Construction News Awards 2020 win

GKR has won the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Excellence award at this year’s Construction News Awards.

The award entry this year focussed on GKR’s cultural drive to improve psychological safety with the “Speak Up’ campaign.

High performing teams record making more mistakes, including in safety, as they can openly learn from them. High levels of trust also mean staff are comfortable sharing ideas.

It is also the foundation for better mental health at work due to providing openness, support and involvement within the business.

The Speak Up initiative encourages this and is training all supervisors and managers in how to integrate psychological safety into their management styles.

GKR Strategy Director, Helen Gawor said:

“The elephant in the room is that we have a blame culture in construction. This stifles our ability to learn how to work safer as people fear speaking up. This environment does nothing to support our mental health either.

Training staff to manage people in a way that creates trust and psychological safety means overcoming the outdated leadership styles connected with authority that we still see too often in our industry.

There is little point promoting wellbeing, safety and innovation initiatives unless we fix our culture.”

The Construction News judges commented:

“This was an excellent submission, detailing how initiatives can drive change within an organisation

As a scaffolding company providing a service to principal contractors, GKR have continued to evolve and give health, safety and wellbeing all the same billing. In addition, the judges were impressed by the excellent commitment to training and development for staff and can see the impact this is having on the culture of the business.”

This initiative has been presented to many principal contractors and has been warmly received. The industry recognises that it needs to change and culture should not be ignored in providing a strong foundation for this change.

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