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June 17, 2019

Attract, Retain and Lead a Multi-Generational Workforce

(Author: Martin C. McCarthy) The shortage of qualified construction workers is taking its toll. Results for the first quarter 2019 USG Corporation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index show that the lack of having a pool of talent to hire is making a major impact on a contractor’s ability to complete jobs on time. According to the findings, 70 percent of commercial contractors are missing deadlines because they do not have enough workers on the job. As a result, 40 percent of the companies surveyed claim that they are forced to turn down new projects because they cannot adequately staff the job. 

Eighty-one percent of the contractors surveyed are forced to asked skilled employees to work longer hours. While some employees may like the additional money, others are overwhelmed and stressed out by the lack of work/life balance. Fatigued workers are more likely to make a mistake or be involved in an accident. 

Attracting and retaining a qualified workforce is important to the success of any contractor. In order to attract the best workers, business owners have to demonstrate that the company cares about its workforce, is willing to provide employees with opportunities for advancement, has a corporate mission and vision that is in alignment with making a positive impact, and provides flexible work hours, family friendly benefits, work/life balance, good pay and benefits; as well as invests in the technology to get the job done.

Game-changing ideas discussed in the article are:

Employee Engagement is Critical – Employees at engaged companies know that their work is valued and that they make an important contribution to the success of the organization. As a result, employees: 

  • Feel personally and emotionally bound to the company
  • Take pride in recommending the company as a good place to work
  • Are attached to the intrinsic rewards of working at the company instead of the compensation
  • Feel a close attachment to the company’s purpose, mission, and culture

Leading Instead of Managing is Key – Leadership engagement drives employee engagement, which is measured by the strength of the relationship between management and staff and the extent to which employees: 

  • Are committed to the work that they are doing
  • Believe in the values of the company
  • Feel pride in working for the company
  • Are inspired and motivated to go the extra mile
  • Deliver results

Leading is very different from managing. Managing focuses on the details, controlling the progress and results, as well as keeping employees on-task. Leading is about empowering employees to understand the details and their relation to the bigger picture.

Anabolic vs. Catabolic Leaders – Energy leadership is a process that develops a leadership style that positively influences everyone in the company. Leaders acquire an awareness of how their anabolic (constructive, rejuvenating, and sustainable) or catabolic (destructive and draining) behavior affects employee engagement so that they can make a conscious decision to shift to a level that serves everyone better. 

Anabolic leaders recognize that they can choose how to respond to any situation and that the decision they make will either motivate and inspire employees or discourage them. Leaders with anabolic energy can shift and re-engage their teams into finding solutions and opportunities just by their reaction. Doing so in critical moments can dramatically change the culture of a team and the company. Catabolism cannot survive if stress and reactive tendencies are cut short. 

This alert summarizes the main points discussed in the article. Click here to read the full article. 

Feel free to contact any member of our team with questions at 610-828-1900 (PA) or 732-341-3893 (NJ). You can contact Don Kaiser, CPA, principal, at or me at We are always here to answer your questions. 

Source: CE This Week is published by Construction Executive, the leading magazine for the construction industry. 

Author: Martin C. McCarthy, CPA, CCIFP, Managing Partner, McCarthy & Company, PC