Workforce

Establish, Embrace, Enhance: The Employee Engagement Tier

Strong employee engagement is the key to unleashing the potential within your teams and driving jobsite productivity.
By Salvatore Schibell
August 25, 2023
Topics
Workforce

Employee engagement is a crucial factor in the success of any industry, including construction. By focusing on communication and fostering a positive work environment, construction leaders can unleash the potential within their teams and drive productivity on the jobsite. This article will explore practical strategies to improve employee engagement in the construction workforce, drawing insights from "State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report" by Gallup.

Establishing a Shared Vision

Creating a shared vision is essential in the construction industry. It involves ensuring that every team member understands the project's goals and their own purpose and role in achieving them. By effectively communicating and agreeing upon the project's significance and impact prior to project development, team members develop a sense of comradery, purpose and motivation, driving their engagement throughout the process and their commitment to final project success.

Enhancing Onsite Communication

Effective communication is crucial on construction sites to ensure team coordination, jobsite safety and overall efficiency. Encouraging open communication channels, conducting regular meetings and providing platforms for information exchange is key. Active listening, encouraging feedback and addressing concerns can all foster a culture of open communication between jobsite employees and leaders, promoting trust, collaboration and engagement among all team members.

This goes both ways, too. Project leaders should also be open to listening to and receiving feedback from their employees as the project progresses. Comfortable and confident communication will not only make for a better project experience in the present, but will set your team up for success on future projects.

Embracing Technology

Leveraging technology can significantly enhance communication and engagement in the construction industry by not only improving efficiency of communication, but simplicity of communication methods. Adopting construction-specific software, project-management tools and mobile applications streamlines communication processes, enables real-time updates and simplifies task management.

For example, artificial intelligence can help monitor employees’ health, safety and progress onsite, and it can expedite any paperwork or reporting more accurately, facilitating the process for offsite executives and back-office employees. BIM and reality capture can aid the design and build process for workers both on and offsite, bringing data and design to life for a more accurate build and more accurate and efficient monitoring of the building process.

Another two-way street, technology offers the opportunity to not only empower employees, but also improve leadership ability of construction executives if employed properly. By embracing technology, construction teams can improve efficiency, reduce errors and empower everyone with the tools they need to excel in their roles.

Prioritizing Health and Safety

Safety is of paramount importance in the construction industry. Prioritizing the wellbeing of employees through rigorous safety protocols, providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and regular training sessions is crucial, especially when working with new employees or new equipment. The previously mentioned technology could be an important implementation, but refreshing basic safety protocols and conducting employee wellness check-ins regularly are equally as important as any AI.

Involving not only field and office employees but also team leaders and executives in these safety initiatives and encouraging everyone to report potential hazards fosters a safe working environment and builds trust and engagement.

Providing Continuous Training and Development

Investing in the professional growth and development of construction workers plays a vital role in their engagement. Offering comprehensive training programs, both technical and non-technical, and promoting continuous learning is essential. Encouraging employees to pursue certifications and attend industry workshops and providing opportunities for skill development demonstrates a commitment to their growth and fosters engagement within the construction workforce.

This growth and development can even begin before a new employee joins your team. Mentorships, apprenticeships and high-school classes and programs are great ways to foster future employee engagement and diversify your workforce in age and experience.

Recognizing and Celebrating Achievements

Acknowledging and celebrating achievements are powerful drivers of employee engagement. Recognizing exceptional performance, milestones and safety records boosts morale and motivation. And there are many ways to affirm achievements. From national awards and company-wide conventions to personal, intimate acknowledgments; when someone does something good, it should be celebrated. That celebration will encourage others to follow suit, resulting in more achievements and recognition for everyone. Implementing a recognition and rewards program, conducting team-building activities and creating a positive work culture all contribute to a sense of belonging and engagement among construction team members.

Improving employee engagement in the construction industry requires a shared vision, effective communication, embracing change in technology and emphasizing tried-and-true safety tactics, encouraging continual growth and acknowledging success. By implementing these strategies, construction teams can unlock their full potential, leading to increased productivity, higher quality work, reduced turnover, enhanced safety and overall profitability.

By prioritizing employee engagement and fostering a positive work environment, construction organizations can create a culture where employees feel valued, motivated and empowered to contribute their best, and where leaders can learn from their employees in return, resulting in long-term growth and excellence for everyone in the industry. As construction organizations continue to invest in employee engagement, they will undoubtedly reap the rewards of a highly engaged workforce, driving excellence in the industry for years to come.

by Salvatore Schibell
Salvatore Schibell, CPA, CFP®, CGMA, MS Taxation, MBA, is the tax partner at Lawson, Rescinio, Schibell & Associates, P.C. One of his specialties is working with contractors to maximize profitability utilizing his certified global management, financial planning, and tax planning specialties. Sal is considered a leader in construction accounting and can be contacted at (732) 539-7328 or salschibell@lrscpa.com.

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