By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.
It’s no secret that skilled jobs are the hardest to fill. The problem is only going to worsen if employers aren’t willing to attract and engage their workforce.
According to an article on Constructionequipmentguide.com, at the recent Association of Equipment Manufacturers ConExpo-Con/AGG 365 initiative, Ethan Martin, a consultant and executive coach shared three things companies can do now to make a difference.

Make an attitude adjustment. Change is happening among employees and in the market; companies must be willing to face that and make adjustments. Successful engagement is interconnected with other organizational aspects and shouldn’t be viewed separately, or it risks becoming an uninteresting task.
Commit the time and resources now. Tomorrow is too late. Many companies report lack of time and resources as reasons why they aren’t engaging employees. Martin warns that engagement efforts can take years to yield results. He works with one company that has reached out to high school students and local career centers, but they understand that they won’t see results for two to four years. Others cite costs as reasons they are not engaging, but by investing in employees, the company will benefit in the end.
Hire for character first. Martin says character is most important when hiring. You can teach anyone to do anything, but character can’t be taught. If at some point, the good-character employee does decide to leave it’s likely they wouldn’t just up and leave in the middle of a project.

It’s time to take a look inside and ask yourself if you are engaging with your employees. What are you investing in them? According to Gallup, only 32 percent of employees are engaged and 51 percent are actively looking for a new job. This article in Forbes identified several ways you can work toward building a more engaged team:

Acknowledge employees – Say ‘hello’ and ‘good night.’ Know their names, know things about their families and their life outside of work. Ask them about it. Tell them when they are doing a good job.
Focus on employee development – Be sure you are providing opportunities for employees to grow their career. Give them new duties and responsibilities, consider job rotation, send them to training and offer educational assistance.
Don’t micromanage them – You hired and trained them to do a job, now step back and let them do their best work.

Remember that results won’t happen overnight but start today and you will be well on your way to creating a culture that attracts and retains your company’s biggest asset – It’s employees.

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