Survey Pegs Keys to Retention in Skilled Trades

Feb 18, 2022 11:07:31 AM By Stacy Fitzgerald-Redd
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iStock-908264580The Building Talent Foundation (BTF) recently released the results of a survey on talent retention in the residential building and skilled trades arena. The results could help home builders and contractors improve employee retention strategies in a hot housing market faced with numerous pressures, including competition for workers due to the pandemic.


About the Survey

BTF partnered with Leading Builders of America to better understand the current levels of engagement and priorities among tradespeople working on residential construction job sites. It notes that building tradespeople engagement levels are comparable with the average engagement levels for all U.S. companies in all industries but higher than those in the healthcare and manufacturing industries, according to 2021 data from Perceptyx.

The organization engaged the Oxford Center for Employee Engagement to conduct the survey, which included 1,462 respondents, with 61 percent of respondents working on job sites and 39 percent in office/administrative roles.


Survey Findings

This inaugural Homebuilding Workforce Engagement Survey found the following:

  • Among tradespeople, 42 percent are engaged (“promoters”), 28 percent are not engaged (“detractors”), and 30 percent are neither engaged nor disengaged (“passives”).
  • Fifty-one percent of tradespeople are planning to stay in their jobs, 35 percent are thinking about another job, and 14 percent are disengaged, but not thinking yet of leaving their job.
  • More than half (51 percent) of those considering leaving are considering jobs in other sectors.
  • Tradespeople who have one to five years of experience are most likely to be thinking of another job.

Why They Stay

The survey found that the top reasons tradespeople stay at their job is that they have opportunities for career advancement, training, and learning new skills. Further, most cited having a boss who treated them well and feeling valued and respected at work as top reasons to stay. Conversely, having limited opportunities for advancement, training, and development were the top reasons people wanted to leave their jobs.


While many employers believe money is the ultimate motivator, these survey findings reveal that while compensation is a consideration, it’s not the top factor in employee engagement.


Why It Matters

In a white-hot housing market with critical labor shortages, strategies to engage and retain workers can often mean the difference between facing a severe labor shortfall or not. “The investment that we are collectively making to attract, train, hire, and develop talent in the homebuilding sector must be matched by adequate investment in engaging, upskilling, and retaining employees in our industry,” said Branka Minic, CEO of BTF.


To access the full press release on the survey, click here.




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