Developing our construction workforce to the next level

Q: We’re a constructor and we’ve been promoting a safer more environmentally sustainable culture within our workforce for some years. We’d now like to tell people about what’s been achieved and motivate them to achieve more. What sort of DVD would you recommend?

Senior Manager
National Construction Group

A: Motivating a workforce of mainly sub-contractors across a number of geographically spread construction sites is best tackled by finding the winners and telling everybody else about it.

The traditional Nineties training video approach to this might well have been a CEO exhortation, or instructional voiceover, or even a celebrity presenter-led production or similar.

But in the Noughties we recognise that Peer Group Influence is the deciding factor that motivates people.

In other words, if people see their colleagues doing it, then they’ll do it.

 

 

And the word for this is – VoxPops DVD.

VoxPops are strings of soundbites carefully edited together to run as a whole piece.

Like this (imagine fly on the wall camera):

Person A male white 40s: We wanted to get involved, or at least my team did

Person B female white 30s: We felt we had something to offer

Person B male asian 20s: It was deciding together that we wanted to do something about it that really made the difference

This style is slick to watch, and the message flows seamlessly, though it can take great editing skill to pull off well.

There are a number of motivational and training videos here to help you contrast and compare and form your own opinion

VoxPops work, for instance, in a situation where a Senior Person, say a Project Manager or Site Director, starts off the discussion, opening out a key point or two, or announcing a safety or environmental initiative.

This can then be followed by a series of VoxPops with operatives and sub-contractors discussing the issues the Manager has initiated, and describing solutions or attitudes they think matter.

Of course, not everyone will speak well on camera, so expect to interview a lot of people to find the responses you seek.

What Next?
Having established a DVD style that is influential and persuasive, the next step is to research your successes, the construction sites where your safer, more sustainable work approach is paying off.

Have people from these project sites discuss on camera what they’ve done, say what they’ve achieved. Let them be realistic about discussing the problems they faced. But also show how the company backed them up, recognised them, and resourced them. Let’s also see the look on their faces when they describe what it felt like to win, to achieve something worthwhile.

Developing proactivity towards safety and sustainability is no easy thing. Simple training videos may well make no difference at all.

But if the people who have achieved success can tell their stories on camera in a persuasive influential VoxPop style, then there will be others who’re prepared to follow.

In construction, as in any other industry, using VoxPop DVD is a powerful way to take your workforce to the next level.

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