For an average business owner, finding good workers is tough, and then there’s the construction industry.
As a former construction contractor and hiring manager, I can attest firsthand to the challenges faced by most construction firms in getting and retaining quality construction workers. In my worst days as a hiring director of a large home construction company, I can recall half a dozen new hires being fired or quitting within a week of each other, needless to say, at the time I did not have the foresight (or time) to plan for a robust strategy for quality worker acquisition or retention. The benefits of a stable long-term workforce are obvious: more uptime, smoother operations, better quality, and less cost. As a construction firm, how can you best balance the day-to-day project based drivers that run your business while balancing the long-term needs of your employees?
Today we’ll take a look at the successful strategies used today by top construction firm in retaining high quality construction workers employees and give some solid advice on how to implement these policies.
Company meet self
Before you begin on your journey in hiring only the BEST construction workers for the longest possible TIME, you’ll need to take a look in the mirror at the company you work for and ask it: “Would you be a company I would want to work for if I could somehow me you on the street?” Having an unbiased view working inside the company in question can be difficult to honestly answer, but a good place to start is with your company’s Mission Statement and Values.
If you don’t have one, it’s a red flag and you should seriously consider making one as many (myself included) consider it to be the bedrock of the corporation. When I worked for Caterpillar Inc., a large construction manufacturer centered in the Mid-west United States, I remember their Value statement contained words like “Integrity”, “Teamwork” and “Commitment”. Solid words that projected an inclusive and hardworking environment. Talk is cheap however and even though your company many have a policy statement in place, you’ll still need to ask yourself, “Are we living up to these standards?”
Another data point is obtaining the public’s perception of your company. If you searched for your business’ name in Google, what would you find? This is a key component to understand since most would-be hires are going to do the same thing. Will they encounter countless customer complaint through the Better Business Bureau: or poor company reviews through employer review sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed? Whether it’s marketing or obtaining good employees, your companies perception is a key component to attracting customers and employees alike – make sure you have a good one.
There’s a nagging perception in the construction field. One problem that many construction workers have is the fact that people in managerial positions tend to treat them as if they are beneath them. This is never a good idea, especially since the workers are the ones who ensure that deadlines are met and the work is done properly. Even though you are in a higher position and command a higher salary, this does not mean that you are any better, and your interactions with worker should reflect that.
There are many ways to display humility when dealing with employees, including:
- Offering incentives to employees who go above and beyond.
- Praising workers for a job well done.
- Addressing employees by name when speaking with them.
- Giving people the opportunity to express their concerns without fear of retribution.
- Use the ideas and you will build a better relationship with employees, which will increase the likelihood that they will be around for the long haul.
Let’s talk benefits
Getting paid a decent wage is great, but it should not be at the expense of great benefits. Things like life insurance and stock options are very expensive and offering these to employees will give them an incentive to work with you. Consider this: If two companies are offering the same salary for jobs that require the same level of work and one of them has twice the number of benefits, people will be far more likely to accept a job from them. The idea is to make the benefits you offer so attractive that people will feel compelled to continue working for your company.
Regular performance reviews
This may seem like more of a punishment than a benefit, but that is not the case at all. When someone works for you, it is important for you to be perfectly honest with them about how well they are doing. Constructive criticism can help people better themselves and increase their overall production levels. For example, if you notice that there is an employee who talks excessively while working and it slows them down, let them know this as soon as you take notice of the behavior. Waiting until it poses a real problem and reprimanding them harshly will certainly not help you gain any favor in their eyes.
Open door policies
When you have ideas about changes that should be made that will have a direct impact on employees, you should ask them how they feel about things. This will make them feel like they are part of a team as opposed to feeling like you are the ruler and they are lowly subjects. The reality is that you may not agree with everything that is said, but there is a chance that someone may offer some advice that is quite useful. One thing that you should avoid at all costs is criticizing someone for offering opinions you are not in agreement with. Show appreciation for all feedback you receive, both good and bad.
Provide a welcoming environment
Small things like making sure that portable toilets are cleaned regularly, offering coffee in the morning and provided a designated space for people to take breaks can have a huge impact on employee retention. People who are happy with their work environment will be far more motivated to come in daily and work to the best of their ability. While these things may seem very minor, they show workers that you value making things as pleasant for them as possible.
Great construction workers are not very easy to find. With that said, if you hire some it should be your goal to have them work with you for as long as possible. Using employee retention strategies goes a long way when it comes to avoiding the never-ending revolving door. Consider all of this information moving forward and things will take a more positive turn for you.Tags: employer relations, empoyee retention