Data from the Gallup Organization suggests that 85% of the global workforce is not engaged in their jobs, resulting in an economic consequence of approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity.
As much of the construction industry is working remotely or is more dispersed this year, the challenge of engaging and retaining good employees is even greater, and particularly so with a highly fluid workforce. Turnover in construction does not just mean losing a set of hands to do simple or menial work—it means losing a highly valued and skilled worker who has been trained on a specific jobsite.
Construction leaders increasingly adopt innovative technologies to communicate and engage with workers in an industry that has not traditionally had company email addresses or other forms of digital communication. Improving communication and employee engagement in this way has an impact in reducing employee turnover—and the bottom line—on jobsites.
Construction leaders are aware that turnover is a problem in this industry. The ADP Workforce Vitality Index reported the construction sector’s national turnover ratio to be around 68% in the third quarter of 2019. Today, labor as a resource remains one of the most substantial challenges to the commercial construction industry, where workers go from project to project—sometimes daily. This is further compounded by a limited resource pool to begin with. Right now, it is more important than ever to prioritize employee engagement to keep your teams safe and improve performance excellence.
One of the first steps you should take to improve employee engagement and reduce turnover is to establish an effective communication network in your firm. Many construction leaders are seeing success from implementing software that facilitates instant messaging and greater connectivity across teams.
This allows for the clear communication of expectations, such as daily production goals and messages that set the standard for safety and quality practices on the job. Using technology to create a dialogue throughout your projects also equips the field with instant access to critical jobsite information like safety reminders and hazards or severe weather alerts. Communicating expectations and showing your workforce that you care about their well-being will support a culture that is engaged, safe and successful.
Incorporating technology to create a connected jobsite provides plenty of opportunities to build an engaged culture through communicating to the field that they are valued by recognizing their contributions. You can also utilize this space to nurture company traditions and values, which will support a sustainable culture of engaged employees that can scale with your company.
The more information you are able to share to the craft level, the more you’re able to reinforce a unified culture in which each member recognizes their importance within the workplace. Engaging the craft-level workforce will allow you to win more work by elevating your reputation and making your company more competitive from a talent acquisition perspective.
High team engagement improves quality and productivity, which serves to protect your backlog and boost your organization’s financial strength—two factors that remain top of mind as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to supporting a culture that will engage and retain good employees, reducing turnover can also serve to improve performance excellence on your jobs. Research indicates that having an engaged workforce allows your company to complete higher quality work, on time, with less injuries and losses.
You can save time and improve operational efficiency while communicating things like inspection preparations, material delivery coordination and relevant updates to the sequence of work. Communication is key for decreasing the number of work stoppages, as well as streamlining jobsite operations and training, saving you time and money.
Opening up the lines of communication among your workforce also increases the opportunity for education. Your team wants to see tangible career and personal growth opportunities, and by encouraging people to pass down valuable knowledge they have learned and incorporating technology to deliver training and education, your team members will feel empowered about their future.
You can continuously deliver new and existing content directly to your frontline workers or easily create and share just-in-time education or contactless orientations to keep them safe and productive.
Right now, companies are aware of the importance and the critical need to improve engagement among their teams. A better engaged workforce will help you to safely end your projects on time and under budget.