Tips for Smaller Construction Employers to Find, Retain Workers
Experts helped compile a set of ideas that smaller employers in the construction industry can implement to encourage workers to check them out, sign on and stay.
“An employer could consider formalizing their training or career advancement, not necessarily introducing new programs, but referring to the training or on-the-job experience in stages or accomplishments. ‘You have passed Acme Construction 101, 102, etc. Now you are a certified Level 1 or 2 construction colleague at Acme.’ Is there a management track or training that an employee can look forward to participating in some day? Don’t forget the importance of communication. And there are a lot of no-cost/free benefits out there; compiling them and branding them can do a lot to create a positive company culture.”—Doug Ramsthel
Sean Rizer suggested either providing a vehicle or vehicle reimbursement and providing a cell phone or cell phone use reimbursement, depending on the worker’s position. He also suggested providing the worker an iPad for real-time field reporting, if that’s part of the worker’s responsibilities.
“Care! All employees want to feel appreciated. They want to work in a family environment where everyone cares for each other. For example, we live and work in a part of the country prone to hurricanes. When we are affected, we stop work and tend to our homes and families. We then ‘go back to work.’”
“Take advantage of continuing education for everyone. The world, particularly our industry, is changing very fast. Our younger employees are awesome with technology and can easily take advantage of on-line educational resources.”—Jay Winford
One industry expert suggested: “In the hot-mix asphalt industry, there can’t be too much emphasis given to benefits and particularly training.” He explained that an excellent safety program not only benefits the company, but also the individual. He advises making safety training a part of the culture of the company; incorporate safety training into any type of equipment training the worker receives.
“Any procedures that they’d use, anything related to tasks that they do daily and then ones that are not as frequent, it gives them a logic pattern to think of safety first, before anything else. Don’t ignore the numerous training programs on plant and equipment that are offered by quality equipment and plant manufacturers.”