Nearly a quarter of a million construction industry jobs in the United States are open, but most construction firms and contractors find it increasingly difficult to fill them. But what about the younger generation? Consider the challenge that most current laborers are in their 40’s or older (generation X and baby boomers). Should firms be focusing on the millennials?
Today, millennials account for 50% of the workforce. By 2030, they will comprise a whopping 75 percent. The construction industry should prepare, and it will be the visionary business leaders who think about how they can attract and leverage the digital native generation to infuse their organizations with fresh ideas and new approaches. Unfortunately, industries such as construction are more challenged than others in attracting and retaining millennial workers. Don’t risk your long-term success. Think today about how you can bolster your roster with a steady stable of new, millennial talent.
There’s a good deal of research about what this generation wants in the workplace, but it’s not necessarily what you’d expect. It’s much less to do with perks like stocked fridges and ping pong tables and more about contribution, purpose, and work/life balance. They are also curious, entrepreneurial, and progressive. Constant iteration is typical for this generation, making millennials adept at embracing change, rolling a company’s pivot, and adapting to new ideas and strategies.
Provide exciting work, learning opportunities with an onsite project, and autonomy to keep your team engaged and attract new talent. Develop a framework to help them learn and grow while avoiding micromanagement once the team member is fully onboarded. Offer more regular feedback after project completion and reward based upon performance, not necessarily tenure.
Millennials are digital natives, having grown up with technology. They grew up with the internet and have been trained to look for all the information they need. They’re connected via smartphones, laptops, tablets, and PCs and are accustomed to instant access and delivery (Uber, Amazon, etc.). They prefer their communication to be bite-sized: easy to digest, instantly understandable with images and visuals to hold their attention.
Millennials want to make an impact, regardless of the job’s scope. The construction industry should welcome the youngest contributors and not fall into the trap of thinking that employees need to “put in their time” before suggesting new ideas.
According to the 2021 Fortune Best Workplaces for Millennials report, millennials want fair pay and personal meaning more than any other generation. They also want to use the latest technologies and work in innovative environments. For construction firms, this doesn’t mean paper and pen. Instead, it means digitized tools and automated processes. It means touting your new construction methods or approaches, such as sustainable design and new applications. Embracing new technologies—drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, BIM, project management, and more—demonstrate your team’s commitment to innovation and the potential to revolutionize the building sector. As digital natives, it’ll speak their language and allow them to participate, collaborate and contribute.
We’re proud to offer our clients the most innovative, cost-effective, and easy-to-use field intelligence solutions. Rhumbix has modernized construction field operations with a worker’s first approach, helping builders go paperless in the field and improving how they track, measure, and manage labor productivity to be more profitable.