How Can Construction Companies Overcome Their Top 5 HR Challenges?

Chad Prinsloo | Web Designer

Tiaan Dwyer  |  HR Specialist

April 20 2021

As an owner-operator in the construction industry, you’re already familiar with the day-to-day workplace difficulties that come with every project. As you also already know, the most important success factor to your construction site is your workforce skills and productivity. Although all businesses face HR challenges, construction companies usually have to deal with much more unique day-to-day workplace issues.

In this article, I’ll be sharing the top 5 HR issues faced by the construction industry, and solutions to help combat them.

Recruiting qualified and trustworthy construction staff

All construction company wants to find the best workers for the specific role they need to be filled, but oftentimes they are also competing with other industry employers who have already figured out that to recruit top talent, the package on offer and job description needs to be just as attractive as the skills you’re looking for. Along with offering a competitive package to attract the right employee, you need to be creative with the recruiting process and think outside the box. One idea is to find an employee you already know, like, and trust, and ask them if they know of anyone they trust who would be interested and qualified in the role you need to be filled.

By also making it easy for employees to apply for the job role you need to be filled, you’ll most likely receive a better response from the right candidate. This includes advertising your job role on your website, through a qualified recruitment agency, or even social media.

If you need to discipline for bad behaviour

On some occasions, employees are known to miss shifts or arrive late. This can be due to a multitude of reasons such as transportation issues, family problems, bad behaviour, etc. Sometimes, when one employee misses their shift, a domino effect happens and other employees start to miss their shifts too. Likewise, if an employee misses their shift, it can cause other employees to feel frustrated or even angry because they have to work twice as hard to cover for their coworker’s input.

Solutions include building a positive company culture that starts from the top. Make sure your project managers arrive on time for their shifts, and always keep communication frequent. If an employee is running late due to a situation out of their control, communicate with them that they need to inform you before the time so you have enough time to get a replacement in for the day if needed. Lastly, don’t be afraid to be tough when the situation calls for it. If you need to dismiss or let an employee go for bad behavior, the rest of your staff will understand that bad behaviour or missing shifts won’t be tolerated.

Maintaining worker safety

Worker safety is a major responsibility and concern for construction site owners. If your company fails to take the relevant safety precautions it could not only cost someone their life and livelihoods, but your company could also be at risk of medical bills, compensation fees, as well as ongoing lawsuits.

While you can’t remove all risk and harm from a job site, an HR specialist can help you reduce the likelihood of employee injuries and mistakes while on the job by designing training routines, health and safety handbooks, setting safety procedures and protocols, etc.

It goes without saying that worker safety should be at the forefront of every construction site.

High staff turnover

Besides the seasonal and per-project basis workers, the construction industry is known to have a high turnover rate. Common factors that contribute to high turnover include unsafe worksite conditions, low wages and salaries, poor leadership, slow staff development and training, and other factors. Employees that get hired and leave shortly thereafter cost your company a lot of money and time. To combat this, creating a sense of open communication, transparency, and feedback, creating a positive company culture, along with empowering your employees on every level to work productively and get along well with others, taking in their concerns and acting upon them, can help make them feel more valued, appreciated, and be more loyal to your company.

Compliance with labour laws

Failing to comply with labour laws can not only mean heavy fines and penalties, but it could also mean a cease of operations to your construction site. Construction companies must comply with the basic conditions of the employment act, as well as safety regulations and health protocols set out by the department of labour to stay compliant.

Transforming HR for the Construction Industry

Using these methods to improve the health of your hr strategy can come a long way. However, managing a complete HR strategy for your construction company can be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. At FIC Consulting, we take the headache out of HR from you and manage this on your behalf, saving you time, energy, and most of all, money.

If there is something I want you to know about me right away, it’s that I have a passion for supporting business owners. I believe in the future of South Africa and that there are so many opportunities out there to be successful and to make a change to our economy.

I want to be part of that change by providing businesses with core HR and Labour Solutions that will not only result in legislative compliance but actually positively impact their bottom line.

Over the years I have gained practical HR experience working in various sectors such as mining, construction, financial services, and corporate legal. As a business owner myself, I can relate well to businesses and what their needs are.

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