If you struggle to hire skilled, qualified workers to fill open job positions in your construction company, do not worry because you are not alone. The construction labor shortage has been a recurring problem for over a decade. And the many things that have happened recently place more pressure on an already short-staffed workforce.
The result is an overstrained skilled workforce, increasing costs, and more project delays. Your company may not be able to accept new projects that will move your business forward since the labor is not simply available to handle them.
But we like to remind you not to panic – this is just one part of the story. This blog will help you understand the reasons behind this labor shortage issue and how to adequately address it with some actionable tips. At the end of this blog, we hope you learn many things that can help you accomplish more despite having a small workforce and without sacrificing your quality or bottom line.
Labor Shortage Can Be 2022’s Major Barrier to Construction Growth
The construction sector experienced and achieved significant gains last year, as consumers took a lot of advantage of increased savings and low-interest rates to upgrade big spaces. While commercial construction continues to struggle, the residential construction of single and multi-family homes boosted the construction industry upward, leading to the demand for additional crew members.
However, things take turns. This 2022, the construction sector begins to respond to economic factors such as the need for commercial and industrial space, state of infrastructure spending, family housing demand, and many more. When and where the work needs to happen combines any shortage of skilled trade labor. As a result, most skilled workers might not be available for other multiple projects, each with challenging timelines, with material or supply shortages slowing them down.
Recently, even under the best situations, construction work can be grueling, with tough working conditions and mental health challenges to a much greater extent. How aware are you of these circumstances? If you are not paying attention to any of this, your company may most likely feel the labor shortage even more intensely in the coming months.
Dealing with Labor Shortage Risks
You can most likely not change the many factors affecting the labor market if you still have unfilled job openings. However, there are plenty of key problems to solve that can help you control, anticipate, and protect your company from labor shortage risks, even when you are not understaffed.
1. Train and plan to better avoid injuries
Hiring new ones often becomes the natural response when losing experienced workers. However, take note that less experienced and skill lead to a much greater possibility of job injuries. At the very same time, with lesser assistance, experienced and skilled workers can end up doing more and more working longer hours, with a much greater degree of fatigue and strain.
To effectively mitigate the risks of injury on the job, your company should re-assess its existing risk control protocols and ensure all workers complete the tasks safely. There are strategies you need to consider. This includes:
- Short-service employee programs help formalize onboarding and pair new workers with the right mentors.
- Job site assessment, safety training, and pre-task planning help alleviate the risks of a more strained, less experienced labor force.
A stand-alone construction scheduling system like Pro Crew Schedule focuses on helping your people create an execution with listed tasks, resources, start and end dates, milestones, dependencies, etc.
Fleet safety planning includes training, driver assessment, and monitoring strategies to fight driver fatigue.
Easy access to emergency medical response to address work site issues or injuries related to driver fatigue
2. Support workers with physical and mental health resources
In addition to high rates of physical injuries, construction workers are most likely to struggle with mental health issues and substance misuse than in other industries. Jobsites can be far from where your crew workers live, making access to physical and mental health resources challenging.
To solve this, you should invest in employee assistance programs to attract and retain more qualified workers. Offering substance misuse and mental health support, reskilling programs, and counseling can help attract more job seekers, improve happiness and health, and lessen burnout.
3. Focus on quality control using the right technology
Staffing shortages will put your construction company on a double edge, reducing the number of contracts your company can take one at a time. In addition, you may find yourself rushing to meet deadlines, causing more errors and delays than usual. This can expose your company to so many defects and liabilities.
Quality control has never been this critical for you and your people and the materials you opt to use. That is why you should better understand the risk transfer relationship while engaging in job site assessments and pre-task planning. This is the perfect time to deploy construction management software to improve consistency and productivity.
When this software tool you deploy is appropriately used and integrated with risk control best practices, it can help you combat labor shortage challenges. We also suggest looking for ways where you can make the most of your construction materials.
4. Include labor shortage stipulations
With the ongoing government projects commonly guaranteed by surety bonds, the labor shortage adds another risk. So, if your construction business cannot complete its work as expected because of the lack of skilled labor, the surety bond is very helpful.
To alleviate this problem, your company must include labor shortage stipulations in the government contracts while going forward. This means including some clauses that come into effect while building more time into contracts to reflect anticipated project delays.
5. Improve company culture
To make the construction field more appealing, your company should define its culture and put the values into practice. It is also crucial to ensure potential employees know about your company’s culture. Your company is a comfortable spot if it has a great company culture. Some of the most effective ways to improve your company culture include:
- Acknowledge employees who place company values into practice: You must send out appreciation posts through either a messaging app or construction management software to recognize the individual efforts of your workers. This is the easiest and most convenient way to exchange conversation and feedback.
- Share customer feedback with employees: Your crew is often on the job and never had the chance to interact with any clients. So, by sharing positive feedback, you can show them their work is highly appreciated.
- Give your workers more opportunity to provide feedback: Surveying how your workers feel about the current working conditions shows that your company cares and allows you to spot areas for improvement.
6. Know your industry well
This may sound simple and cliché, but knowing your industry and its depths is crucial. You have to understand that while better labor shortage is a big trend affecting the whole economy today, it is draining different areas in many ways. So, understanding what your construction workforce needs to keep them and your business moving is crucially important.
In construction, injury rates remain very high, making a return to work and safety training far more critical. As a result, finding new workers is very challenging.
7. Adapt to attract and retain new talents
Beyond lessened productivity, labor shortages may lead to poor retention, burnout, injuries, and unplanned absences. It only shows how you must address this risk area immediately. To attract new talents from broader pools, you may consider hiring previously incarcerated workers and experienced people who already experienced barriers when entering the workforce.
You also need to take it as an opportunity to emphasize better the programs you imposed. You can always partner with insurance providers to determine new risk areas. They usually recommend tactics to help protect all your workers and overall business operations.
Pro Crew Schedule can Help You Conquer the Labor Shortage
The fastest and simplest way to address the ongoing labor shortage in your sector is to make the most of your workforce. The right construction scheduler and a surveying workflow can drastically impact your day-to-day efficiency.
Pro Crew Schedule comes with features that help you efficiently plan your projects, respond to problems, and manage your resources while keeping all the stakeholders involved. Below are some of the fantastic benefits this project management software offers:
- Improved planning and scheduling
- Better team collaboration
- Remote working
- Easier file access and sharing
- Effective task delegation
- Easier integration of new members
- Effective risk mitigation
- Budget management
- Enhanced overall productivity
If you want to experience all the benefits above, take Pro Crew Schedule for a spin! It comes with everything you need to pull off your projects successfully. Click here to avail of the 30-day trial for FREE!
Today, construction companies are already carrying the heavy strain of a tighter labor market, and with bigger projects coming on, the labor force challenges will continue to evolve. That being said, it is more crucial than ever for your company to work consistently, plan ahead, and build protection. For additional support, consider deploying today’s best construction technologies.