Tips on How to Retain Top Talent at Your Construction Company

Finding and attracting top talent in an industry fraught with shortages is a top priority for most, if not all, construction companies. However, that is only half the battle. It’s not enough to attract talent, without spending equal time and attention on employee retention. Keeping your employees happy makes it easier for them to stick around.

To maintain your position as the place to work in a competitive market, it is wise to plan for ways to invest in your workforce rather than flying by the seat of your pants. (Let us show you the way) And yes, while these practices will come at a cost to your company, so too does a high turnover rate.

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In this blog, we will walk you through several tips on how you can keep great talent at your construction company.

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1. Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance isn’t just some millennial speak for flexible schedules and remote work. While wages, and traditional benefits like vacation time, and health insurance will always rule the roost in negotiations, several other intangible benefits can make your company attractive to people in all stages of their careers.

 

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Ideas for creating a work-life balance for your employees:

    • Childcare – It’s not just happening at tech companies. Even if you don’t feel that your company site may be the best environment to have an on-site childcare facility, there are other ways you can accommodate parents. You could offer a stipend for childcare as one choice that employees could pick from an a la carte benefit package. Alternatively, even something as simple as flex hours can significantly help a parent who has to accommodate a school schedule and after-school activity schedule. This flex time could also accommodate workers who are caring for aging parents.
    • Outings, retreats, or seminars – Sometimes employees enjoy getting together with coworkers away from the workplace (and away from the boss). Holding voluntary company picnics or cocktail hours can help employees get to know each other and help them bond over more than just worksite annoyances. Sending them to seminars or conferences is a great way to do this and add a learning component.
    • Health and Fitness – consider an onsite gym facility or offering your employees a membership discount at a local gym.
    • Flexible Scheduling – Flexible schedules and remote work for some duties can make employees feel valued and trusted.

 

2. Company Culture

Your company culture is more than a mission or vision statement. It’s more than fancy office décor, or motivational posters on the break room wall. Your culture is reflected in the choices you make, the way people in your organization treat each other, and the working environment you create. Culture is important because it is often one of the “perks” of working at your company. (We talk a lot about this over on the blog.)

 

Western Window Systems in Arizona was voted one of  Inc. Magazine Best Workplaces for 2018.  Through out the entire company, their business is based on culture. Their culture is based on work enjoyment, safety, benefits and succession planning. All things that engage the employee and meet them at their needs.

“As long as I’ve been at Western Window Systems, our culture has been the glue that bonds us together as one team — whether we’re solving problems, helping our partners, or just having fun,” says Scott Gates, president and CEO of Western Window Systems. “This recognition is a reflection of that culture and it’s what makes Western Window Systems such an incredible place to work.”

You can do this by:

Creating core values: A written statement ensures that everyone in your company is on the same page. This puts everyone on an equal playing field. When expectations are clear, everybody can strive to meet them and hold one another accountable.
    • Putting people first: The people that show up every day are the people that build your construction company. Happy, supported workers are productive, and productivity leads to increased revenue resulting in a win-win situation.
    • Practicing good communication: Successful company culture relies on both mutual understanding and respect for the company mission, vision, and values. This requires companies to share information intentionally. Strong company cultures are highly effective in communicating news, changes, goals, and successes throughout their ranks and are inclusive in soliciting feedback.
    • Leading by Example: Have you heard that expression, “the fish rots from the head?” If leadership doesn’t display the traits you deem essential to your core values, it’s unreasonable to expect employees and other stakeholders to exhibit buy-in. Leadership should hold themselves to a higher standard and set an example for all those around them.

 

3. Defined Career Paths for Employee Retention

If an employee feels that there is no future with your company, they will likely start to look for other opportunities. You can highlight a clear career path for employees by creating “career roadmaps.” A career roadmap is a visual diagram which shows the potential vertical and horizontal position changes with any given business function and role. Each bubble on the map represents a fully defined job role including necessary qualifications, certifications or physical requirements.

 

Looking at possible career trajectories in this light communicates position expectations with employees and can give them ownership of the requirements needed to achieve growth.

Career maps can also help facilitate the peer and mentor relationships needed to support cross training.

 

4. Ongoing Education and Training

Showcasing your commitment to training attracts new employees as well as retains talent. In both instances access to education opportunities makes employees feel valued and that they have a future with your company. Facilitating continuing education is also an excellent way to ensure employee’s skills stay relevant in an ever-changing technology and regulatory environment, providing you the competitive edge to attract and keep top talent.

 

Dedication to education and training also helps smooth out the bumps in the cyclical nature of labor. You will constantly have a pipeline of incoming entry-level employees and out-going retirees. By fostering a learning environment, your new employees have the opportunity to pair up with seasoned workers to further develop their skills, or to learn some of the management duties that will be handy for later stages of their career.

 

Your more seasoned employees get a double benefit. Training entry-level workers provide those close to retirement the opportunity to transition into leadership and training roles, and as a bonus, they get the chance to learn fresh perspectives or new technology.

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In an industry where top talent literally has the pick of job opportunities, it is becoming increasingly important to create a culture that makes employees feel valued. By taking a little more time to put in the effort, you can create a work environment that will cater to your talent and make them want to stay with your company and grow with you.

 

What employee retention strategies are you using? We want to hear from you! Drop us a comment below and pop over to the news wire to sign up for what’s trending in your industry.

Josh Munns
Joshua Munns grew up in the construction industry differently than most, his Mom, Mary Davis, started a window company as a single mom when he was just 4 years old in 1983. Having a mom who was starting a business in the construction industry at only 23 years old made for some very interesting days. Fast forward 24 years to 2007 I took over the family business just in time for the Recession which hit my business extremely hard. I spent the next 11 years rebuilding the business, rebuilding my workforce and completely reshaping the company. In 2018 I sold the business to focus my energy on my passion, building careers in construction. In 2018 I founded Ground Up Construct to help business owners and employees build careers together. The career does not exist with the employer and the employer does not exist without the career. When employees and employers work together the end result is amazing. By building a strong company culture, offering great benefits and career paths for my employees I was able to build the business back stronger than ever. I did it and I want to help other owners take that step to take their business to the next level. It is an amazing feeling and a great privilege to be able to provide people with great careers.

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