Set a path for growth to benefit your employees, and your company.
Helping construction employees grow and develop is becoming more critical in today’s competitive job market. Building a solid internal team can help alleviate some of the burden of the ongoing construction labor shortage.
Giving your employees the opportunity to advance from within begins with goal setting.
Having a clear target will empower them to achieve your shared goals. Then, give them the tools they need to reach those goals — and get out of the way!
Here are some guidelines for helping your team advance from within and drive growth for themselves and the firm.
Set attainable goals
An effective goal is one that is attainable but still challenging. A goal that is unrealistic will only discourage the employee and make them doubt themselves. On the other hand, if the goals are too easy, the employee will not be testing themselves, and this could lead them to settle for mediocrity.
Not everyone has the skills needed to make the kind of goals that can advance them in their construction careers. Employees may need the help of a manager. As a manager, the key is to find the right balance between assisting employees with goal setting and allowing them to have autonomy over the process. Managers should actively develop their goal-setting skills so they are in a better position to assist employees.
Once the employees have goals in place, the next step is to monitor the progress of those goals. One part of this is performance metrics. It is important to measure performance so that employees can visualize where they are in relation to their goals.
It is also beneficial to the employees if they can see how their work contributes to the construction company on a larger scale. Relating employee performance to company-wide objectives is essential.
Adjust goals as needed if unexpected circumstances cause the original goal to be unrealistic.
Keep them engaged
The next key is to keep the work engaging. If employees feel challenged by the work, they will enjoy the work more and have more incentive to grow and develop their skills.
One way to help make the work engaging is to cross-train. It is vital for employees to learn new skills and to occasionally perform tasks that are not in their normal job descriptions. If the works becomes too routine, it can start to lose its appeal.
Lead by example
Leading by example is perhaps the best way to make employees feel more engaged. Managers should have their own goals — including big-picture goals linked to company-wide objectives — and be transparent about them. Employees want to feel like the company they work for has direction.
Managers must also work on their leadership skills. For this reason, they should be trained in construction leadership. By demonstrating such skills as strategic thinking, flexibility, active listening and giving and receiving constructive criticism, managers can help teach them to employees. This is important because these are the skills employees will need to advance in their careers — and help your company succeed.
Brian Binke is the founder and CEO of The Birmingham Group, a globally recognized Executive Search and Consulting firm specializing in the Construction arena. You can reach Brian directly at [email protected].