Understanding Why Employees Quit And How To Improve Your Staff Retention Rates
Construction companies face a continuing variety of overwhelming and unique challenges. As one of the most competitive industries and with some projects taking years to complete, construction has a workflow cycle longer than most. Other challenges include the ever changing cost of materials and the differing priorities of a succession of UK governments.
However, one of the most overlooked yet difficult obstacles construction companies face is retaining key staff. With a chronic skills shortage and a lack of young people entering the industry, keeping important members of the workforce has become more crucial than ever. As specialist construction recruiters, we see many reasons why staff leave companies, five of the most common being:
- They were an unsuitable hire in the first place
- Lack of communication from senior management
- Lack of training and development opportunities
- Lack of ownership of their own job
- Poor reward and recognition
In view of this, we’ve put together five simple ways that construction companies can improve their retention of key staff:
- Hire with retention in mind
Too often, the issue of staff retention in construction companies only occurs when the business is faced with one or more key employees leaving. Companies should be more proactive with the process of retention beginning at the hiring stage. Is the candidate a suitable fit for the company, its aims and its ethos? Can the company facilitate the candidate’s development and growth expectations? If not, there’s a high probability the candidate will not be a stable, long-term employee of the business.
Staff want to be as effective as possible, but if they do not have a clear picture of what their role is and what they are accountable for, or if they are not getting honest and frequent feedback about their performance, they will be limited in their success. This limitation can be a strong push factor to quit, so management need to ensure they communicate with all staff clearly and frequently.
- Ongoing education and training
The cost of training can be high, but the benefits far outweigh the expense. Offering employees regular opportunities to take part in training and education makes them feel valued and is a clear statement that the company believes in them and their future within it. You’ll get team members that are more motivated and productive and they’ll be far less likely to want to leave.
- Empower your team
The best leaders realise that leading a team is not about managing them. It is about encouraging and empowering them to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible, at the very highest level of their abilities. Giving staff the opportunity to have input into certain processes and the freedom to express their opinions sends a powerful message to them. This gives them more ownership of their job which will result in them being much happier in their role.
- Reward and recognise
Of course you will want to pay an attractive salary that is reflective of the current market conditions, but you also want to think about other benefits and ways to recognise individuals. Bonuses can be motivating and benefits such as a generous pension can be big pull factors to ensure key staff remain with your company. One of the most underutilised and cost effective methods is to regularly let members of your workforce know that their work is appreciated. This can take many forms, but can be something as simple as an acknowledgement in the company newsletter or a handwritten thank you note from the MD or Chief Executive.
If you can put these practices into place and ensure that your company is one that key members of staff wish remain in, you’ll not just see improvements in productivity and profitability. You’ll find recruiting top quality staff so much easier. What better advert to a prospective employee is there than a happy, stable workforce!