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The construction industry faces a mass exodus of skilled talent in the coming years as industry veterans enter retirement and hang up their toolbelts for good. And as employers are well aware, the number of skilled professionals exiting the industry far outweighs the number of those willing and able to take their place. So as companies work to rebuild their workforce from a shrinking labour pool, it will fall on them to retain the talent they attract.

Employee engagement is about more than breakroom supplies and Friday barbecues. Here are six considerations for recruiting – and retaining – your top talent.

Clarifying Expectations and Goals

Employees don't like to be left guessing. As such, expectations for their performance and project outcomes should be made clear from their first day. This includes creating and communicating a solid business strategy, helping employees align their goals with the company's objectives, setting employee progression benchmarks, and celebrating their success. It can also involve using the latest tech and mobile software to keep teams connected and everyone up to date on project goals.

Define your culture

What is your vision? What values define your company? When you know what kind of culture you want to build, then you can find the talent to match. What's more, you can take more informed steps towards building a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration. Having a clearly defined culture also helps you design your employee's experience as you would a customer's experience.

Provide Regular Feedback

It's often repeated but always true: Communication is key. Ensure crews are kept up to date on project milestones, that changes and outcomes are being made clear, and that higher-ups are providing clear and consistent performance feedback.

Foster Positive Relationships

Provide employees with access to mentors they can turn to for questions and advice, and give them opportunities to build trust and rapport with their colleagues either through collaborating planning or by setting team goals.

Let Employees Map Their Career

According to BirdDogHR, “When employees are able to develop and create their own career path, they will remain loyal to your company longer.” Use this insight to your advantage by providing ongoing training and education and give them the means to advance their knowledge and skills at their pace.

Measure Employee Engagement

How do you know when employee engagement strategies are working? Here again, communication is critical. Use surveys, interviews, and performance data to determine engagement levels among your employees. Also don't be afraid to ask the hard questions to make sure your workforce is c peace with asking the hard questions. It also pays to take measures to get to know your workforce better, so as to better assess their morale and understand causes for lack of productivity or disengagement.

These are all important tips to keep in mind for employee engagement. Yet if there is a common theme among them, it's that consistent, timely, and accurate communication is an important factor in keeping employees engaged and working as a team. Technology can go a long way towards facilitating such communication – technology like Viewpoint's cloud-based ERP software which can include talent management tools.

“A lot of contractors may not realize that their ERP system may actually have a lot to offer in terms of managing their people,' says Dylan Alford, marketing manager at Viewpoint. “Viewpoint’s ERP tools have optional talent management modules designed to help contractors handle everything from recruiting, hiring, and onboarding to ongoing performance and retention of top talent.”

Certainly, as contractors look to keep their workforce stable and on point, they will need to renew their focus on employee engagement and invest in the tools to keep their crews on the job.

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