1 Minute Read
October 4, 2022
President Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Within an industry such as construction, where levels of physical and mental stress are above those of most other industries, Roosevelt’s words strike extremely close to home. Caring for your construction workers is essential to making them feel safe, valued, and happy—all of which raises morale, efficiency and profitability.
So you want to create great working environments for your construction workers, but you need to know how. Even a leading-edge contractor can have unsatisfied employees because of a lack of knowledge of their issues or concerns from the top ranks, which is why we’ve compiled this list. Here are the top 6 ways to care for your construction workers, and keep them happy and healthy.
The physical danger involved with working in the construction industry is an issue that must be addressed first. Although industry safety standards continue to improve, there is still a need for contractors who are willing to go above and beyond the minimum requirements to keep their workers safe. It’s these contractors that will win the loyalty and respect of their employees.
Providing jobsite safety begins before your workers arrive on site. It includes better communication, foreseeing possible risks, and building a safety culture in construction. Everything from machinery checkups to water breaks help ensure your workers stay safe, and communicate how you care for them.
Caring for your employees mental health is another extremely important factor in making sure they are happy and healthy in their jobs. Long hours of strenuous work under pressure to perform has a toll on both the mind and body, and more light has recently been shown on some of the lasting effects. For example, the statistics on substance abuse in construction compared to other industries are often alarming, and are a major concern for the industry.
Promoting a healthy work-life balance, time for rest, and a psychologically safe environment are all huge factors in creating a culture of good mental health, and in turn, creating a healthy workforce.
Another way to care for one's construction workers is to ensure that they are appropriately compensated for the work they do and the level of risk that accompanies it. Employees who feel that their work isn’t truly valued are more likely to be disgruntled, unhappy, and disruptive to the workflow. In addition, with record-setting inflation, employees are finding it difficult to provide for themselves and their families. Check out what one Nebraska contractor decided to do to help its employees during tough times.
Paying construction workers higher wages has been shown to raise morale, productivity, and lower turnover rates. Providing your employees with sufficient pay and benefits is essential to creating a culture of care and loyalty throughout the company.
DEI is a major factor in creating an environment that is psychologically safe and in which employees can thrive. A company that values DEI creates a culture in which all of its employees feel valued, and one that supports all of an individual's characteristics and unique traits. In fact, a company that values DEI views the inclusion of human differences as essential to building a healthy and innovative culture.
When DEI programs have the companies buy-in from the executive level down, and they are managed correctly, they have the capability to change company culture, raise morale, and productivity. Many contractors have added sound DEI programs to their organizations over the past few years, and they’re having positive impacts, both with hiring during the labor shortage and with career development and diversification at leadership levels.
Speaking of career development, one of the best ways to show your construction workers that you care for them is to provide them with opportunities to better themselves and their career paths. More and more often in today's workforce, employees are less willing to work stagnant jobs, and are looking for more flexible positions that provide opportunities to grow and learn.
Placing an emphasis on training your construction workers will help them feel well prepared and confident at work. In addition, learning programs can give your employees opportunities to improve their skills while also building employee loyalty. This lowers turnover and helps build your workforce from the inside out, creating a culture that is well-connected and trusting.
The sixth way to care for your construction workforce is to provide them with the best tools and technology. In the absence of these, employees are more likely to feel underprepared, stressed, and unappreciated. In addition, without the right tools or technology, overall productivity will drop. However, quality tools and technology, whether in the form of new machinery, or the best connected construction software suite, help employees do their jobs to the best of their ability, which builds their confidence, reduces stress, and improves productivity.
Changing tools and technology can sometimes be a daunting task for an organization, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Look to add technologies that streamline traditional construction processes, making it easier for employees to do their jobs and stop labor-intensive processes. For example, by changing to a cloud hosted project management tool, your workflow can become more efficient and orderly, saving you time and money. And, let employees self-serve their own needs, like certain HR or time management tasks, or compiling their own detailed data and reports through simple tools. It gives workers a greater sense of ownership and involvement in the well-oiled processes that run your company.
If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your construction HR and workforce abilities, connect with Trimble Viewpoint today.
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