Friday, June 14, 2024

Why Retaining Construction Employees Is So Valuable (and How to Do It)

If you want your construction company to run safely and efficiently, it’s important to make an effort to retain your most valuable employees. Employee retention is an important consideration for most businesses in most industries, but in the construction space, it’s especially important.

Why is employee retention so valuable for construction businesses? And what steps can you take to improve retention in your business?

The Many Benefits of Employee Retention

These are just some of the benefits you’ll experience if you prioritize employee retention:

  •       Recruitment and hiring cost savings. When you lose an employee, for any reason, you’ll need to replace that employee. That means you’ll need to spend time, money, and energy on recruiting and hiring. But if you keep your best employees, this need is completely forgone, saving you a ton of money in the process.
  •       Training cost savings. Training a new recruit is just as expensive, and potentially even more expensive. Again, if you keep the employees you have, you won’t have to worry about spending money on training new ones. It’s much cheaper to practice employee retention.
  •       Experience, productivity, and safety. Your best employees, and the ones who have been with you for the longest, have more experience, productivity, and safety. Compared to new people you hire, they’re better in almost every aspect of the job; they’re more productive, more efficient, and safer. Accordingly, you should be prepared to expend significant effort to keep them.
  •       Cultural consistency. Workplace safety is much more impactful when it’s integrated into your organizational culture. But without a stable base of employees to form that culture, it can quickly become inconsistent or irrelevant. Maintaining your best-aligned employees is one of the best strategies for building and preserving a better safety culture.
  •       Collective morale. Morale tends to be higher when people stick around. If your organization is a revolving door of temporary workers, no one is going to feel particularly secure, nor are they going to have a sense of shared identity. Employee retention is therefore better for collective morale.

Why Construction Employees Leave

Before we can address the best strategies for construction employee retention, we need to answer an important question.

Why do construction employees leave?

If we better understand the root causes of construction employee departures, we can be much more effective in our approach. Usually, construction employees leave due to some combination of the following:

  •       Burnout. Let’s face it. Construction can be long, grueling work. If you do it for long enough, or if you don’t feel rewarded by the work you do, you’ll eventually burn out. Some people are simply exhausted and ready to move on.
  •       Money issues. Some construction employees leave because of money issues. If they’re no longer making enough to feed their families reliably, or if they simply think they can make more money elsewhere, they may willingly depart without a second thought.
  •       Lack of growth. Most people want to grow in their careers. They want to learn new things, develop their skills, and improve their long-term potential. If your construction employees feel like they’re stagnating, they may not be willing to stick around.
  •       Personal conflicts. Sometimes, construction employees leave due to personal conflicts. They may have issues with how the boss runs things, or they may get into too many petty disputes with newer hires.
  •       Lack of appreciation. People want to feel appreciated. If you have construction employees who have truly dedicated themselves to this field, but they feel inadequately rewarded, they might leave out of principle.

Simple Strategies for Construction Employee Retention

Fortunately, there are some simple strategies you can use to improve construction employee retention:

  •       Offer rewards and appreciation. Make your employees feel appreciated and help support them financially by offering rewards and gratitude for their ongoing efforts. Occasional raises, bonuses, and special treats like appreciation parties can have a huge impact.
  •       Cycle responsibilities. Try to cycle employees between different types of responsibilities. This prevents the job from getting tedious and dull – and it has the added benefit of reducing the risk of injury as well.
  •       Actively listen. Most problems that employees face can be easily solved if you’re willing to spend time actively listening. Once you figure out the root cause of the employee’s concern, you will be in a much better position to address it.
  •       Proactively resolve conflicts. If and when conflicts do arise, try to resolve them as expediently as possible. Make sure both sides of every conflict feel heard, respected, and appreciated as you attempt to mediate and find a mutually agreeable solution.

These strategies aren’t guaranteed to prevent all your construction employees from leaving, but they should have a measurable effect on your overall employee retention. It’s an investment, sure, but as we’ve established, it can save you money in the long run.

Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey, a curious soul from NY, is a technical, business writer, and journalist. Her passion lies in crafting well-researched, data-driven content that delivers authentic information to global audiences, fostering curiosity and inspiration.

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