The Building and Construction Labor Force Is Changing. Are You?

The global workforce is in flux. There are currently five generations in the workforce, and while that means there’s lots of diverse talent to be tapped, it also means there are lots of diverse employee groups to keep happy.
The makeup of the employee mix is ever-changing, with Traditionalists mostly having retired and baby boomers starting to do so at a significant rate. There are around 4.6 million workers over the age of 45 in the construction workforce, accounting for more than 44 percent of the workforce—many of whom will consider retiring in the next 10 years. Meanwhile, Gen Xers and the Millennials are taking over—in fact, Millennials are expected to comprise half the global workforce by 2020. The reliable “lifers” are headed out the door, and a more transient generation with different desires is moving in.
Employers, frankly, are struggling to adjust. Businesses are suffering from:
1. Skills gaps. There is real risk of knowledge loss within organizations as long-standing employees leave companies and younger, less experienced professionals replace them. And that’s if replacements can be found at all. There is a significant trade labor shortage plaguing a wide range of industries as Millennials are choosing not to pursue trades and are not replacing retiring Baby Boomers quickly enough.
2. Cultural misalignment. Companies are finding they need to fight to attract skilled Millennials. These younger workers are often looking for different things from employers than older generations did, including more work/life balance, opportunities to see how their work is “making a difference,” and a desire to harness modern technology in their jobs. This often doesn’t align with existing workplace cultures, especially in a traditional industry like building and construction.
3. Communications shortfalls. Younger generations tend to have different communication preferences than older generations. Millennials are typically used to checking emails on their phone, using social media regularly and relying on other advanced digital communication platforms. As a result, they expect organizations to deliver communications quickly and conveniently via their preferred channels. However, many building and construction companies simply aren’t prepared to adjust to this “new normal” of communicating effectively with tech-savvy, always-on customers and employees.
Aligning with the Modern Workforce.
Change in the workforce is happening, whether we like it or not. If you’re struggling to effectively engage, manage or recruit Millennials or even Gen X members because your communications and culture aren’t aligned with what your new workforce values, it may be time to bring in professionals to keep you competitive.
That’s where we come in. We can’t keep things the way they always were in the face of a changing labor market. But we can help you excel in that environment by helping you communicate more effectively internally and externally, maintaining a healthy organization in the process.
Chances are good that you could be doing more to survive and thrive in the face of changing labor paradigms. We can help. Contact me to get a conversation started about what communication-related shifts make the most sense for you.