Ways To Retain Skilled Construction Workers

Ways To Retain Skilled Construction Workers
  • Opening Intro -

    People cannot complete construction work from home, and most construction workers were deemed essential workers during pandemic lockdowns.

    Yet builders and construction companies continue to experience labor shortages.


More experienced skilled workers are opting for retirement rather than returning to work. Estimates of labor shortages in construction range from 500,000 to 650,000 workers in 2022.

Along with the urgent need to recruit new workers is the obvious, urgent need to retain the skilled workers you already hired. Here are ways to retain skilled construction workers.

Pay and Benefits

Wages are going up throughout the labor force. Employers must acknowledge they are competing for workers who can find higher pay elsewhere, in jobs that are less grueling and safer.

According to the global management consulting firm McKinsey, from December 2019 to December, 2021, construction wages rose 7.9 percent, but wages in warehousing and transportation grew 12.6 percent. Skilled workers can be lured away by better pay elsewhere.

However, many skilled workers will tell you that money isn’t everything in a job. Offering a robust menu of benefits from health care to employee assistance plans to child care attracts and retains workers in construction fields.

Working Conditions and Safety

Construction companies that prioritize worker safety will do better at retaining skilled staff. Making worker safety a priority demonstrates that an employer genuinely cares about employees.

Working conditions relate to safety, but also to worker satisfaction. Offering attractive restroom trailers—as opposed to smelly porta potties—can go a long way to making workers happier about showing up.

Companies could offer catered breakfasts or lunches once a week. They can also provide break areas with quality snacks, including healthy options, water, good coffee, and sports drinks to refresh workers who have spent hours sweating outdoors.


The workers who are handling the tools, materials, and equipment that get the job done think constantly about ways to do it better, faster, and more efficiently. Listen to their input. Show you respect their knowledge and ideas. Offer them more autonomy to make decisions you trust them to make without having to go through multiple layers of management.

Employers with a workforce that includes more women and people with various racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds must emphasize respect for all employees and insist on a workplace free from harassment.


Work-life balance is now an expectation, not a perk. Skilled workers deserve time to attend their kids’ sporting events, birthday parties, or to take their spouse out for a special anniversary dinner.


Retain skilled construction workers by investing in their futures. As construction technologies develop rapidly, workers deserve the chance to keep up. Workers who have made a career in construction fields may worry that robotics and other forms of automation threaten their jobs.

These workers want to know the latest innovations that make their work easier, faster, and more cost efficient, while providing new knowledge and skills provide job security.

The rapid changes in workforce, demand, supply, and costs are challenges the construction industry will have to absorb and respond to for the foreseeable future. Retaining skilled workers is a critical part of the puzzle.

Image Credit: Construction engineers supervising progress of construction credit By saravut FILE #: 432198200

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