It’s now the month of June, and it’s still no secret that the construction industry and the skilled trades need more people.
As I noted in a previous blog post, most of us would agree that the current labor shortage is one of the biggest issues affecting the industry – and it is only going to become more challenging if we do not come together.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." - Phil Jackson
As we close out the second quarter and the first half of the year, I’d like to highlight a few factors that will be crucial to our success in 2021 and beyond:
People are our biggest asset. People are our families, our customers, our employees, our contractors and our peers. And they are everyone else around us who help make the world go around. To change the narrative of the skilled trades in the construction industry, we must come together, we must stand proud and we must do it in large numbers.
All too often, we are so focused on winning that we forget about why we got into this business in the first place. This business is about people, and it’s about delivering an exceptional experience from start to finish. Have you ever sold a project without a person involved? Have you ever installed a project without people? As an industry, we need to talk more, collaborate more, share best practices and educate each other on how to win with the right tools and resources.
Studies have shown that companies that view their employees as valuable assets outperform those that do not. Let’s take this same thought process and apply it to the entire industry. We need to value our people as assets and invest time, energy and resources into them. With this approach, we will continue to grow industry-wide. As I like to share with the baseball team I coach, attitudes are contagious and often, behaviors are based on attitudes. That said, why not have a great attitude?
Allow your people to cultivate relationships by delivering great customer experiences. Allow them to innovate and give them space and opportunity to be thinkers and doers. By listening to your people and allowing them to have a voice, you will find them happier. As a result, your revenues may increase. In turn, it will help you ultimately build your brand and reputation and see continued growth.
Share results with your people, from your customers to your employees and everyone in between. When you communicate, you build a community based on trust, and you will have more interested and engaged people around you. Take what you are doing to social media, communicate your message (our message) and let your people do the talking as brand ambassadors. We need to share the skilled trades message and tell the stories for all to see and hear.
As in life and business, it’s the little things that usually add up to be big things. Sometimes this is done in daily improvements, and other times as larger tasks that turn into big outcomes. In my opinion, there is no such thing as an overnight success – it takes time.
Our strength, as an industry, will come via strength in numbers. I cannot do this by myself and you cannot do this alone. We need to come together, keep together and work together on changing the awareness, the perception and the reputation of the skilled trades.
We Will Grow Together
A few years ago, I read a book called “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell suggests that three factors can tip an idea into a social epidemic: the messenger, the message itself and the context of the message.
Together, we need to communicate a clear message that people will listen to. We need to tell the story of the skilled trades and that there is a Career Pathway to Success!
The skilled trades and the VSI:
- Provide an opportunity to train today and start tomorrow
- Afford you the education and ability to win more projects
- Allow you to unlock your limitless potential
Let’s tip the scales, flip the script and do it together!
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." - Henry Ford
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To your success,
“Coach” Rob Balfanz
Director, Workforce Development