CIOB: Construction survey reveals the brighter side of the recession

The Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) latest research has revealed many construction professionals are now looking beyond the negatives of the recession and asserting the positives.

The research, which explored various elements of management skills in the industry and how managers have been affected by the recession, was completed by 704 industry professionals, the majority (41%) of whom describe themselves as senior managers or company directors. The investigation of this topic was done in collaboration with change and talent management company Crelos.

Respondents were asked to state what impact the economic climate was having on their role; 45% indicated that the recession has had some positive impacts in the industry. Because of the economic downturn many construction professionals have had to adapt quickly to a diverse range of challenges. This has involved new skills being learnt in the industry by looking outwardly at other industries in turn these have helped to create greater organisational efficiencies.

Michael Brown Deputy Chief Executive at the CIOB said, “It is important the industry crystallises on these efficiencies so that it can be maintained beyond the recession. What is being highlighted in these difficult times is that we have many talented, intuitive people working in the industry, who are showing true leadership potential. It is important we keep hold of these people and offer the training and development they need to ensure we have leaders to take the industry forward.”

The research has also identified some of the significant weaknesses in the construction workforce. Many highlighted that skills often aligned with leadership are their worst, particularly promoting equality and standards, encouraging innovation and planning and implementing change – however, it is these skills which are required to guarantee a flourishing future for the industry.

“Training and development needs to build on the positives we are seeing and address the apparent weaknesses. This is essential if we are to retain, attract and supply people who will lead tomorrow’s industry. As the most popular management training tool, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses must ensure they are recognising and responding to the industry’s needs”, added Michael Brown.

Claire Topping from Crelos, said “Like most industries, the construction industry is suffering from high levels of disengagement and risks losing talented employees to other organisations, or worst, to organisations outside of the industry. We believe the industry will see a window of opportunity to show vision and engage with its talent pool.”

“There are some very good examples of in-house talent development programmes in the industry which should inspire today’s leadership development strategies.”

Key stats

· 60% felt promoting equality and standards was one of their worst skills
· 90% consider managing projects to be one of their best skills
· 55% stated that in their organisation managers are developed via CPD and 93% indicated the importance of CPD
· 70% believe the skills and qualities need by construction managers are different from those in managers in other industries

· 54% had not received any additional support or training during their recession
· 46.2% stated their company was downsized as a result of the recession



The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) represents for the public benefit the most diverse set of professionals in the construction industry.

Our Mission

To contribute to the creation of a modern, progressive, and responsible construction industry; able to meet the economic, environmental and social challenges faced in the 21st century.

Our 7 Guiding Principles

· Creating extraordinary people through professional learning and continuous personal development.
· Promoting the built environment as central to the quality of life for everyone everywhere.
· Achieving a sustainable future, worldwide.
· Advocating exemplary ethical practice and behaviour, integrity and transparency.
· Pursuing excellence in management practice, and technological innovation rooted in evidence based science.
· Being socially responsible and working responsibly.
· Enabling our members to find an emotional resonance with the Institute; their success is our success.

We have over 45,000 members around the world and are considered to be the international voice of the building professional, representing an unequalled body of knowledge concerning the management of the total building process.

Chartered Member status is recognised internationally as the mark of a true, skilled professional in the construction industry and CIOB members have a common commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest possible standards within the built environment.

Further information is available by contacting Saul Townsend CIOB Press and Communications Manager on t: 01344 630 766 or e:

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