Building Services and Maintenance Retention

February 15, 2024

The building services and maintenance industry has an ever-growing gap in talent as the time to hire and the number of people retiring increases combined with the demand for upskilling to meet new technology standards. The job market for building services and maintenance is also expected to grow by 7% between 2021 and 2031. Building services and maintenance workers also have a high burn rate. One study found that absenteeism and employee turnover rate is as high as 37%

“About 160,100 openings for general maintenance and repair workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.” according to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hiring new employees is coming all the more challenging as time-to-hire rates have increased to an all-time high. As published in HRDive, “Jobs now take an average of 44 days to fill, up from 43 days a year ago, rising a full day across all industries during the first quarter of this year. Although some jobs can be filled in 14 days, many remain vacant for two or three months — or more.” Building service and maintenance contractors need to use their current staff as efficiently as possible, understanding  why employees stay at their companies and make the necessary changes to develop and retain them. 

The building services and maintenance industry has long fought the misperception that workers are unskilled, uneducated and unintelligent. The reality is building services and maintenance workers are business executives, chemists, health advocates and environmental stewards. The work they do keeps building occupants safe and healthy..

This poor brand perception requires the building services and maintenance industry to work harder than others to create cultures that value upskilling, professional development and team engagement. Improving relationships with managers can help employees feel respected and valued, and it’s no secret that happy employees can be a company’s best recruitment tool.

Three tips for retaining a skilled workforce:

  • Ongoing Evaluations
    • Gone are the days of annual reviews. Employers need to evaluate employees on a regular basis to keep them motivated and goal-oriented. This is an opportunity for managers to highlight an employee’s good work, as well as discuss challenges that could be impacting performance.
  • Professional Development
    • Professional growth isn’t just for management. If the building services and maintenance industry is going to fill talent gaps they need to focus on retention strategies which include upskilling. Managers should work with employees to establish professional goals, then develop a plan for achieving those goals through training programs, mentorship and more.
  • Culture
    • The building services and maintenance industry has to create a culture of learning that values employee growth. Employees need to feel comfortable talking to managers about their goals and trust that they will be supported to learn new skills for advancement and job security. Managers must establish a culture of celebration and team engagement to foster collaboration and improve employee morale.

Contact us today to learn more about our modern approach to performance management and development and how it solves for retention. Don’t just take our word for it, see what our Customers have to say.