Better Job-Site Quality and Efficiency at Pulte Through Cross-Cultural Communication
Pulte Homes, Inc., one of America’s largest home builders, has earned a number of industry awards in its long history, including “Best Place to Work” and top rankings in customer satisfaction. The company has built more than 500,000 homes across 27 states, and employs 12,400 people.
In the construction industry in this region there are a large number of Spanish-speaking employees and contractors – up to 99% in some trades. Quality home-building depends on strong communication and clear understanding on job sites. Superintendents estimate there are thousands of dollars in errors made daily due to communication gaps with the trades. In order to reduce costs, improve efficiency and improve customer satisfaction, Pulte needed to improve communication and collaboration among Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish-speaking team members.
We designed and delivered a series of working sessions for Pulte supervisors, superintendents and executives called, “Leading a Latino Work Force in the Construction Industry.” To develop the sessions, we interviewed supervisors and contractors on job sites and learned the business. We then created forums that truly addressed where communication was breaking down, differences in cultural expectations and conflict resolution practices.
Tailored workshops at Pulte helped improve job site communications, contributing to the quality that Pulte is known for. At the same time, better understanding among team members drove efficiency, on-time completion and profitability. A post-engagement survey of team members showed that, on average, members stated they were 50% more effective because of their new understanding and communication strategies, with some reporting that were now easily 100% more effective than they had been the day before.