consider that “The whole CANNOT be greater than the RELATIONSHIP of its parts.” In other words, the ability for the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts is directly proportional and dependent upon the healthy working and functional relationship of its many parts and components.
For most of you reading this blog, I believe you will attest to the value of healthy relationships in your lives, specifically in business. For example, many can attest to a personal relationship opening the door to a job opportunity. Similarly, it’s been proven that healthy construction companies typically experience 70-80% repeat client business. Why is that? It’s because repeat business begins with healthy client relationships built on a spirit of trust produced through previous commitments delivered. At the heart of these business relationships are the many PEOPLE often involved. That brings us back to BE&K’s tagline, “It’s All About People.”
BE&K’s people are the lifeblood, the heart and soul, of our business. The excellence of our people is why we have a great company today supported by healthy client relationships. But recalling the building example referenced, just as the various components and parts of a building need to be serviced from time to time to maintain their healthy relationship to one another, our people also need to be served and supported.
Last month, BE&K took the time to do just that; to invest in our people. We convened our annual Project Management Conference near the company’s headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina. Our project management team members from around the company gathered to receive training, were informed of upcoming company initiatives, and most importantly, socialized and built relationships with one another — strengthening existing relationships and building new ones. One of the highlights of our time together was the social outing to TopGolf®, where we put work aside for the evening to simply enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes we can get the most “mileage” in life from time investment that may seem the least applicable to the day-to-day grind. For a closer look into our recent Project Management Conference, click here.
BE&K is in the process of preparing for a similar annual event in the Spring of 2022 for our superintendents and field managers. We’re also planning for other community-focused events across our footprint in 2022 to further strengthen the relationships among our people, invest in our communities, and “walk the talk” of our tagline, “It’s All About People.”
Healthy relationships require time and investment, and not merely the time we invest to get the job done when we put our noses to the grindstone. We need to be intentional about making time for building these relationships, which we can do through a lunch, an afterwork social event, or even company-sponsored events such as BE&K’s recent Project Management Conference. The whole will NEVER be greater than the RELATIONSHIP of its parts. Trust me; when we make these “soft” investments, you won’t believe the results and benefits you will experience in your team’s ultimate performance. After all, at the end of the day, at BE&K Building Group, “It’s All About People.”
Mike Baumbach can be contacted at Mike.Baumbach@bekbg.com.