Nothing ever gets built without workers to build it. That doesn’t mean managing and maintaining that workforce is easy, especially in today’s challenging landscape. This isn’t always due to bad management but sometimes just the tendency to cling to outdated, manual systems and processes. These erosive systems are often compounded by another problem that currently plagues the entire construction industry––the dwindling size of the skilled labor force.
First, we must look at both problems to fully understand the deep need for updated systems and processes in construction.
It’s a scary statistic. The ever-shrinking pool of workers in the construction industry is a big concern for many companies, especially with so many retirements looming in the near future. An estimated 40% of workers will reach retirement age within the next decade. This means that the industry will need about half a million new workers on top of the standard hiring rate to meet construction demands in 2023, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors 2022 Workforce model.
The issue is further compounded by the fact that a company’s best practices and core risks are often handled by a single individual or a small group of people. As these decision-makers leave the workplace due to retirement needs, fewer individuals will fully understand the processes they manage. Relying on one person or even one group to make decisions and carry legacy information is one surefire way to create a single point of failure in your business.
One way to combat this is with user-friendly technology that can digitize and streamline decision-making, communication, and legacy information projects. Smart workforce management tech can make life easier for existing leaders and implement valuable systems that won’t retire when your people do.
Whiteboards, spreadsheets and manual processes remain a typical setup in the construction industry, especially in field offices. The problem? Such systems represent a real challenge to anyone who needs more nuanced information than figures on a piece of paper can provide, such as insights across multiple jobs, in-depth strategic planning, and accurate time and resource forecasting.