Why Workforce Development is Crucial in the Construction Industry

A recent study released by FMI Corporation revealed shocking results in relation to how the construction industry handles workforce development, or rather how it isn’t handling it.  

Some of the study’s highlights include:

  • 89% of participants reported talent shortages in this year’s survey.
  • 75% of participants have made changes to their training programs in the last two years, with mixed results.
  • 43% of survey participants reported that their firms don’t prepare a formal annual training and development budget.
  • Nearly 60% said their training, development and performance management efforts were not very effective.
  • Organizations with the highest employee retention have committed to rich professional development cultures and have effective performance management processes.
  • 55% of survey respondents don’t have any formal processes in place for identifying and developing high-potential employees.

These numbers are staggering and clearly showcase the need for planned workforce development in order to better retain employees in a time where the construction industry is already short on labor.

Why is workforce development really important?

The initial reason is that of the labor shortage currently affecting the industry. Out of all times, now is absolutely essential to retain employees. With an already limited pool of employees, retaining who you have could make or break your business.

Additionally, as the industry tries to attract new talent into the industry, an obvious target is the growing millennial population. It’s widely known this generation isn’t just looking for a salary and benefits, but are thinking bigger picture. As a whole, they want to work for companies that are collaborative and communicative. Another popular element they feel is important is the ability to cross-train in their positions and have personal and professional development opportunities.

In relation to personal development, there’s also the chance to obtain a better work-life balance. This could mean offering a flex-time program in which employees can adjust their start and end time to better accommodate their schedule. Boston-based Shawmut Design and Construction has noted that the flex-time initiative has increased the company’s retention rates by three basis points.

Employees are also working more and more outside of the office setting, which provides more flexibility for them and allows businesses to downsize their office spaces.

Whether it’s technology shaping and changing the workforce or a new generation, finding new ways to adjust things to better your employee retention is always worth the investment. Especially during a period where it’s critical to keep your best talent.


Kelsey Fritz
Kelsey is the Marketing Coordinator at Commercial Web Services where she monitors the latest marketing advancements to better educate dealers on marketing trends that can further their business goals.

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