Caring about turnover

Employee turnover is a challenge for companies of any size and type. CEOs spend a considerable amount of time figuring out how best to attract, retain and motivate their most talented employees. Knowing why employees, particularly younger ones, leave a job is an important first step in addressing the issue. Most important, though, is caring enough to do something about it.

Data show that only about 12 percent of people leave a company for more money, while almost 80 percent cite lack of appreciation. In other words, people don’t leave their jobs. They leave their leaders. At Welty, we believe in and employ the Languages of Appreciation — words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time and tangible gifts.

Respect, dignity, fairness, a feeling of inclusion and having a voice are five other things people want from their leaders. Therefore, creating the right culture and providing the kind of work environment that entices the best and brightest to stay is a critical component of any company’s success.

Talent-retention tools and programs

Because the talent market is so competitive, especially in the construction industry, Welty is particularly focused on culture. People must be our first priority. We try to create a culture of retention by using a variety of tools and programs. These include:

  • Communications-style assessments
  • Investments in training and development
  • An open-door policy
  • An inclusive environment
  • Peer groups that become social and training opportunities
  • Career conversations
  • Volunteerism
  • Matching charitable interests
  • A well-appointed office environment

Although all are important, we are committed to consistently focusing on training and continually improving our training process with a strong emphasis on leadership and management training. Much of what keeps employees engaged has to do with the leadership team, its actions, habits and treatment of those around them.

Targeting millennials

These days our leaders are paying extra attention to how they deal with employees born in the 1980s and 1990s — the millennials. Millennials are interested in companies that can answer these questions: Do you know where you are going as an organization, and how are you going to help me get where I want to go?

With that in mind, more so than ever, it’s important to have structured career paths with incentives and advancement strategies built into career development programs. Hire for attitude and values, then encourage employees to have each others’ backs.

At Welty, our goal is to provide customers with an exceptional building experience. And we know that providing employees with an exceptional work environment and making them feel respected and appreciated are the best ways to keep them.

As Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Don Taylor is president and CEO of Welty Building Co. Ltd. Since 1945, Welty Building Co. has provided professional construction management services, specializing in Lean Construction, for clients in a variety of health care, commercial, education, energy, mission-critical and hospitality markets nationwide.