Supporting Construction Employees

January 18, 2024

What do construction workers want? This is a question employers have been asking regularly and more intentionally in the last decade-plus. Especially since the industry averaged 390,000 job openings a month in 2022. 25% of the construction workforce is also over the age of 55. This puts a quarter of workers at least 10 years from retirement

As demand for construction workers continues to increase and the most skillful and productive members in the industry retire in higher and higher numbers,  construction companies will continue to explore ways to retain employees.

In a 2021 article for Forbes, entrepreneur Lorenzo Escobal shared the following, “deep down people desire purpose, and part of that means understanding their value to an organization.”

Certainly, recognizing employees and the work they are doing to impact the company is important – perks, awards and acknowledgment go a long way, however, truly understanding your employees is perhaps more powerful. Every employee is different and what support looks like is not the same for everyone. Construction workers specifically are looking for stimulation, growth potential, and a sense of community. They feel under appreciated and like there is little opportunity for career growth. 

How does a manager know the best way to support construction employees? Two-way communication. At Truvelop we talk about it all the time. It is the key to effective employee engagement.

Escobal shares, “Being honest with your employees and leveling with them is the fastest way to promote open lines of communication. The last thing you want is an employee who feels as though they cannot talk with you, which means they ultimately cannot trust you. And since you are the leader, it’s your responsibility to make the first move.”

Indeed shares the following tips for improving communication with colleagues:

  • Greet coworkers: Say hello to your colleagues when you see them. Make an effort to acknowledge them.
  • Check in: Ask how your colleagues are feeling and how their day is going.
  • Listen: Pay attention to what they say.
  • Make eye contact: Maintaining eye contact is important for respectful communication.
  • Show respect: Be respectful of boundaries and be conscious of how you behave when communicating.

Once you have open, two-way communication established, be intentional about frequently checking in on employees – how they are feeling, the challenges they may be facing, and how their professional interests or goals might have changed.

While some employees may be perfectly happy in their roles, and simply want to be acknowledged for their contributions and know they are valued team members, others may want more. Positioning high-performing or promising employees in the pipeline for advancement cannot only show support for the employee but can ensure you have a plan for retaining employees and succession as positions open up.

Don’t just set goals and leave them. Reviewing goals with employees on a regular basis is important to managing performance expectations. Addressing barriers to success as they occur can help reduce an employee’s frustration, burnout and possibly even resignation. It also allows managers to identify solutions that will help the employee meet their goals.

If it is discovered in those frequent two-way communications that the employee is looking for more, it may be time to revisit those goals and revise them to help support the employee to change roles as desired. According to LinkedIn, 93% of employees stated that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.

Managers can no longer sit at the top of a hierarchy barking orders. They need to be supportive of their employees in order to drive retention.

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.