- According to management and investment banking firm FMI's latest talent development report, many firms in the engineering and construction industries do not invest in workforce development.
- Those that do devote resources into robust development cultures, however, tend to have the highest employee retention, the report found.
- Of those FMI surveyed, 89% reported worker shortages and 43% don't have a formal workforce development budget. Nearly 60% said their training, development and performance management efforts were not very effective, while 55% reported that they did not have any official system for identifying and developing employees with high potential.
With the U.S. construction industry facing a severe labor shortage, the need to better recruit and retain its skilled workers has only grown more essential.
Key among those workers is the growing millennial workforce who want more from their jobs than the traditional salary and benefits packages. That demographic, notably, desires the chance to cross-train in their positions and have personal and professional development opportunities.
Marianne Monte, chief people officer at Boston-based Shawmut Design and Construction, told Construction Dive earlier this year that leadership development programs are an important component in drawing in and keeping the younger demographic.
Achieving a good work-life balance, she said, is also becoming increasingly important. To keep ahead of that trend, Shawmut has a flex-time program that includes opportunities to compress employees' workweeks, telecommute and share jobs and shifts. According to Monte, the flex-time initiative has increased the company's retention rates by three basis points.
The millennial shift has also influenced the physical work environment. John Dempsey, principal of commercial development company CA Ventures' CA Office division, said the trend toward community and the importance of line of sight is taking aim at the traditional private-office dynamic, moving toward layouts that will enhance collaboration and communication.
As employees, too, increasingly work at locations outside the office setting, businesses need less room than they once did. That trend has led to a growing consolidation of floorplans and horizontal growth in office space.