Working with a community-engaged company for construction projects
When searching for a general contractor for your construction project, you should consider how involved the company is with the surrounding community. Whether you’re building a school, athletic center or simply a new office space, each new build will become part of the local neighborhood.
A community-engaged company understands the importance of not only helping others, but also pushing their communities toward success. By fostering strong relationships, becoming a steward, and giving back as much as possible, you can expect that company to go above and beyond to reach your goals.
At McCownGordon Construction, community engagement is not something we do out of obligation, rather it is who we are as people. We’ve found that involving ourselves with those around us helps us better understand how to create the best builds possible.
Read on to learn more about working with a community-engaged company for construction projects.
What does community engagement look like at a construction company?
Community engagement happens when employees at a construction company become active members of their community. This can look different depending on someone’s interests and passions. For example, one person may decide to read to children at hospitals while another might donate to local charities. Regardless of what they do, at the end of the day, employees are focused on making their neighborhoods better places for everyone.
Plus, community engagement isn’t always an individual effort. The construction company itself could host events, donate to charities and offer volunteer opportunities. So if you notice a company going above and beyond to give back, you know they are committed to community engagement.
Why is community engagement important?
Community engagement is important in construction because a general contractor is helping to literally build the community. A new building impacts the people who live in the area just as much as it impacts you; so it’s important people recognize and trust the company you choose to work with.
Keep in mind communities are constantly evolving, yet the people will always be at the heart of it all. Without engagement, there’s a lack of communication between you and the community.
Regardless of who you hire as a general contractor for your build, how the construction process runs in the residents’ eyes may fall on you. That is why you should always strive to work with construction associates who are active members of the community, possess a high level of integrity, and understand the complex needs of the people around them. As a result, you will already have the strong line of communication throughout your community needed for a successful project.
Furthermore, a construction company with strong engagement boosts the community as a whole, not just a single project. Doing things such as helping those who are less fortunate, aiding the sick and donating time and money can strengthen the community and make a huge impact. In turn, your new build will belong to a thriving environment that can make you (and those you work with) proud.
Benefits of working with a community-engaged company
Working with a community engaged construction company comes with a lot of benefits you might not have considered. Through our local involvement in Kansas City, Wichita and Manhattan, KS, here are some of the benefits McCownGordon has experienced firsthand.
More brand awareness
When you choose a community-engaged company for your construction project, you can gain a new level of exposure for your brand. For example, say the general contractor you hire has employees known for being members on different boards, actively participating in charity events and volunteering for multiple organizations. From being on the front-line of the community, the construction company and its associates can develop a positive reputation among community leaders and establish themselves and their company among a variety of social and economic circles.
By hiring this general contractor for your construction project, you can boost your own brand within the community and communicate to a wider audience that your business is here to stay.
Increased resident satisfaction
Community engagement goes beyond volunteer work and other acts of service. It also focuses on ensuring the residents in the area are well attended to and understand what is going on. If the residents are not accepting of your new build or they feel it negatively impacts their daily lives, you could face problems down the road. The last thing you want is to be at odds with your community, especially if you are building a project like a new school (we’ll talk about that more later).
Higher engagement between employees
In many cases, a construction company that drives community engagement also promotes employee engagement. Volunteer activities and events are often a group effort, which allows employees to foster strong relationships with each other. When it comes to their work, this means they produce a higher quality outcome because they work hand-in-hand to come up with the most innovative ideas and solutions.
In a study of 1.8 million employees, Gallup has found that engaged companies:
- Treat customers better and more easily attract new ones
- Deliver better results and outcomes
- Retain their employees and decrease turnover rates
How does McCownGordon do our part?
Community engagement allows us to foster long-lasting relationships with those around us, and we believe in giving back to the communities where we live and work. We want others to know when we work on a project together that we truly care about them and their goals. For this reason, we highly recommend that all of our associates take an active role in community service opportunities, standing as board members for local organizations, volunteer and participate in community programs.
We also have a variety of internal committees, such as our McCownGordon Cares team, to cultivate engagement and give back. For us, being active members of our community isn’t to look good on paper; it’s simply part of who we are and what we do. Our associates are leaders who seek out new ways to cultivate relationships through stewardship, philanthropy and public service.
In many cases, associates work together outside of the office, fostering a personal team-building experience. Our associates join each other for activities such as 5K runs, building homes for Habitat for Humanity, creating “Happy Kits” for patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital, making meals at Ronald McDonald House and so much more.
In addition, McCownGordon devotes at least 10 percent of our net profits to nonprofit causes like the arts, social services organizations and more. We believe that our success only grows when we work with our community and build together.
Community engagement and K-12 construction
Throughout a K-12 renovation or new build, proactive communication with the community opens the door to answer questions and build trust. This also includes supporting local businesses, vendors and qualified workers to help with the project.
One major concern during a K-12 construction project is safety. Parents want to know their children are safe, and the district wants to ensure both students and faculty members are safe. The best way to do this is by having an open line of communication between residents in the district before the build, during the build and even after the build.
Another major factor requiring community engagement is bond passage. Since a vast majority of K-12 builds depend on bond programs to finance the project, it is vital to involve the local community in the process. You should understand what the community needs and align those needs with district leaders. Campaigning with the local residents takes time and effort to get a bond passed, and if the company you hire isn’t willing to do so, it could greatly hurt your chances.
McCownGordon develops a specific communication plan through various media outlets and face-to-face meetings to further engagement for K-12 projects. This plan may include:
- Meeting with the community to outline present and future construction activities
- Passing out written materials
- Creating presentations
- Offering guided site tours
- And more
Our communication approach with your team and community simplifies the process for the district. We’ve found that the more we can inform the community and be there to support the district, the higher chances your bond will pass.
We also help schools relay information to surrounding neighborhoods via school board meetings, social media, community events and more. Our team has seen it all before, and can help guide your school’s administration through every step of the process.
Becoming an employee of a community-engaged company
On the opposite spectrum of working with a community-engaged company is working for one. Becoming an employee for a company that puts community at the forefront allows you to delve into all that your local neighborhoods have to offer. In many cases, this can make your work more engaging and worthwhile.
At McCownGordon, we have a mentorship program new associates participate during their first six months. We designed the program to help you find a way to get involved that fits your interests and schedule. This gives you a chance to learn more about the people you work with while growing the community you live in. In addition, our Cares committee brings in speakers to teach you about different organizations, and they put together a variety of community events to keep you active and engaged with your surroundings.
In the end, you will have pride in your work because you want to do what’s best for local neighborhoods and their residents. Plus, you may even make a lot more friends through the process!
Learn more about community engaged companies with McCownGordon Construction
At McCownGordon, our team of builders and engineers maintain a customer-focused mentality, allowing us to outperform even your highest expectations. Dedicated to promoting integrity, performance and relationships, it’s our people and values that truly make the difference.
Our customers aren’t simply another project; they’re an extension of our team and community. Together, we don’t just build—we bring creative visions to life. From first thought to final nail, we deliver quality work to ensure our builds stand above the rest.
We have three regional offices around the Midwest—Kansas City, Manhattan and Wichita. Call us at 888-304-4929 or use our free online quote tool to start building today.