In a human-centric industry such as construction, it is alarming that employee turnover is one of the most prevalent issues in the current times. While tools, machines, and technology physically help manage construction, it’s the people who put projects and plans in reality—the ones who wake up before everyone else and go home often after it’s dark. Truly in construction, people matter to a success of a project, team, and business. Still, they usually aren’t appreciated enough for their unwavering dedication to the build.
Whether you’re a construction manager, a project owner, or even just a grateful team member, showing appreciation for your construction team can mean a lot and is well needed to retain satisfied and mentally healthy employees. Gratitude can also strengthen your construction crew management and motivate your team as the projects unfold.
Looking for ways to show gratitude to your crew this Thanksgiving Season? Below, we share eight ways to make your employees feel appreciated and a significant part of your company. But even though the thanksgiving season is just one time of the year, these strategies can be used at any point in the year. In fact, we’d encourage it.
1. Organize a Team Lunch or Dinner
Don’t underestimate the power of food. Since the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, employees can feel appreciated if you feed them. While bringing takeout pizza into the office is always lovely, the thanksgiving season is time to take it up a notch. We’re not suggesting you treat your team to a five-course steak dinner; just upgrading a company-packed meal to a more appetizing spread or taking your crew out to an affordable restaurant can do wonders for making them feel like they are appreciated.
If you have only a tight budget to spend, you can use the element of surprise to your advantage. Think of something like a surprise donut hour or build your own sandwich bar. If health-conscious staff are on your mind, consider including delicious but healthier alternatives.
2. Offer for Free a Construction Employee Staple Drink– Coffee
How a Monday morning plays out can make or break a work day and sometimes even an entire week. Workers in the industry are used to getting up before sunrise and often need the extra kick throughout the day to function productively. One easy way to improve the early morning routine is to provide workers with a gift certificate to their favorite coffee shop. Alternatively, you can even level up to premium coffee beans for the on-site trailer if your budget is tight.
Caffeinating crew, not your thing? Picking up bagels for the office can go miles to provide a rejuvenating morning for staff. Never underestimate the power of free food. Also, who doesn’t love coffee and donuts?
2. Feature Outstanding Employees on Your Company Website
Your company website is one of the first platforms a potential client looks up when searching for your services. It is also a great chance to showcase your exceptional employees and let the public know you value their work.
Write a content article piece about your employee of the month, displaying how they have excelled in their job and what they are working on at the moment. While interviewing them, you can pick their brains for insights or suggestions to include on your blog and put their expertise to greater use. If one of your construction staff achieved something noteworthy, such as beating a safety record or achieving a zero construction punch list, include that, too! They have a lot of stories to tell regarding their experiences on the job, and many workers are passionate about the work they do that they are willing to share.
Featuring them on your company website not only humanizes your brand but, in turn, keeps your employees engaged by actively performing how they value their work to the greater whole of the project and your business.
3. Custom Construction Uniform
The right and custom construction uniform can crack a smile on even the most serious and grumpiest of laborers’ faces. You could purchase custom t-shirts for your crew that includes a company-friendly inside joke or some catchphrase they have all bonded over. One more benefit of getting a personalized construction uniform for your staff is team-building on the job. As we all know, a group that dresses alike together stays together.
If you are not into uniformity when it comes to construction wear, you can gift them an item that is a staple in the industry, such as a coffee mug, a water flask, or a good pair of sunglasses. Even if they seem simple, these are sure to put a smile on their faces.
4. Set Up a Thanksgiving Happy Hour
After a long hard day of work, a cold beer or glass of wine can help employees wind down and relax. A sponsored Happy Hour or just a round of drinks can show your appreciation after a, particularly challenging week, month, or project. Remember that if you plan to host a Happy Hour for your crew, make sure that everyone has a safe ride home. You can even offer a Grab or Uber credit instead of the risk of a worker driving under the influence. Safety, like during construction, is just as important as workers enjoying themselves.
5. Provide Opportunities for Career Advancement
The labor shortage is a prevalent issue in the industry, making construction firms competitive when hiring qualified workers. This is why career development and growth are enormous factors for many construction staff, especially in the constantly changing economic age. Some of them will indeed look for greener pastures if your company cannot provide a clear career path for them.
Creating opportunities through career advancement is one of the best approaches you can take to retain employees. Promoting employees is one obvious way to do so. But this is not the only way. You can also start training programs and mentorship where senior workforce members pass learnings to inexperienced or new employees. Not only will this boost their career, but it also ensures the retention of essential skills in project management for construction in your workforce.
6. An Truly Fun Team Building Event
We’ve all experienced those construction team-building events that are the opposite of fun, let alone help to build team bonds. Opt outside of the normal programs or other team-building events so traditionally held. Do something that will be fun for your employees, like karaoke, go-karting, and out-of-town outing or paintball shooting. Promise us one thing; there should be no icebreakers included in the program.
7. Get Them Home Early
Construction workers are new to getting home late–missing family dinner and bedtimes. This can be draining physically, mentally, and emotionally. If your construction scheduling can afford it, give workers a half-day off or an opportunity to go home even an hour earlier than usual. While it may seem like a bit of a thing, it can show staff that you acknowledge their hard work and long hours of hard work. Even better, it can give a much-needed refresh to motivate them to be more productive the next workday.
8. Simply Say a Genuine and Heartfelt “Thank You”
When was the last time you told your staff member that you are grateful for them? While you might say that your actions speak louder than your words, the act of just saying thank you can speak volumes to them. Even if you plan to employ any of the above appreciation strategies, be sure also to share some words of gratitude with your colleagues.
While personal words and heartfelt messages take a bit more time to prepare, they’re much more likely to linger than a general memo or letter. Say it aloud, write it in an email, put it on a card, shout it during morning toolbox meetings. Just do whatever you know will deliver your message loud and clear.
Every Day is a Good Day To Show Appreciation
The Thanksgiving season is a convenient time to show your gratitude for your colleagues. However, showing your appreciation shouldn’t just be limited to this season of the year. Any of the above strategies can be implemented all year long! In fact, giving appreciation more often might be an excellent New Year’s resolution to add to your 2021 personal and professional goals. Showing more gratitude is a win-win-win for you, your employees, and your company alike.
Acknowledging employees’ hard work and rewarding their achievements are crucial to any company’s success. As the construction industry goes through challenges in hiring staff and retaining workers, it is doubly vital for company owners to reach out, make an effort, and show their appreciation to their workforce.
At this point, you spend considerably more time with your team than you most likely spend with your friends or family. Just like you need to show gratitude for your real family, expressing your appreciation to your colleagues is essential to the success of your projects.