Have you ever stopped and looked around on your construction site to compare the amount of retirement-approaching (old) people to the amount of young people? Did you find yourself wondering where the next generation of workers are?
It is an important question because the construction industry is supposed to be in an upturn. Things will pick up. You want to make sure you have the workforce you need to help your business prosper. It’s serious long-term stuff. Here are a few suggestions to make your business more attractive to younger workers.
Use technology to attract young people
Young people who grew up with the Internet and smart phone apps expect them to be used everywhere. So why aren’t you using them on your construction site? There are a variety of construction apps out there that are designed to make your work easier. There are carpentry and construction apps for various calculations, HVAC calculators, conversion apps (Metric – imperial), drainage calculators, as well as concrete calculators and many more on the way. There is also a trend called the Internet of Things that will eventually allow even the smallest piece of equipment to be interconnected with others. You want to get yourself somewhat tech savvy before that starts happening in your workplace.
Carefully choose user-friendly equipment and materials
Younger people expect less physical hardship because of all the technical advances we’ve witnessed in the past few years. We’ve seen those advances in the construction industry too: Computer-assisted design, all sorts of battery-powered tools, more pre-assembled materials and so on. Take the Open Joist Triforce, as an example. It is light, and easy to manoeuvre. It has excellent rigidity making it easier to position than a wobbly I-joist. MEP tradesmen won’t be wasting their time cutting holes into it because it has an open design. It is easily trimmable onsite as well, and will help keep your jobsite humming along.
Listen to their suggestions
How many times have you sat dumfounded in front of your computer, while your son or daughter showed you their superior debugging or trouble-shooting expertise? This is the generation that is now showing up for work everyday. If they have suggestions for increasing efficiency, or want to show you something they just read on an improved way of doing things, better lend an ear. It may well be worth it.
Offer job rotations
Do I have to tell you that young people get bored easily? This is probably true of most people who grew up with computers. But it’s not just about keeping their attention. Young people naturally want to gain a wide experience to check out all their options before they settle into a speciality. Take advantage of their curiosity. Mentor them through different responsibilities. If enough workers can cover for others on their team, it could even allow your company to get access to contracts you previously wouldn’t have considered bidding on.
Offering conditions that will attract and retain younger people to your worksite will stimulate positive change. Take advantage of what they can bring to the table to ensure you are prepared for the future.