Construction Worker Retention Strategies

Retention and Turnover in Construction

Employee turnover in the construction industry is reaching 10 year highs in residential and commercial building.

The demand for construction work has never been higher. The construction industry’s job creation rate is nothing short of impressive. Less impressive is the average employee turnover rate. Thanks to technological advancements, the disappearing “summer job,” and fewer part time workers, the construction talent pool is shrinking every day. The need to retain your existing workforce has never been greater. To win the war for talent, construction companies must have a pulse on the thoughts and attitudes that drive high employee turnover in real time.

  • Turnover for workers 25 or under averages around 38%
  • Commercial Observer reports that in New York alone, approximately 40 percent of statewide construction workers will reach retirement age within two years.
  • Fewer people go into the construction field, because fewer young people try it for the summer or part-time

Construction Worker Recruitment

As cities expand, the demand for construction work goes up. Meanwhile the talent pool in the industry continues to shrink. Gone are the days of basic skills and manual labor. Construction work today is a combination of physical strength, extreme weather conditions and an advanced understanding of technology. The disappearance of the summer job adds yet another layer of complexity to the evolving workforce. Construction companies can no longer rely on students to do construction work in the summer. High school and college students are more future oriented and are more likely to spend their breaks in summer classes or career related internships. Simply put, there is a vacuum of willing and able talent to hit the job site. Partnerships with vocational schools is a start, but industry leaders know this is not enough.


Construction Staff Retention

To retain, leading companies must keep their employees motivated, productive, and current on changing technologies, all while ensuring their health and safety. Companies that retain staff regularly solicit honest feedback and quickly act on it in real-time. Failing to do so will lead to construction employee turnover that causes missed deadlines, increased incidents, and projects delivered at a lower quality.


The Future of Construction Work

The challenges you face as a leader in the construction industry are tough. The work remains rigorous while the workforce is constantly changing. Despite these constraints, the construction industry’s future is bright. Ensure your organization’s growth alongside it by strategically investing in the retention of your workforce. The construction companies that succeed will need more than just quality and price. They will have to answer: How can we predict those who are more likely to leave? What can be done to ensure our people stay on the job longer?

You can reduce employee turnover in construction. The employee retention experts at Retensa have helped companies retain millions of construction workers. Start with 1 of these 3 options now:

  1. Retention Skills Training gives your superintendents, general managers, and site managers the tools they need to retain and engage their best construction workers right away. Your PM’s and GC’s never learned this in school. Retensa provides real-world tools and tactics based on real insights from what employees say they want and need from your construction company. Forget off-the-shelf, invest in training that is customized to the needs of your specific employee population.
  2. Exit Interviews provide you with with actionable intelligence. Using a third party like Retensa to conduct exit interviews creates the safety net people need to avoid burning bridges and be really honest about why they are leaving. The truth is, it’s almost never due to salary. Ask the right questions to pinpoint the root causes for high turnover at your construction site and prepare strategies to help increase retention today.
  3. Retention Diagnostics give you prioritized recommendations for data-driven decision makingThis will identify the areas where your organization excels, where it can focus, and all the “noise” to ignore. To reduce construction worker turnover, you need more than just knowing the root causes of low morale, high absenteeism, or disengagement. You need clear and actionable recommendations to retain talent. The Retention Diagnostic delivers exactly, unquestionably, and completely how to predict and prevent turnover for the next 24 months.


It will not get easier on its own. There is no pill for this. But there are strategies that work. Get proactive to reduce turnover and increase morale and motivation so your biggest problem is no longer who will be on the next project. Request a free consultation for a real-world plan. Call us now at (212) 545-1280 or email a retention expert here.