In the construction industry, worker transience is something that employers have to deal with almost on a daily basis.
Is it because, according to Pew research, 68% of construction industry workers are self -employed? Are workers exercising the freedom of self-employment to keep looking for newer and more exciting projects, or forever trying to find where the best money can be made?
If you are an employer, you naturally want to spend less time looking for people to do projects, and have a steady, well-oiled team to complete the work more efficiently. But how do you convince workers to stay on with you?
A recent study by PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers), may be pointing to the answer: Training.
The study looks at what are termed ‘’millennials’’, the category of people between 18 and 34 years of age this year (a growing category in the construction industry) and lists the work benefits they value most. Number one on that list, at 22% is training and development. It might be worth your while to consider what training you could give that would not only help these workers in their professional development but also help you keep them. Here are a few suggestions:
Personal Safety Skills
Construction sites are very challenging environments where the worker must be mindful of heavy equipment, a constantly changing physical environment, heights etc. A worker that’s well trained in safety will be less likely to be involved in accidents, help maintain the overall safety of the worksite and miss less work because of injury. Any worker will see the benefit of such training. If time is lacking to do onsite training, there are safety-training programs available online.
Equipment and materials training
Any worker should be avid to learn about a new procedure or new equipment. Teaching them about it gives your company value in their eyes. In the event that workers insist they already know about a particular procedure, it is good practice to at least briefly compare your knowledge with theirs, to make sure it is properly understood. Training your workers increases their confidence, makes them more focused and efficient on the job, which in turn reduces the costs and delays involved in repairing mistakes.
I know of one employer that has a training meeting with every new crew that has to install Open Joist Triforce ® .This has proven to be beneficial for both the workers and the employer
It is said that a failure in communication is at the base of many mistakes and accidents. Skills like active listening, Effective oral communication, writing skills and increased vocabulary will help a construction site run smoother.
Basic savings and retirement planning training
According to the PWC study this is not something particularly important to Millennials but you may want to consider it to get workers thinking more long term and helps them build a financial ‘safety net’ for when the industry takes a downturn. Again, if there is no time for this in your plans, you can direct workers on line to some good articles on personal financial planning, as well as ‘’retirement calculators’’ by financial institutions.
Each entrepreneur will have a different view on what kind of training they should offer, but it is certain that workers that are part of a group that trains regularly or semi regularly, will likely share knowledge more often, communicate better, be more cohesive on the job and in the end, improve the company’s overall efficiency.
So why not give some thought to the kind of training that would be good for your crew?