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Staffing Up: Tips to Retain Your Employees

by Karen Livingston, June 28, 2018

Staffing Up: Tips to Retain Your Employees

In a previous blog, we explored the dilemma contractors face with the current labor shortage, and how they can attract workers to the construction industry. In a 2017 survey, the National Association of Home Builders found more than 80 percent of builders considered the cost and availability of skilled labor to be their top challenge.

Today, we’ll continue to talk about how to combat labor scarcity by focusing on the staff you currently have. Once you’ve found a group of qualified workers, use the following labor retention strategies to keep them.

Ways to Retain Your Construction Employees

  • Demonstrate a career path. Help staff members to see their employment as a long-term opportunity for career advancement. Provide opportunities for them to continue learning and to master their craft through ongoing training and leadership programs. Evaluate your current job structure and identify achievable career paths that you can offer employees. While some people enjoy the familiarity of doing the same job, most prefer to have opportunities for promotion.
  • Ensure competitive salaries. Employees want to feel valued, and money is one part of the equation – especially with today’s shrinking pool of qualified workers. Start by ensuring the salaries you are paying your workers are market-related. However, most employees look beyond the paycheck to how they are treated by management. Make sure you provide regular feedback and encouragement, and thank your employees for jobs well done. Employees who feel valued are likely to remain, even if you aren’t paying more than every other company.
  • Strive to improve the lives of your employees. Retention skyrockets when employers focus on making their employees’ lives better. Key steps include health and wellness programs, and allowing greater autonomy for construction workers by offering scheduling options such as shift sharing, job sharing or compressed workweeks. Millennials – a group that will play a large role in the construction industry over the next decade – are particularly focused on autonomy because they place great value on work-life balance.
  • Cultivate a sense of pride. Construction isn’t an easy business, and problems surface on a daily basis. Labor retention for the construction industry means when there’s success, take the time to celebrate it! Employees want to be part of a winning team that strives for the same goal and triumphs together.

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