If you are in the construction or manufacturing business, you might have already suffered the consequences of skills shortage in Western economies.
There is a huge competition on the market for qualified, experienced, and skilled workers who can work on their own and without having to micromanage their jobs. If you would like to improve the productivity of your company and increase your talent pool, you will need to find a way to attract and keep the right talent. Below you will find a few tips on how to get started.
Clear job requirements and descriptions
The most important thing for talented and experienced workers is job security. If you have internal policies and clear job descriptions, you will be able to engage with them and help them understand the company’s objectives and norms. If you communicate your expectations with your workers, you have a better chance of getting what you are looking for. When selecting workers and advertising a job, you need to provide essential details to make sure that the applicants are aware of what the job involves. It is better to find out early that they are not suitable for the work than after you have already hired them.
Career development programs
To keep talented workers, you also need to meet their expectations. This means that you must provide them with clear career paths. In the manufacturing and construction business, roles can be monotonous and many people are looking to land in a supervisory position. If your workers feel undervalued and have no career prospects, they are more likely to move on and find opportunities elsewhere. If you have a human resources department, ask them to consult with workers about developing a career development program that meets their needs.
If recruiting the right talent for your business seems like hard work, you might need to work smarter and not harder. You can approach your local colleges and offer practical training for students. While you might need to use more resources to put the program in place and create your own program that is suitable for students, you can attract the most talented, newly qualified workers who will help you take your business to the next level. Look for applicants currently undergoing OSHA training, and offer incentives for the colleges, so you can pick and choose the right workers.
Skill swap schemes
You might also sign up for skill swap schemes with other companies, so you can use their workers when you are stuck with a project, and lend them employees when one of your departments is quiet. This way, you will be able to increase your company’s capacity temporarily, stay flexible, and will not have to hire temporary workers who might not be qualified and trained according to your requirements.
Internal training policies
It is also important that you provide your workers with comprehensive internal training. From training and developing your own health and safety managers to giving your staff the opportunity to learn project management and progress to a new career, there are several ways you can show your workers that you care about their future. You can also provide coaching and job shadowing opportunities in your company, to develop future leaders, and help new, inexperienced staff learn the job faster.
You might think that apprenticeships are all the same. In reality, many companies in the construction and manufacturing industry have filled jobs using this tool. Most of the time, you can train your skilled workers and offer official courses as well, after completing their training. If you create attractive apprenticeship positions that appeal to young people, you can manage your talent pool better.
You need to consider your workers’ interest, needs, and aspirations on the individual level to be successful at keeping talent. Retention rates are generally low in the manufacturing and construction business, and employee engagement is the key to improve this. Find out what your employees’ wishes and long-term goals are, and meet halfway by aligning your organization’s vision and values with your workers’. Ask what type of recognition they would appreciate the most, and create a recognition policy.
Apart from offering a competitive salary and bonus schemes, it is also important to offer non-financial benefits for your employees to keep them happy and content. From flexible working to health care plans, insurance, and discounted family tickets, travel costs, gym memberships, to reward points that go towards gaining extra qualification at your cost, and free unlimited coffee in the canteen, you can brainstorm the ideas listening to your employees.
Engaged workers are happy workers. You must make sure that everyone in the organization knows the direction of the company, and they are aware of the working standards, behaviour norms, and can approach the management with their ideas and concerns. While an open door policy might not be the right approach, a suggestion box outside the project manager’s office and regular meetings with workers’ representative can make a positive change.
Choosing the right leaders
Most of the time, people leave because they don’t get on with their immediate supervisors or colleagues. If you invest in your leader training and choose the right managers, you can improve the organization’s culture, and make sure that everyone is happy with the changes you are initiating, and internal communication is flawless. You need to evaluate your leaders regularly and provide them feedback, as well as opportunities to develop their skills, so they can build a better relationship with their team members.
Whether you are struggling with attracting or keeping talent, you will need to take a closer look at your internal policies and human resources practices. Try to engage with your workers, and take into consideration their aspirations and career progression plans. Take care of your internal training, develop your own talent through college programs and apprenticeships, and you will end up increasing and improving the talent pool of your construction or manufacturing business.