By Rieva Lesonsky, CEO GrowBiz Media &
It's no secret there’s a shortage qualified construction workers. As older workers retire and schools increasingly steer young people away from blue-collar jobs, it's gotten harder and harder to fill job openings. In fact, the need to fill construction jobs has been on the rise. According to a 2015 survey
by the National Association of Home Builders, there have been widespread labor shortages across a number of specialties, including carpenters, framing crews, and masons.
So when you do find good help, you need to know how to keep it. Avoid losing skilled workers and crew members
to your competition by following these six ways to keeping loyal construction employees.
1. Show Them the Money
Offering competitive wages and employee benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans, will make your construction business a more appealing workplace than your competition’s. If possible, research the kind of pay and benefits your nearby competitors are offering and try to beat them. Bonuses or profit-sharing plans can also be a good way to reward workers.
2. Loyal Employees Want Safety First
One way to retain your workers is to simply protect them against injury that can take them out of the workforce either temporarily or permanently. Develop safety rules that must
be followed on your job sites. Conduct regular safety training sessions and remind both workers and supervisors that safety comes first. Make a worker’s commitment to safety one of the things you evaluate in employee reviews and reward safe behavior.
3. Listen to, Act on Feedback
In any industry, employees want to feel their boss is listening and acting on their feedback. This is especially important in the construction industry, where business owners probably aren’t on the “front lines” with employees every day. Hold regular meetings to discuss issues, such as how you could make job processes more efficient, improve project management, or communicate better between the back office and workers in the field.
4. Be Flexible
As much as possible, give workers the opportunity to set flexible schedules to help provide a better work-life balance. Something as simple as taking time off for the child's school event can make a big difference to employee satisfaction and loyalty. Of course, the construction industry is known for unpredictable and hectic schedules. One way to simplify scheduling for everyone involved is to use job scheduling software
, especially if it’s accessible on a mobile app
. Adjust schedules as needed with a tool that sends schedule updates, so employees always know exactly when they’re scheduled to work.
5. Provide Opportunities for Technical, Leadership Advancement
Promoting from within at your construction company is a great way to build employee loyalty. Provide opportunities for your employees to learn new skills, including technical and leadership skills. This can include sending them to off-site training or industry events or having more experienced workers mentor novices.
6. Workers Are Only as Good as Their Tools
If you’re still managing schedules and projects on paper or spreadsheets, implementing new technology can make your employees’ lives easier and keep them happier. Research ways you can streamline your construction business processes and use mobile devices and web-based apps to simplify everything from recordkeeping to employee time tracking.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.