Retaining quality employees and reducing their stress levels remain high priorities for many employers, and home builders are no exception.
Construction employment increased by more than 6,000 in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but home builders and others in the trade still recognize the need to keep the talented workers they already have.
The turnover rate dipped from 5.3 percent in January of this year to 4.9 percent in February, but it remains higher than the 3.5 percent average for all industries, according to BLS data.
With April being National Stress Awareness Month, here are four steps home builders can take to retain top-performing employees and keep stress to a minimum:
1) Provide Training & Development:
There's no question about it: training your employees can be a costly venture.
However, you have to think about the ramifications of not offering development opportunities to workers, too.
Consider how expensive it would be not only to let good employees walk, but also to recruit, hire and get new employees caught up to speed.
Society for Human Resource Management reports that it costs companies, on average, more than $4,100 to hire an employee.
By providing in-house training and college tuition reimbursement, you're making a wise investment in the future of your employees and also your home builder business.
The investment will put your participating employees' minds at ease, knowing they won't have to cover the full cost of attending vocational classes.
Employees will also feel empowered by this, so retaining them shouldn't be much of an issue moving forward.
2) Promote Open Communication:
Studies have shown that about 60 percent of millennials leave their employers in less than three years.
With millennials expected to account for 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, according to a Brookings report, home builders need to understand how important it is to regularly communicate with this group of employees.
Whether it's in person, over the phone or a virtual meeting, you have to constantly provide feedback to millennials and keep them engaged while on the job.
In turn, millennial employees will likely feel less anxious and stressed out if they know what's expected from them on a regular basis.
Failing to keep this younger cohort interested in all aspects of their job is a recipe for disaster, so don't fall prey to complacency or you won't be able to retain their services.
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3) Ditch The Uptight Corporate Vibe:
Home builders, take heed: 88 percent of millennials surveyed want a fun and social workplace environment, according to a Business Insider report.
Creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere during home builder projects should foster better work relationships between your employees and also the contractors you interact with daily.
When there is a good mix of humor and seriousness, you're likely to reduce stress and increase work productivity.
4) Serve Up Recognition & Rewards:
Dedicated employees deserve to be acknowledged for their efforts to make your home builder business successful.
If your company runs an employee or team of the month-type program, why not add a new wrinkle to the plan by introducing gift cards? It's a cost-effective approach to show your appreciation, and the reward should alleviate some financial and mental stress your employees may be experiencing.
On the surface, these steps may seem like a tall task, but accomplishing them should go a long way toward retaining your employees and making sure your home builder business has a viable future.
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