Hiring and Retaining The Best Workforce
As the industry continues to grow, so does the volume of work. When there is more work to be done, there is less reason for your guys to stick around. You’ll find that retaining a quality workforce is difficult given the volume of opportunity out there. If someone feels they are not wanted, or that they could earn more elsewhere, odds are they will leave. This article is to help you retain those quality hands we sometimes take for granted.
Consider the value of an apprentice
Most contractors take on an apprentice – someone to show the ropes to. Teaching specialty labor is a great tactic. It’s not only a good thing to do, but it cements in some help you could have for a long time. Not to mention, you can teach them to do things the right way (your way). Consider specific training for one or two workers each year, that way down the road you potentially have an arsenal of workers with the skills you need.
Consider demographics to draw from. Veteran groups are always looking to place folks in places of opportunity. The same goes for high school graduates as more and more students choose trades over college. Think about those who are in high need of a job and a set of skills. If you are the one to offer those things, loyalty is built. Building from the ground up is the best way to develop a fantastic team.
Scout the best talent
If you can’t train them yourself, be willing to fork over big bucks to get the best talent. Great, talented workers are where they are because of long hours and attention to detail. You don’t come across this kind of quality labor often, so be willing to strike when you do. These guys are known to finish the job they started, and to do their work with pride. Retain them one at a time until you develop and elite team. I know you’re probably thinking to yourself, “I don’t have that kind of money”. Consider this – retaining an elite team is a long term investment. You begin to do great work and the word gets out. When the word gets out, you get referral business. The dividends are too sweet to not follow this principle.
Show your workers some love
Take the time to appreciate your team’s work. Show them that you can, and will make their day as easy and straightforward as possible. This means scheduling them out several weeks in advance with specific tasks clearly stated. Too many companies, especially in the construction industry keep their guys feeling like they are week to week, if not day to day. Nobody likes to feel this kind of insecurity, especially if they have additional mouths to feed. Give your workers the feeling that they are part of the long-term plan.
Transparency is key
Keeping your team in the loop is always a good idea. Let them know about job status, future jobs as well as any kind of educational opportunities they might be interested in. This doesn’t mean letting them in on business decisions (although you could if your relationship was at that level). The more your team feels like they have a good relationship with you, the more they are going to trust you. If someone trusts you, the more likely they are to continue working with you and less likely to acquire work elsewhere.
Transparency fosters communication. Make sure your workers know that you are open to discussion about any kind of work related issue. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be their best friend, just be open. You want to be the guy that is aware of an issue, and that can fix that issue.
Just remember, a great company thrives off of a great workforce. Hiring and retaining the right workers will go a long way.
Thanks for reading!