Construction human resource managers are currently facing one of the biggest challenges in the industry—high employee turnover.
The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the construction industry has the second-highest worker turnover rate at 5.4% for a total of 407,000 separations in the month of May 2019 alone. Combined with the difficulty of attracting fresh graduates and new talents, this persistent turnover problem can severely hamper construction operations if not addressed.
It is no exaggeration to say that employees are a construction company’s most important assets. No matter how advanced the company’s construction equipment is, it will be useless without the expert knowledge of construction workers to use them. While separations with employees for a variety of reasons is normal over the course of a company’s life, a rising pattern in employee turnover will affect your remaining employees’ morale and productivity.
Since each construction company’s employee turnover situation is unique, the steps needed to be taken depend on the circumstances. However, some best practices can help you with the task of reducing employee turnover rates, increase morale and boost productivity.
How To Address High Employee Turnover In The Construction Industry
1. Clarify Your Company’s Values and Culture
Your company’s mission and vision statement and company values should not be just something new hires memorize during the onboarding procedure. Instead, they are the foundation on which your company’s culture develops and the guiding principles by which you base your company’s decisions.
Take a step back and examine your company’s mission and vision. Is there a disconnect between your values and your actions? If the company leaders’ decision-making does not match the company’s values then your employees’ perception of your business will be affected. They will have a hard time identifying with the culture and participating in achieving the company’s mission. Walk the talk, and your employees will not walk away.
Connecteam tip: With the Connecteam construction management app, you can now store your company’s code of conduct, policies and employee handbook all on the app. Keeping this information accessible at all times makes it really easy for employees to refer to it for any questions they may have.
2. Gather Employee Feedback and Act On It
Your workers out there in the field are your best source of valuable insight into how to improve your operations. Understanding their perspective is highly essential in decision-making. It is also one of the best ways to improve employee engagement.
Creating an environment where your field workers’ opinions are valued will let them feel a sense of responsibility and shared goals. Seeing that their input brought a positive change to the company will make them feel the importance of their work and that they are making a difference.
Keep a constant line of communication between you and your employees and regularly take their pulse. Report the emerging trends to your employees and be transparent with the steps that you will choose to address their feedback. This openness shows that company leaders are holding themselves accountable for what they say, while at the same time, encouraging future input from employees.
Connecteam tip: With the Connecteam construction management app you can digitize and automate surveys, live polls and a suggestion box. Get real-time feedback from your team so you can make impactful changes per the suggestions of your employees.
3. Use the Right Technology that Encourages Retention
By using a construction management app, like Connecteam, you can easily start to implement many features that promote employee retention. A powerful construction management app will allow managers and employees to streamline their daily operations while improving retention, productivity, engagement and even morale!
Some of the ways the Connecteam construction management app can assist you in employee retention include:
Knowledge Center For Better Training
A digital knowledge center where all policies, employee handbook and even your code of conduct can be stored and accessed at any time or any place right in the palm of your employees hand! Making sure all employees are up to speed and have easy access to your company’s culture and values will decrease confusion and increase retention.
Surveys for Better Engagement
Digital and fully customizable live polls, suggestion boxes and even surveys allow upper management to receive feedback from employees and make data driven decisions based on their results. As mentioned before, it’s not just important to collect this feedback from employees to increase retention, but it’s crucial you actually take this feedback to make direct, impactful changes to your company.
In-App chat For Better Communication
An in-app chat makes it super easy for employees and managers to communicate with just a click of a button. No more miscommunication or messages that will never be seen or read, with the Connecteam in-app chat feature you can even make communication entertaining and lively with GIFS, photos and even videos. By creating an open line of communication between employees and upper management you clear confusion, increase engagement and increase employee satisfaction. Remember, satisfied employees usually tend to stay loyal to a company and will therefore increase retention.
Social Feedback for Recognition
The Connecteam in-app social feed makes giving your top employees recognition a walk in the park. On the social feed you can post updates, newsletters and even congratulate an employee on exceeding monthly goals or handling a stressful client with ease and professionalism. Employees who feel that their hard work has not gone unnoticed are happier and more productive!
All of these features will allow companies to increase employee morale, productivity, engagement and retention. With the all-in-one Connecteam construction management app, you can do all this and much more to streamline your daily operations!
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4. Improve Teamwork and Create a Mentorship System
Construction work will almost always involve working in teams. For this reason, you must emphasize camaraderie and teamwork. After all, construction workers face real dangers on the field, and having friends and mentors to ease that challenge improves the overall working conditions.
One of the best ways to improve teamwork is to create a robust mentorship system. As an industry where knowledge and skills are crucial to the success of a project, having a mentorship system ensures that there is a transfer of expertise from seniors to juniors. Mentorship also provides opportunities for career growth. Finally, it also further improves the relationship between team members by facilitating a collaborative environment.
Connecteam tip: Put your most experienced construction workers with less experienced workers so that they can learn the ropes from a pro.
5. Celebrate Employee Achievements
Everyone wants their work to be appreciated and their achievements in the workplace to be recognized. Celebrating employee achievements can spark life in your organization and motivate them to try harder and contribute more. It brings fulfillment to the individual and renews their enthusiasm for the job.
Having a system in place to celebrate achievements and reward successes is another way to improve employee engagement. First, you must recognize your employee’s accomplishments as soon as possible. Being hands-on and knowing what’s going on with your team at all times will let you be the first one to notice exceptional work.
Next, celebrating success doesn’t have to be costly. Writing about your employee or team in a company-wide newsletter is one of the simplest ways to show your appreciation. Public recognition is better than a private one in boosting self-esteem.
Finally, reward their hard work. Something simple like a team lunch out, or you can get creative and make a day-off pass or voucher.
Connecteam tip: With the Connecteam construction management app, easily upload digital updates to the social feed to congratulate a hard working employee or an employee who exceeded goals and expectations.
Now That You’ve Learned How to Prevent Persistent Employee Turnover…
The high turnover in the construction industry will not go away overnight. But by taking proactive steps to engage employees in the workplace and improve retention, your business will be able to deal with this persistent labor issue.
It’s essential for construction companies to clarify and provide employees easy access to policies and handbooks that describe your company’s culture and values. Gather feedback from employees so that you can improve certain aspects of your company that may need more focus. Encourage company loyalty and employee engagement by promoting teamwork and setting up a mentorship system for new employees. Don’t forget to congratulate and recognize employees who have performed well or achieved goals! It’s necessary that employees feel valued and appreciated to improve retention. Lastly, in order to easily and efficiently implement these tips, we recommend using a powerful, yet intuitive construction management app like Connecteam.
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