Construction Today - January 2017 - 12
* The Trades - Because of today's scarcity of
training programs in the building trades,
skilled craftsmen in all areas are in high
demand: plumbers, masons, glaziers, electricians, painters and carpenters. The BLS
predicts, for example, that employment for
brick masons and block masons could balloon 40 percent before 2020. It's possible to
learn some of the basics for these roles on
the job, but studying at a technical college
or entering an apprenticeship are also
common training pathways. Many of these
jobs require certification and some, such
as electricians, require passing a licensing
exam before they are allowed to practice
In order to stand out from competitors
and hire the people they need, construction
companies must take an introspective look
at their recruiting and retention practices.
To foster a better environment for workers
* Do a culture check - Traditionally, the industry is very controlling with low flexibility.
Methods to minimize micromanagement
and offer more independence include listening to employees' goals and needs and being
open-minded to other ways of completing a
task. Creating this sense of autonomy in a job
nization. There is little doubt that diversity increases innovation,
as well as the ability to attract and retain quality people.
* Encourage excellence - It is vital that companies provide employees with opportunities to hone their craft and continue learning.
One of the most effective ways to accomplish this goal comes with
leadership programs. Leadership is more than being a good proj-
'Residential construction is expected to
grow over the next decade.'
is especially crucial for reaching millennial
workers, who have proven to be the most
difficult group to attract.
* Promote diversity - Raising the representation of women and minorities would
have the effect of attracting workers to
construction at a time when the industry
desperately needs more people. Some
forward-thinking companies are forming
diversity steering committees, performing
culture audits, and raising awareness of
the issue throughout all levels of the orga-
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JANUARY 2017
ect manager. It requires cross-training people and showing them
parts of the business they might not otherwise see, so that over
time, the company will have a pool of leaders to pull from. When
companies promote leadership tracks or programs, employees
strive to be chosen for those programs, creating a sense of pride
that fosters retention.
* Instill a sense of purpose - One way to improve retention and keep
employees happy with their jobs is to clearly define a purpose and
continually reinforce that purpose. Clearly demonstrating a project's
goal by holding a meeting for employees with the future tenants of a
hospital or teachers of a school, for example, allows people to better
understand why they are working toward this goal. This is especially