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The construction industry has its fair share of challenges. Employing and retaining professional workers are some of the most persistent of these.
The demand for construction is steadily increasing, but many contractors still have a difficult time finding professionals to fill certain positions. After hiring professionals, retaining them becomes an even harder task. There is a record of 3.5% turnover of construction professionals monthly. The reasons for the voluntary ones often include a lack of recognition and career growth.
In the construction industry, workers are the major assets. Skilled and experienced workers are the backbone of every project. Because of the highly specialized nature of construction work, sudden loss of skilled workers can bring projects to a halt.
Finding replacements is never an easy task. The recruitment and training of new employees can be time consuming and financially straining. For this reason, companies have to find ways to retain their skilled workers.
How Do Construction Businesses Retain Employees?
A lot of things can motivate an in-demand professional to stay with a firm; incentives, appreciation, pay raises, and a feeling of belonging. These things are summed up as employee recognition.
What is Employee Recognition?
Employee recognition involves publicly appreciating your workers for the parts they play in the smooth running and growth of your firm. It also includes private commendations to a worker who is improving.
Employee recognition can be in the form of special appreciation during general meetings, public commendation, or a bonus for a particularly good month.
Every construction company thrives on productivity. If you want to keep employees productive, you have to appreciate their past and current efforts. Employee recognition is like fuel; it skyrockets employee morale--from back office jobs like accounting and filing preliminary notices to protect company revenue to the onsite professionals and skilled labor workers working to get projects completed day in and out.
In addition to commending good work and progress, employee recognition promotes a culture of communication. It demands that you recognize the suggestions and opinions of the employees within your firm.
More importantly, employee recognition gives you a platform to forge and promote your preferred company culture. When desirable behavior is publicly commended, other employees tend to emulate those behaviors.
How Do You Improve Employee Recognition?
Here are some tips on how to improve or implement employee recognition programs and retain professionals:
Define the parameters for recognition
The most important thing is to have well-defined parameters for recognition. It will give eager employees clear goals on how to gain recognition. Stick to these parameters religiously. This will both motivate employees and prevent any suspicion of bias.
Ensure good communication
Improve communication between employees and the management. Communication builds the team spirit and increases productivity. As a form of recognition, workers should know their opinions matter to their superiors.
Use different forms of appreciation
Employee recognition can come in different forms. Many companies think it always has to be monetary, but this is not true. It can be verbal appreciation, an annual awards ceremony, cash bonuses, or even a 'most-outstanding' feature in your company's publication.
Encourage workers to share their opinions or ideas
Create safe spaces for workers to give honest feedback on issues in the workplace. Self expression creates a sense of satisfaction and belonging. If employees feel like they belong within a firm, they would be less inclined to seek out other options.
Enable career growth
It is important for employees to not feel stagnated within your firm. Employees are often concerned about the growth of their careers and stagnation is a common reason for resignation. Help professionals in your firm to grow their careers. You can do this by giving promotions or organizing skill acquisition programs.
Recognition is an effective tool for employee retention and productivity. Sadly, it is not as widely embraced as it should be. Very few employees ever get any form of recognition for their work and this is counterproductive.
For progressive construction firms, HR and contractors have to forge a culture of employee recognition and engagement. This way, you can retain professionals and avoid the complications of turnovers.
About the Author:
Patrick Hogan is the CEO of Handle.com, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers with late payments. Handle.com also provides funding for construction businesses in the form of invoice factoring, material supply trade credit, and mechanics lien purchasing.