3 Construction Workforce Engagement Practices That Work

It is not an exaggeration to say that employees are the lifeblood of a construction business. A lot of construction firms look for talented and hardworking employees to help them grow their companies and propel them forward. However, the current state of the industry shows apparent workforce woes as it scrambles to address labor shortages.

According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey, 70% of contractors are struggling to meet deadlines due to a persisting shortage of labor. The recent survey pointed out that one of the biggest factors that contribute to this issue is the “negative perception of construction careers by young workers, leading to fewer workers seeking to enter the industry.”

Because of these workforce issues, construction companies should look for opportunities for employee engagement that will improve retention, and, at the same time, entice new workers to the industry. In construction, where profits are often razor thin and cash management is a huge challenge, it’s crucial to improve employee retention and limit turnover.

To help, here are some of the construction industry’s best practices for workforce engagement.

1. Be transparent and put employees in the know

Employees need to feel they are valued. They want to have a sense of belonging as a part of a team and not be just another name on a rank-and-file list.

For larger construction firms, it is so easy to get lost in the paperwork of human resource management that they fail to give a sense of human touch to the relationship. The end result of this common pitfall is confused workers wondering, “Why is management making us do this?”

Transparency is one of the key factors that let companies foster trust and drive employee engagement. Especially in an industry where work is made in the field and employees are exposed to real dangers, employees want to know if they can trust the leaders of an organization to set the right course.

There are several ways you can improve transparency. Here are some tactics.

  • Share important information about your company to employees on a regular basis. This includes changes in your company’s vision and values, the direction where you are taking moving forward, the key drivers to your decision-making, and how your employees can help achieve this vision.
  • Gather opinions and input from your workers and factor them in in your decisions. If you want to make your employees see themselves in a long-term future in your company, they need to have a part in shaping that future.

2. Stay involved in workplace safety

Workplace safety should always be the number 1 priority in construction projects. It is also a good opportunity to engage employees while creating a safe working environment.

The first thing you need to do is to involve employees in the creation of a workplace safety plan. They are the ones immersed in the dangers of the job so they have the necessary knowledge and experience to create an effective plan.

Foster open communication with your employees and get their feedback on safety issues. In addition, organized activities such as scheduled safety training days and safety seminars help in keeping your employees updated in the latest trends and techniques in workplace safety.

Finally, conducting routine check-ins and recognizing safety habits will show employees that you appreciate the work they do.

3. Recognize and celebrate employee successes

In a world filled with negativity, companies need to foster a positive working environment.

A positive workplace is one where the accomplishments of employees are excitedly celebrated. Recognizing success is a powerful way to engage employees, as it brings fulfillment and reinforces the value of collaboration and determination.

Celebrating workplace accomplishments works especially well with employees who work on the field, far from the main office where management is located. It shows that despite the distance, managers are involved in the welfare of their workers. It is also one of the opportunities to showcase their work to top management who may not always see what workers on the field are able to do.

Internal blogs and company-wide newsletters are the best places to highlight achievements. For example, if a team comes up with a useful technique or they achieved a goal beyond expectation, write about it and include photos of the team. When you show appreciation for an employee’s work, you will likely boost their self-esteem and motivate them to work harder.

These are just a few ideas on how to improve employee engagement. By implementing these practices, your company will be able to improve its employee retention rate while making itself attractive to new hires.


Patrick Hogan - https://www.handle.com/

Patrick Hogan is the CEO of Handle, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers secure their lien rights and get paid faster by automating the collection process for unpaid construction invoices.

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