For Curtainwall Companies, Planning for the Future is Key

By Bo Stevenson on December 10, 2019

In every sector, construction industry leaders are trying to capitalize on the strength of today’s market. While it is important for companies to take advantage of market growth, it is equally important for them to understand that this growth won’t last forever. Planning for the future has never been more important, as the industry grapples with an ongoing talent shortage. So how can curtainwall companies set themselves up for success in the future? It’s all about keeping employees happy. Here are three simple strategies that will help strengthen recruitment, improve employee satisfaction, and ensure long-term company stability.

Focus on Relationships

Referrals are the most common way for new workers to be introduced to the curtainwall industry. Sometimes the connections are personal - friends or family members who work in this sector and provide a way in. Other times, they’re professional; an employee at a general contractor might have a positive working experience with a curtainwall subcontractor and shift specialties as a result. Either way, a curtainwall company’s employees are its best chance at landing strong new employees, from recent graduates looking for entry-level construction roles to more experienced workers from different sectors who want to explore a new specialty. Encourage employees to act as advocates for the company in the marketplace, reaching out to prospective candidates from different backgrounds who can help build the company’s future.

Retain Employees by Planning for Their Future

The simplest way to make sure that an employee stays with a company and continues performing at a high level is also the most effective: open communication. Managers need to know exactly what their employees want out of their careers, and they need to work toward those goals together - otherwise, those employees will look for other opportunities to fulfill their needs. Hold regular meetings to discuss employees’ job satisfaction: how are they enjoying their roles? Are they facing specific challenges that their manager can help alleviate? Do they want to be working toward a promotion in the next two years, or participating in continuous learning and professional development opportunities? Not only do these conversations help managers understand what will keep their employees happy and productive, but they also show employees that their managers see a future for them at the company, which can increase feelings of loyalty.

Invest in Support

Too many companies underestimate the value of strong support for their project management teams. Burnout is a top cause of employee disengagement and turnover, and ensuring that Project Managers aren’t overworked is critical. Investing in top talent to split the workload is one strategy that has an added benefit: not only will the new employee reduce the risk of burnout for existing Project Managers, but they can also create time in employees’ schedules to allow for mentorship opportunities. Mentorship is an often-overlooked support system that benefits both newer employees, who need the learning opportunity, and the more experienced workers, who will have a chance to pass along their knowledge of their craft. Another cost-effective way of building support is by hiring less experienced employees (for example, a procurement specialist) with the goal of training them in project management over time. Developing promising employees and promoting from within creates a culture of growth and opportunity while strengthening your project management team’s support at every level.

The future of the curtainwall industry depends on leaders taking steps today that will benefit their companies long after the market corrects and the existing workforce ages out. Fortunately, these strategies are simple for companies to adopt now and will continue to pay dividends for both a company’s bottom line and its rates of employee retention and engagement.

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Bo Stevenson

Bo Stevenson

Associate

Bo joined Kimmel & Associates in 2018 as an Associate. He worked for several months in our Logistics & Supply Chain Division, and now he dedicates his relationship-building skills and commitment to service to our Cladding and Curtain Wall Division.