Effective Incentive Programs for Construction Workers
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The construction industry is one of the biggest players in the global economy, with more than $10 trillion spent within the sector every single year. Despite this massive expense, construction companies are facing a growing labor shortage and finding it nearly impossible to fill their ranks with skilled workers.
This means businesses have to deeply consider how to keep their talent invested in the long run. Incentive programs for construction workers have become popular as a way to bring in new employees as well as retain the people that crews and companies already have on their rosters. What are some of the most effective incentive programs for construction workers?
1. Thank-You Awards
Everyone loves hearing the words “thank you” and receiving an acknowledgment that they have done a good job. It may sound like a simple thing, but that nod can make an enormous difference in making your employees feel appreciated and helping keep them on your team.
These don’t have to be huge or elaborate incentives. Small rewards for doing things right, completing tasks on time, or adhering to safety protocols are just as effective and important as part of a larger incentive program. To quantify it, rewarding progress with monetary incentives like gift cards and cash bonuses are also great suggestions for this sort of thank-you gift.
Whether it’s the end of the quarter, the end of a fiscal year, or the holiday season, gifts always make good incentives. Though gifts can take a variety of different forms, they usually appear as financial incentives, such as end-of-year or holiday bonuses.
They don’t have to be restricted to a specific time of the year, either. You can use these gifts as a bonus for meeting work deadlines or goals ahead of schedule or reaching workplace safety milestones or budgeting goals. Just make sure the gift is tied to team success at work in order to better connect your workers to the business’ larger goals.
3. Training and Continued Education
One of the biggest selling points for younger generations when it comes to incentives and employee retention is training and continued education. Bringing in workers from these generations is already difficult enough, and they aren’t content to spend their careers in the same position. They’re always looking for ways to grow through their career and improve themselves, both personally and professionally.
Providing a mix of in-house training and support for college or trade programs, or other forms of continuing education can be the perfect incentive to help rebuild the ranks when older, more experienced employees reach retirement age and leave the industry behind.
4. Career Growth Opportunities
While this is another less tangible reward, it’s incredibly effective. Construction workers want to feel like they’re progressing as they help you hit goals and pursue training opportunities. Retaining your best talent requires practicing trust with employees and giving them more opportunities to take on leadership roles and share feedback on business processes.
It’s career growth that can keep a great employee with you for years. Plus, practicing open communication and trust can increase job site productivity — taking more management off your plate and helping groom great workers to take on those roles in your place.
5. Incentive Compensation
When it comes down to it, monetary compensation is going to be the best incentive for the majority of employees. It’s easy to smile and accept a branded coffee mug or a pizza party, but sometimes simple cash bonuses can be the best way to win an employee’s heart and keep them loyal to your team.
If handing out monetary bonuses isn’t in the cards, you could always offer things like paid vacation days. It sounds simple, but it makes sense — we work to live, not live to work, and construction workers have lots of bills to pay. Help them support their families and feel valued for their hard work.
5. Profit Sharing
Traditionally, construction company employees are paid either an hourly or salaried wage. Any bonuses they receive are entirely at the discretion of the project’s management and business owners. Profit-related bonuses were often limited to executives and the upper echelons of management.
In a profit-sharing situation, however, everyone works toward a common goal in return for an equal share of the net profits if the goal is reached. This turns monetary compensation into an ongoing goal rather than coming in the form of unexpected bonuses, which can contribute to employee engagement and add transparency.
Choosing effective incentive programs for construction workers
Choosing incentive programs for your construction workers isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. What works perfectly for one construction company may not work for their closest neighbor or nearest competitor. Take the time to research all of the available options, work with your crew, and figure out what will work best for you and your team.
Evelyn Long is a writer and editor focused on home building and construction. She is the co-founder of Renovated, a web magazine for the home industry.
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