6 Ways To Hold On To Top Talent
Written By Steve King
The construction industry is hurting from a labor shortage. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 4 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs on average each month in 2021. These workers largely sought better jobs than what they had, leaving due to a variety of factors—pay, hours, working conditions or change in personal circumstance—leading to one of the biggest labor shortages in modern U.S. history. Recruiting talent is directly related to retention. The cost of recruiting and training an employee is estimated at six to eight-months of an annual salary, so retaining the right employee is far more economical than hiring a new one. Let’s look at six ways to find, attract and keep the people who make your company shine.
  • Offer opportunities: Whether your employee is a recruit straight out of school or a senior manager who has been in the industry for decades, they’ll join your company if they see a path forward for their career and their skillset. Have programs in place that allow staff to attend professional development and continuing education courses; these not only help with employee retention but also with recruitment. Some workers may look at large firms as an opportunity to move up the ladder; others see a small business as a way to balance professional and personal goals. Either way, knowing your employee’s career objectives can help develop a path to satisfy the employee’s ambition and meet the company’s needs.
  • Provide challenges: You can’t spell “routine” without “rut,” and falling into a routine may be fine for some, but over time, your employees will grow complacent and want challenges. Keep them interested by incorporating new technology and taking on a variety of projects. Rotate tasks to break up monotony and broaden skills. These challenges will be appreciated by your team. As your employees develop and mature, hand them more responsibility and autonomy. Let them figure out who to contact to solve problems but be there to offer encouragement if they need it. Workers thrive when they know they have the support of supervisors.
  • Show appreciation: Let your staff know that their contributions are valued—individually and as a team. Use rewards and support from senior managers to demonstrate appreciation. These efforts also help to reinforce job security: if you get a certificate of appreciation or a bonus for a job well done, you don’t think you’re going to get laid off tomorrow. Getting an award or recognition from an employer makes an employee feel valued, and the participation of senior managers in award presentations lets them know the recognition doesn’t stop with the immediate supervisor.
  • Celebrate wins: It sounds simple, but in construction, we rarely celebrate the completion of a project or the receipt of a special recognition. Share letters of appreciation, that you and other managers receive, with your team. Don’t limit these celebrations to company-related achievements. Don’t forget to celebrate the person in purchasing who coached a Little League team to a championship. Send a note to the HR generalist who finished her first marathon. Spotlight the engineer who made a presentation to her son’s high school class on career day.
  • Think money: Accolades and awards are great, but few things are more appreciated by hardworking team members than an unexpected bonus or a bump in pay. Reward individuals or teams with bonuses—cash in a weekly paycheck, a gift certificate for a company-paid vacation, or a special dinner at a local restaurant. Employee benefits packages can be critical to tenure. A robust benefits package often provides assistance for employees (and their families) facing medical issues or other crises. Wellness programs signal that the company cares about employee health and well-being. It has an added benefit—healthy employees are productive employees.
  • Nurture talent: For too many companies, the search for a new employee only starts when a current employee leaves the job, or a position gets created. At that point, your dream employee is already going elsewhere, and it’s too late to catch up. However, laying the groundwork to attract new employees can make recruiting significantly easier. Encourage employees to participate in career days at local schools and colleges to attract newly-graduated workers with fresh skills. Bring in interns or apprentices to learn in your organization. Sponsor professional development seminars and networking events–and make sure people from various departments attend. The higher the visibility of your company and your employees, the better the chances that you’ll recruit top tier talent when needed.
The higher the job satisfaction of your employees, the more likely they will sing the praises of your company. eVolve’s tools can help you improve productivity and strengthen your workforce.

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