The current labor shortage in the construction industry is a sign for companies to take a closer look at their current strategy for hiring and retaining talented workers. In a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, researchers found that 70% of contractors find it difficult to meet project deadlines because of the persisting labor shortage. In an industry where the workforce can make or break a company, these workforce woes need to be addressed before employee turnover can impact a firm’s bottom line.
There are plenty of opportunities for workforce engagement that construction business owners can look into to improve retention. To help you create your employee engagement plan, here are some of the best practices for workforce engagement in the construction industry.
1. Improve collaboration with team-building exercises
When it comes to construction projects, one of the most important ingredients for success is the teamwork among the people working on the site. For this reason, it is in the best interest of employers to nurture this collaborative environment and improve teamwork. One such way is having team-building exercises.
Team-building activities have always been a mainstay in huge organizations, and for good reason. Improving the relationship of employees through socialization outside of work will benefit the synergy and team chemistry while they are at work. Team-building activities don’t have to be expensive either. As long as the activity involves problem-solving, using individual strengths, and plenty of communication, it will enhance teamwork.
2. Keep employees in the loop
Having a sense of belonging as a part of a team is important to all employees. Employees want to feel valued and not like they’re just another name on a list. It can be easy for large firms to fail to treat employees with enough empathy just because of their sheer number, but this is a common pitfall that drives people away from a company.
To foster trust between you and your employees, be transparent about your business decisions and share information about the company on a regular basis. A quick team message can go a long way and keep everyone on board with projects and company decisions. This should include not only the current status of the company but also the direction the company plans to take in the future. The construction industry is inherently challenging, so it’s best to keep everyone abreast. Construction employees are exposed to real dangers on the field so it’s important to let them know that they can trust the leaders of the organization to do what is best for them.
3. Improve workplace safety
Although all types of jobs are associated with some level of risk, the construction industry is particularly dangerous. The job involves working at a certain height, using heavy machinery, and handling hazardous materials. For this reason, workplace safety should always be the top priority in construction projects.
Employees are more likely to stay in a company if the leaders of the organization put emphasis on workplace safety. Create a workplace safety plan and include employees in its creation. Not only is it a great way to engage employees, but it also makes the plan more effective as it is the people who have the necessary knowledge and first-hand experience that are involved. Conduct routine check-ins to make sure the plan is followed. If they are working alone have an automated system to check on them. Don’t forget to show your appreciation to your workers by recognizing their workplace safety habits and milestones.
Building an engaged construction workforce requires significant effort on your part as a business manager. Do not wait before employee retention becomes a critical organizational issue. There are no quick fixes that you can implement to improve workforce engagement. It takes time to progress. By implementing these best practices, your company can limit turnover and make itself attractive to new talent.
About the Author:
Chris Woodard is the Co-Founder of Handle, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers secure their lien rights and get paid faster by automating the collection process for unpaid construction invoices.