How to restart your site team and retain talent

by | May 5, 2021

As we restart out site activity, it is now more essential than ever to invest in your staff to retain essential skills and talent.

Over the past number of months a significant number of our members have embarked upon significant investment in training and up-skilling of employees, to ensure the right skillsets are in place on site.

The process starts by rethinking how to manage the industry’s most persistent workforce challenges – an aging workforce and an absence of third level graduates to fill the gaps.

Although these problems are not new, the industry has seen even more experienced workers retire from the workforce during the pandemic.

While this should present more opportunities to seek fresh talent, many employers are impeded by a shared industry mindset that companies should only hire candidates with industry experience or who have construction management qualifications.

In the new reality we live in today, employers may be better off hiring more candidates with the right aptitude, motivation and drive who can be trained in construction.

Not only will job openings decrease, but retention rates typically improve when hiring and developing new talent.

One approach to better engage younger talent is to clearly communicate career development programs and growth potential.

Prepare a company overview document that gives these prospective candidates detailed insight into the company beyond what they can learn from internet research, as well as forward-looking insight into company plans and how their career progression fits in.

Coronavirus has rewritten many of the rules of doing business, often to the betterment of companies, customers and teams.

Many builders have improved how they communicate with customers, advanced their digital capabilities and are rethinking hiring practices.

While there is cautious optimism for a more robust recovery later this year, firms doing quality work will continue to overcome the obstacles and make strides in unexpected ways.

Those companies who have invested in their people will see significant returns on this investment, as learnt skills can now be finally applied on site where they can make the most impact.

For those companies who wish to start the process, CIF Learning & Development are here to provide advice, support, and training solutions to aid business growth.

It is essential that companies also protect their investment in their staff by ensuring they have a contract for the training, which allows for a clawback on training costs should an employee decide to leave the business.

For advice on this you can contact CIF Learning & Development. Choosing the right priorities for 2021 Development and retention of key talent should be a priority for your organisation’s 2021 goals.

The key is to identify key members of the team and those who have future potential in more senior roles.

This is about looking at your retention and onboarding policies as an organisation and understanding who has the potential and how you can develop that talent moving forwards.

Software packages designed to assess a candidate’s behaviour, aptitude and personality will ease this process and make it much easier for HR and management to concentrate on candidate’s that they want to retain and develop.

Knowing how your staff are also feeling at this time is essential. If you are trying to retain your best then understanding what their concerns are is key.

How furlough is and has affected them, their organisation and their roles? You need to have engaging conversations and feedback.

Again, this is about understanding where you think your company culture lies and what is being experienced.

Another valuable process is engaging in the 360-feedback process that gives all stakeholders an opportunity to voice their concerns and provide a pathway to help develop talent.

Also by having regular formal and informal appraisals you are developing an organisational culture that promotes open communication and discussion, helping to drive the business culture forward.

We’ve seen how 2020 made us change and adapt to new organisational realities. Management and leadership need to take ownership of the situation and change their work practices for the foreseeable future.

More empathy, communication and developing talent will yield positive outcomes for all parties involved.

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