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Finding the right people to do the right job at the right time is one of the most common problems among those in the construction industry, a problem that has only been compounded by the skilled labor shortage. Addressing the culture of a company and building a company that will attract good people are two ways to develop a high-performing team, Fred Reikowsky of Legacy Business Leaders said at the 2019 International Builders' Show in Las Vegas.

Reikowsky said abundance thinking, the practice of believing there is potential in a situation and making decisions to impact business rather than being impacted by business, is the first step of setting the leadership tone at a company. Such thinking can allow leaders to protect profit while also developing employees, thus creating competitive advantages over others in the industry, Reikowsky said in his education session “Developing a High-Performing Team: Leadership Strategies to Find, Inspire, and Keep Great People.”

“We have to learn how to create competitive advantage,” Reikowsky said to a room of builders and contractors in Las Vegas. “Every single act of leadership that you choose to develop in your company impacts the people around you. Competitive advantage not only attracts people to you, but also has the tendency to increase closing ratios and increase your profit margins.”

One of the keys to developing a high-performing team, Reikowksy said, is understanding your company’s culture. Reikowsky defines culture as the sum of the company’s total belief, behavior, and values, and ability to withstand conflict. Gossip, company politics, employee entitlement, low morale, high turnover rates, and average or below average productivity are some signs that companies have unhealthy cultures, Reikowsky said. It becomes difficult to attract the right workers when an unhealthy culture is present.

“Leaders shape the culture. Your company is giving you exactly what you designed it to. You impact something, you lead it, it’s giving that back to you,” Reikowsky said during his presentation. “Culture directly impacts productivity – so the healthier the culture, the more profitable your company will be and an unhealthy culture is very slow to change.”

Reikowsky said with the labor shortage as acute as it is, many in the industry are worried about finding people rather than finding the right people. Instead, Reikowksy said prioritizing the character of a potential employee, the attitude of the worker, and the worker’s competence are keys to helping find the right person for a company.

“When you get great people on board, that have a great attitude and great character, they’re highly trainable,” Reikowsky said. “They’re more likely to be fully accountable and bought into your company.”

Reikwosky said with the right employees and a general understanding of the company culture, business leaders can work to create a culture of accountability. Such accountability helps build trust between employees and owners, unconditional respect, and steadfast resolve and expectations, which help drive the overall health of an organization.

This article originally appeared on ProSales.