Making workplaces better for everybody

One of the defining challenges for any leader is assessing the culture of their business or organisation and changing the ecosystem so that positive change occurs.

Changing culture isn’t just a matter of edict. It also needs coalition building, buy-in and the use of appropriate carrots and sticks – and it needs bucket loads of patience as well.

Over many decades, the property and construction industry has faced enormous challenges with union militancy.

The Royal Commission into union corruption found misappropriation, secret payments, reprisals, bullying, under the table union payments, slush funds, false invoices and secrecy in too many places.

All too often, the victims of such behaviour were workers trying to do the right thing.

It’s why we have been enthusiastic supporters of the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). The Turnbull Government made this the foundational issue of its 2016 double dissolution election and it is terrific that the ABCC is again back enforcing the law.

The last time Australia had the ABCC, our members’ productivity went up by 15 to 20 per cent. That’s good news for meeting construction targets, keeping costs down as well as developing healthier, safer and happier workplaces.

In just a few months, the ABCC has received over 4,300 calls, so there is plenty of work to do.

This week, we speak with the new ABCC Commissioner, Nigel Hadgkiss about the early wins of the ABCC and the work that is still ahead.

We need cultural change to help drive productivity as well as make our workplaces better for everybody – and the new ABCC is a welcome partner in that work.