In the past two years, construction companies have been in a precarious position. Employees have been walking off the job to find better work-life balance, attend to personal well-being and take care of families. The pandemic has been a potent reminder of what matters most to people, and work rarely tops the list.

Six months ago, more than four million workers quit their jobs. Some opted for remote work, and others began looking for better opportunities. All of them left behind a multitude of incomplete tasks.

Like many construction companies, you may already feel the workforce disruption. The departure can leave gaping openings in your teams. You may be missing your framers or finishers, inspectors or ironworkers, carpenters or cost estimators. Until you fill those roles, the remaining employees have to step up and cover for the absence. As their workload expands, the employees still on your payroll are more likely to lose morale, disengage from the company culture, and leave.

9 retention strategies for construction companies 

Retaining your employees is critical for success – theirs and yours. Replacing employees is an expense many construction companies want to avoid.

These nine strategies can help you retain the skilled workers you need.

  1. Dive into the data. Construction recruiters like working with companies who understand their employee data, including productivity and retention rates.
  2. Be a relational leader. Focus on project goals and work with your team to meet them.
  3. Overcome language barriers. Many construction workers speak Spanish. To communicate better, learn phrases in Spanish and offer opportunities to learn English.
  4. Train your crew. Employees who know they’ll have the training they need for their jobs are more likely to stay.
  5. Offer fair compensation. Today’s competitive market means construction workers have a choice where to work, and they can demand a reasonable salary.
  6. Incentivize individually. Know what motivates your employees and provide it for them.
  7. Provide genuine feedback. Be honest and prompt in reviewing job performance.
  8. Focus on wellness and work-life balance. Employees need to know that you care about them. Focusing on wellness and work-life can improve job safety, too.
  9. Adapt and flex. Employees prefer working with managers who allow for decision-making, not micro-managers. Allow your employees to determine how and when to get the job done. Each job site may require unique approaches.
  10.  Keep it simple. Do everything you can to streamline processes.

Your retention strategies will likely become a significant part of your corporate culture and why employees want to remain with you.