Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

The best present from the boss? Making the team happier at work!

Canadian Contractor

Job satisfaction is a win-win for employers and the people who get things done

Here’s a shocking statistic: a lot of people are not happy with the way their careers in the construction industry are going. According to a study conducted for the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) by international head-hunting giant Hays Specialist Recruitment LLC, a surprising number of construction professionals and workers would be willing to pull up stakes and relocate, maybe even take a lower paying position, if their job satisfaction increased.

“Show me (more than) just the money!”
What type of satisfaction are they looking for? Career progression is very high on the list. That can mean different things to different sized companies of course. However, at the very basic level it can mean simply having the opportunity to upgrade skills. The study suggests the lack of career progression is why more than 10 per cent departing employees took jobs elsewhere.

Upgrading skills of younger team members can be achieved with off-site courses or mentoring by more experienced employees

In fact, non-salary, non-wage factors out-weigh pure cash. Those employed in general construction surveyed by Hays said that the benefits they appreciated most were extended health benefits (97%), and training/certification support (91%).

The Hays study makes a number of recommendations to guide construction companies towards higher retention levels of current staff and improved chances of hiring the new skilled people they need for the future.


“Compete beyond salary levels
Only one company can pay the most so in a tight candidate market is key to have an employee value proposition beyond the bottom line. Tangible benefits, performance bonuses and new challenges are all ways to improve attraction and lower attrition without having to increase base salaries.

Develop internal skills
In a tight candidate market those with the in-demand skill sets can be hard to find. Grow your own talent by giving junior employees the opportunity to learn and by supporting training and certification programs for key roles.”

Six steps to Success
There are other ways to improve morale and build a strong team as well. In a white paper published by Spectrum Talent Management, six specific recommendations were made to improve employee engagement. How many of these are part of your company’s culture?

“Make Expectations, Goals and Mission Explicit
When employees know what is expected of them from the beginning, there will be no room for confusion and top quality work will be produced right from the start. When goals and measurements are made clear, employees will understand what they’re working towards and be able to track their progress toward achieving their goals

 Define your company’s culture
When employees feel comfortable in their work environment, they will be more engaged in their daily tasks. Your company culture defines what your visions and values are and how systems work, so recruiting employees that fit your company’s culture will display positively in their work.

 Empower your employees with regular feedback
Participate in regular two-way communication to help employees stay on track and lower misunderstandings. Regular feedback also makes employees feel that their work is valued and that they are making an impact on the organization. When employees receive consistent feedback they become more motivated and engaged in their daily work.

Foster Positive, Collaborative relationships
Encourage employees to think outside the box by working with others. Collaborative work allows employees to bounce ideas off one another and overcome obstacles faster. Working in teams also fosters positive relationships that increase job satisfaction.

 Allow employees to create their own career path within your company
Provide learning development opportunities for employees to advance their skills and rise through the ranks of your company. When employees are able to develop and create their own career path, they will remain loyal to your company longer.

Measure employee engagement
Measuring the engagement of employees is critical to the growth of productivity and increase in commitment. Using surveys, interviews or data analysis, makes measuring engagement levels possible”

A new year is only a few weeks away — What better time than to re-think your strategy for building a better team for 2018 and years to come.

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