Building A Happy Workforce Is The Key To Construction Success

Building A Happy Workforce Is The Key To Construction Success

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When you are a newbie construction company, you’ve got one heck of an uphill battle on your hands. Gaining trust, building a portfolio, picking your unique selling point, having a speciality, garnering repeat business, marketing yourself properly and getting your head around the trends that come and go like saltwater tides. However, the toughest challenge of all is retaining your employees.


When you’re new, you don’t have the same level of loyalty as more established businesses, which is not something you want to hear in an industry that is known to have a shortage of skilled workers, not least because it means your competitors will be on the hunt for top talent, which could include yours.


That’s why you need to do all you can to keep your employees happy. You need to know how to find top talent and then you need to know how to keep them. Carpenters, bricklayers, joiners, digger drivers, supervisors, framing crews, roofers, welders, masons; you need to look after them all if you want to build your business into the success story you have been dreaming about.


So, without further ado, here are our top tips for keeping your construction workforce happy, productive and loyal. Good luck.


  1. Money Talks

There are no two ways about it, you need to pay your employees the wages they deserve. You need to pay them a competitive wage and offer them the sort of employee benefits that are standard in the industry, such as health insurance and a retirement plan, or else you will find that they will have one hear to the ground about other job openings. The world has seen a shift in recent years, one where places of work have had to become more appealing and the construction industry is no different. It is not immune. Our advice: research what your direct competitors are paying their workforce and go slightly higher. Research what benefits they are handing out and beat them. You could also offer a bonus-sharing scheme to reward workers that bring in projects under budget and within the timeframe, something that will work wonders for everyone involved – you, them and your clients.


  1. Never Sacrifice Safety

One of the most underappreciated methods of improving loyalty is the matter of safety. It is making sure your employees are fully-protected against risk, injury and accidents, especially the kind that could see them have to take time off work either temporarily or permanently. That doesn’t just mean informing all your teams about the safety rules you want them to adhere to on your sites, it means enforcing them. It means making sure everyone follows your rules and conduct. The best way to do this is to have regular training sessions that reinforce and reminds your workers of your standards. The other thing you should do is put the focus and responsibility on your supervisors and make sure they enforce these standards at all times. We know this may sound counterintuitive because no one likes being told what to do. So, to get around this issue, make your workforce committed to the cause by rewarding those that uphold safe behaviour.


  1. Give Them Reason to Develop

The only way you are going to ensure you have the top talent working for you is if you continue to develop them and if you give them a reason to want to improve. So, first things first, help them develop and improve, by which we mean offer them the training that will do so. Now we know this sounds costly and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be, and online services like the 30-Hour OSHA outreach training are proof of this. But this won’t just help you get more out of your employees, it will also make them feel valued by you, which will boost morale. Another absolute essential on this front is offering promotions from within. Trust us, nothing will build loyalty more than providing your employees with the opportunity to progress up the ladder, gaining more skills, responsibility and monetary reward as a result. You could even have your best workers become mentors to new employees and promote the sharing of knowledge.


  1. Listen And Then Act

If you filled fill a wall with post-it notes, each one containing a different industry, and then threw a dart, one thing would be a guarantee: no matter where it landed, the employees in that sector thrive off their boss listening to what they have to say and then acting on their feedback. However, this is especially important in the construction sector and that is because owners are not always on the front-line of the project, not like your workers are anyway. Our advice: schedule regular meetings with your supervisors and employees that are designed to be a forum for sharing ideas. It could be about safety, it could be about logistics or making processes more efficient or how to avoid so much waste or how to become a greener company, better project management or just improve communication. Whatever it is, make a note of what is said and then do what you can to act on these suggestions; do what you can do find a solution and improve. By doing this, you will find your employees respect you more, value the company more and feel more content with their role.


  1. Time To Improve Their Tools

If you are still clinging on to the old-fashioned adage that a good craftsman never blames his tools, then you need accept you will not be able to hold onto your employees for too much longer. The same goes for any company that is still using paper or spreadsheets to manage schedules and projects. We are deep into the technological age and that means you need to embrace it by investing in state-of-the-art technology and equipment. Not because it is the done thing, but because it will drastically improve the working lives of your employees; it will make them more productive, more efficient and happier all at once. It will simplify your operations and streamline your processes and that has to be positive.

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