Are we in the middle of the Great Resignation or the Great Reshuffle? From my perspective, employees are no longer looking to leave the workforce, but are looking to find an opportunity that is more fulfilling. Today’s workers are changing their standards for the types of benefits, cultures, and perks that are desirable. They are looking for appealing jobs with the right amount of responsibility and flexibility. The bigger question now is are you prepared to offer it?
Construction companies, then, need to consider what employees are looking for; why finding a fulfilling opportunity is so critical; and how to balance emotional work versus money. But first we need to get to know this new worker.
Generation Z will soon surpass Millennials as the most populous generation on earth, with more than one-third of the world’s population counting themselves as Gen Zers—or as I call them, screeners. In the U.S., Gen Z constitutes more than a quarter of the population and, by 2020, will be the most diverse generation in the nation’s history, according to Deloitte.
According to the company’s research, while salary is the most important factor in deciding on a job, Generation Z values salary less than every other generation. What’s more, if given the choice of accepting a better paying but boring job versus work that was more interesting but didn’t pay as well, Gen Z was pretty evenly split over the choice.
Here are four tips for creating a workplace that addresses the needs of today’s potential trades and that regains great talents.
Environmental stewardship. To attract good workers, businesses must address larger societal issues like sustainability and climate change. Younger workers are driven to be good global citizens—and they want the companies they work for to do the same. Construction businesses must then leap into action to demonstrate their commitment to our planet.
Diversity abounds: DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) is one of the biggest opportunities for the construction industry. Today’s worker wants to be in an environment that is inclusive. And if you lead a construction firm you must consider how to appeal to all workers and create a career path that is valuable to everyone.
Man and machine: Today’s young Gen Z (Screeners) worker is tech savvy, to say the least. They want opportunities that are not only lucrative, but more fulfilling and that is undoubtedly going to include technology. Construction companies must consider how technology can be used to improve processes on the jobsite—and then use that as an incentive for young workers.
Highlight the benefits: Gen Z needs to see the benefits of construction early. Contractors can help demonstrate the benefits of going into a skilled trade. Construction companies need to help young workers understand why this line of work is so fulfilling—why building something from the ground up has purpose and meaning.
We need to rewrite the narrative. We need to dispel the myths that exist that construction is a dirty and dangerous industry to work in. We need to highlight how construction is innovative and revolutionary. This is perhaps the only way construction will win in the Great Reshuffle. Creative executives are hiring from every industry and encouraging the next generation of leaders to move innovation to levels we only dreamed of if we let them. Where do you stand as the next new construction leader who will win more people, process, and profits in the Great Reshuffle?
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