The Bureau of Labor Statistics looked into the latest job openings and turnover data for the construction industry and the numbers paint a startling picture.
Construction has the second-highest turnover rate at 5.4%.
Considering these numbers and how difficult it is to recruit new talent, this turnover issue could lead to serious project disruptions in construction operations if it isn’t fixed.
We aren’t looking at a handful of employees leaving a construction company, that’s common. We’re talking about waves of turnover that are constant and all-consuming. And knowing how valuable employees are to a construction company, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to maintain employee engagement. It doesn’t matter how advanced a piece of equipment is because without a knowledgeable and engaged employee working the machine, it’s useless.
While each case of turnover is unique to a company, there are some commonalities in the tips we outline below that can help you curb turnover rates and improve engagement.
Our tips on managing high construction turnover and improving employee engagement:
1. Create a clear company culture
Your employees shouldn’t just read the company culture and mission statement in their employee handbook during onboarding. Instead, they should be exposed to a solid foundation on a regular basis that highlights the company’s guiding principles.
Ask yourself if the decisions you make line up with your values and mission? Do the higher-ups make decisions that don’t negatively impact the company? Are employees engaged and understand what the company stands for? Does it show in what you do?
If your employees can’t identify the company mission and culture then they’ll have a hard time executing their duties in a way that positively reflects on the company.
2. Use employee feedback
Your employees are out in the field every single day which means they’re exposed to each operational and customer request, compliant, compliment, and more. By listening to their suggestions, you are utilizing one of your best assets while improving employee engagement as well.
When your employees feel that their voice is heard and valued, then they feel a sense of accomplishment, responsibility, and shared goals for the company. When they know their input leads to good changes to the company then they recognize how important their role really is. They are making a difference.
In addition, you should establish a regular communication channel between you and your employees. This way, you can inform them of important updates like policy changes and they have a direct channel to reach you when needed. Be transparent on what’s happening and what steps you’re taking to address an employee’s suggestion.
3. Create a construction mentorship system
Your employees are often working in teams which is why camaraderie, strong relationships, and teamwork are so important. By creating a mentorship system, you make it easier and more efficient for your teams to face any dangers or obstacles out in the field. A mentor helps to fully onboard them and to enhance their knowledge so that working conditions improve.
Pair senior staff with junior staff to allow for an efficient exchange of expertise. Additionally, the goal here is also to improve working relationships by fostering a collaborative environment.
4. Employee achievements should be celebrated
It goes without saying, everyone wants their hard work to be recognized. By celebrating these achievements, you invite a positive company culture and motivate the entire team to work harder. In addition, your employees feel refreshed, like they matter, and have better morale to contribute to the job.
Be sure to recognize their hard work as soon as possible, if you’re quite hands-on and have a solid communication channel established then this should be very easy to maintain.
You don’t need to dish out a ton of cash either. Publicly recognize an employee’s accomplishments: hold a meeting, share a company-wide newsletter, and so on. Just make sure you’re publicly recognizing their achievements to boost self-esteem.
Sometimes even just a team lunch can do the trick.
5. Use the right tools
Are you using the right tools to truly engage your team? Or is everything handled through pen and paper? Are policies established and well-known? Is access to information easy and swift? If the answer is unclear then you’re not using the right tools at all.
Connecteam’s construction employee app allows you to efficiently and effortlessly manage your organization from anywhere.
- Easily track time with GPS timestamps and simple mobile clock in and out
- The kiosk app allows everyone to clock in from a centralized station of their foreman’s mobile
- Manage payroll and timesheets in the click of a button
- Raise safety and awareness with safety resources and training
- Receive reports and forms in real-time
- Enhance onboarding and training
- Share flexible schedules for easy planning and distribution
- Targeted communication allows you to reach every field employee
With an automated solution, you can keep everyone on the same page and manage the entire operations while on the go.
The Bottom Line for Construction
While you can’t squash turnover rates in one fail swoop, you can take proactive steps to truly engage your employees and better retention. The tips outlined are a great starting point but if you really want to improve turnover then take it a step further and involve your employees in the discussion, look at your benefits package, and even look in the mirror when all else fails.