Culture (R)evolution

Everyone is talking about the labor shortage...
90% of management in construction companies is within the 45-65-year-old age range.
By Sue Weiler-Doke
Everyone’s talking about the labor shortage…
  • There aren’t enough people to hire.
  • How do I get my company’s name out there?
  • How do I become an employer of choice?
  • These are all great questions…for the front of the pipeline.

But what about the people already IN the pipeline?  90% of management in construction companies is within the 45-65-year-old age range.  These are people with the experience to know the right thing to do, the relationships to get things done, and the runway and energy to execute.

What if we changed our focus and spent at least as much time and capital focusing on keeping these valuable employees – and their institutional knowledge – as we did trying to hire new ones?  What if we could get these people to stay engaged for another 5-10 years…at a level that works for both the organization and the individual.  How would that help your individual company as well as the construction industry?

Every organization has “those things” that really need to be done but remain jotted down in haste on the “parking lot” poster stuck to the wall in the large conference room after a strategic planning session.  There never seems to be enough resources, either time or manpower, to get these things done.

Enter the retiring manager…

This manager is experienced in company policy, procedure, and culture.  He or she most likely knows nearly everyone in the organization and is thought highly of by most.  He/she is ready to let others take the reins but still has a lot to give back to the organization and the industry.

  • Have you asked why these valuable people are retiring?
  • Is it too much of a daily grind?
  • Are they wanting to make more of a difference?
  • Are they being made to feel that they are blocking the up-and-coming next generation?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

The organization and the individual have a great opportunity to work together to create a true collaborative culture with mentoring at the forefront.  Think of it like this – you would be providing the next generation with the opportunity to learn from the best while living in a culture that finds success at all levels for not only the next generation but for the retiring generation as well.

How great would it be to get some of those “parking lot” items taken care of as well?

  • Converting old project costs into the current format so estimating can use these past costs to bid future work,
  • Designing and implementing your internal “university” developmental program for the next generation,
  • Getting in front of college professors and their students with a plug-and-play curriculum designed to show students the awesomeness of your company and the cool stuff you build, or
  • Helping the next generation to deeply learn the fundamentals by having them tour projects with a specific purpose in mind:
    • Touring with the retiring CEO and focusing on client relationships and communication,
    • Touring with the retiring CFO and focusing on the financial results,
    • Touring with a retiring Project Manager and focusing on scheduling techniques, or
    • Touring with a retiring foreman and focusing on quality.
What are you willing to INVEST in ALL of your CURRENT employees?…and WHAT IS THE COST OF DOING NOTHING?