Higher levels of trust within organizations and across project teams correlate with increased profit margins, employee retention and repeat business that can all add up to millions of dollars of profitability annually
Las Vegas, NV — March 10, 2020 — Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), in partnership with management consulting firm FMI Corporation, today released findings from an industry study, “Trust Matters: The High Cost of Low Trust.” The study measured the costs and benefits of different levels of trust within construction organizations and across construction project teams. The findings reveal organizations with “very high” levels of trust achieve better financial and organizational performance – yet 63 percent of survey respondents shared their organizations have 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. The ‘very high’ trust attributes uncovered in this report reflect approaches organizations can focus on to minimize uncertainties, simplify collaboration and ultimately improve trust.”
FMI and Autodesk surveyed over 2,500 construction professionals worldwide who ranked trust within their organizations, ranging from “very low” to “very high” trust. The rankings were assessed against respondents’ reports of their organizations’ internal performance, culture and external relationships.
Key findings include:
1. “Very high” organizational trust can lead to millions of dollars in annual savings and new revenue.
Respondents from the highest trust organizations revealed performance advantages that can add up to millions of dollars of profitability each year, including:
2. Organizations with the highest trust generate more employee engagement.
Organizations that rank high on trust also rank high on employee engagement.
Seventy-four percent of respondents from “very high” trust organizations said they would recommend their companies as great places to work. Employee recommendations bolster recruiting efforts and can help attract skilled labor – another organizational benefit that is particularly valuable amid the construction industry’s global labor shortage.
Respondents from “very high” trust organizations also disclosed they are twice as likely to go above and beyond what is asked of them (49 percent), compared to respondents from “above average” trust organizations (24 percent).
3. “Very high” trust organizations value collaboration and build stronger relationships externally.
Respondents from “very high” trust organizations were more than twice as likely to report that collaboration is central to the way they work (43 percent), compared to respondents from “above average” trust organizations (19 percent). The highest trust organizations are more likely to share information with external teams, receive prompt responses from team members and hear about project issues quickly. These findings suggest the collaboration found within “very high” trust organizations not only reduce project rework and schedule overruns, but also strengthens external industry relationships – between owners, architects, engineers, general contractors and specialty contractors – to expand opportunities for more work.
4. Trust can be increased.
The study uncovered common, measurable attributes that foster trust and positively impact performance across construction organizations, such as consistent internal processes, transparent communications, environments where employees feel safe and secure sharing their views, and a focus on employee development.
“Having worked as a project engineer, I know first-hand construction is a team sport and being able to trust the people you work with is essential to business success,” said Dustin DeVan, construction strategist and evangelist at Autodesk Construction Solutions. “This study exposes a need for more transparency, accountability and collaboration in the industry. Organizations that effectively adopt processes and technologies that facilitate greater transparency, accountability and collaboration will be able to increase trust and improve their performance outcomes.”
About the study
In 2019, Autodesk Construction Solutions and FMI surveyed 2,527 construction professionals worldwide, asking them to rank the level of trust within their organizations and across project teams, and share financial and organizational performance. In the survey, respondents ranked the level of trust within their organization on a scale of 1 – 5 (very low = 1; very high = 5).
To evaluate the costs and benefits of the trust ratings, responses were then grouped in to one of three categories:
Study participants include project owners (11 percent), architects and engineers (36 percent), contractors (31 percent) and specialty trades (22 percent) from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. Participants’ tenure ranges from less than two years (21 percent), two to five years (26 percent), five to 10 years (26 percent), 10 to 20 years (19 percent), and more than 20 years (eight percent).
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FMI is the leading provider of consulting and investment banking to the Built Environment. We provide services in the areas of strategy, leadership and organizational development, performance, technology and innovation, mergers and acquisitions, financial advisory and private equity financing. For more information, please visit www.fminet.com.
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