Competition for skilled labor and tradespeople is hot. Labor shortages in the construction industry have reached an all-time high in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is more vital than ever that the construction businesses take the right steps to retain employees. There are new things to consider, however. Today’s younger workforce has different priorities than that of twenty, ten, or even five years ago. Money is no longer the biggest factor in retaining your best people. Today’s workers are looking for better work-life balance, opportunities for growth, and deeper connections with their coworkers, managers, and organizations.
Start With Top-Notch Recruiting And Onboarding
The key to bolstering retention is getting off to a great start with your prospective tradespeople. Make sure your hiring managers are comfortable interviewing and are knowledgeable about job specifics, company benefits, and incentives. A company with excellent recruiting skills and onboarding steps in place will hit three big marks that today’s workforce are seeking: progression on their career path, support from their managers, and a sense of purpose within their company or organization. Onboarding isn’t simply paperwork; it should be an experience driven time where new employees build solid foundations within your business and lasting connections with their new managers and coworkers.
Boost Employee Engagement
A positive workplace culture is vital to having good workplace morale, which translates to high retention of your valuable tradespeople. Encourage transparency in your company culture and include workers in decision making. This will give your workers a sense of responsibility and purpose. You are signaling to them that their perspectives and opinions are valued and trusted. Your skilled tradespeople are in the field every day, and they are your greatest resource! They have insights that construction management might not possess, so ask your tradespeople to share their experience and provide feedback. Similarly, mentorship programs are invaluable when it comes to employee retention. A solid mentorship program helps new hires become acclimated to their job, their coworkers, and the culture of your organization. You can really set the tone for your new tradespeople in this process by facilitating connections with their coworkers.
Provide On-The-Job Training
On-the-job training provides opportunities for your tradespeople to acquire new skills and techniques, which instills a sense of being valued as a long-term member of your business. In the construction business, this is an area where you can double down on safety prioritization. This can come in the form of professional development to learn new skills or even via technology training when your business uses a mobile field-first app such as RedTeam’s. Construction management platforms are not only in high demand because of their ability to improve efficiency, productivity, and profits! They are also a vital method of engaging everybody involved with a construction project, and improving jobsite safety.
Offer Outside-Of-The-Box Benefits
Benefits are a big deal. Having competitive benefits packages will improve retention of your tradespeople significantly. Standard benefits such as health and medical insurances, 401(K) contributions, and 529 college saving plans are expected more than ever from large construction organizations. But, there are other benefits that have a different kind of value that you can incorporate into your construction business. Gym memberships, tools, cell phone plans (especially if your team uses a field-first mobile app!), gift cards for or performance-based rewards such as on-the-spot safety catch bonuses. There are limitless options. Investing in an employee’s health and happiness has proven to make them more productive on the job and invested in their organization.
Build Solid Relationships
While this might seem obvious, it’s worth a mention because today’s younger construction workforce has different views, needs, and expectations than their predecessors. Millennials (the largest portion of the workforce from 2019-2029) value positive employee-manager relationships, they actively seek mentors, and want to build personal connections. Consider fostering camaraderie among your crews with off-site volunteer projects in their communities, organizing weekend family events, and celebrating achievements.
To learn more about how RedTeam’s construction management platform and field-first apps can help support your efforts to retain skilled construction tradespeople, contact us for a demo today.