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Is Work-Family Balance Affecting Workforce Retention in the Construction and Renovation Industry?

Last modified: 2022-07-22 | Approximate reading time 6 mins

Cynthia Pigeon

The working world is undergoing radical shifts, and these changes have without a doubt impacted Quebec’s construction and renovation industry.

The issue at hand here is the critical labour shortage, the workplace conditions it enables, as well as the shift in priorities workers’ experience in terms of quality of life.

Over the course of the ensuing paragraphs, we will delve into the following three aspects surrounding the relationship between work-family balance, the renovation industry, and how it can affect you as a business owner.

conciliation travail famille_La conciliation travail-famille: un enjeu pour la rétention des travailleurs de la construction et rénovation?_Soumission Rénovation

Are Labour Shortages in the Renovation Industry Affecting Work-Family Balance for Workers? 

Whether you have been in business for 2 months, 2 years or 20 years, you have likely been amongst the many business owners struggling to recruit new employees as of late. Over the last few years, this has been a widespread phenomenon.

While the number of deals signed may have increased or even boomed, you may have been one who had to turn down projects because there simply were not enough hands on deck.

As a result, workers who are already part of a crew find themselves overworked, often having to work overtime to the detriment of family time. This can even make the shortage worse, as some employees can no longer live and work under these conditions, and therefore are deciding to find a job that is less demanding and more accommodating.

This is further supported by an article that was published in February of this year in La Presse (the hardship construction workers are faced with when it comes to work-life balance), based on a study conducted by the Ministère de la Famille. The article stipulates that 45% of construction workers have reported that their work has had a massive negative impact on their lives.

Nearly half… We can therefore conclude that the work conditions in the industry, exacerbated by the shortage, greatly affect the work-life balance of construction workers.

Père qui passe du temps avec son enfant_La conciliation travail-famille: un enjeu pour la rétention des travailleurs de la construction et rénovation?_Soumission Rénovation

Seeing your kids grow up is priceless! 

How Work-Life Balance Affects Employee Recruitment

For many workers, work-life balance has become a key factor in job satisfaction. As a result, employers in the renovation industry must factor this preference into their employee recruitment process and business management decisions.

Since it is highly coveted by most employers, potential hires can demand more flexibility to which bosses are more inclined to respond affirmatively. In other words, as the expression goes, they have the upper hand. 

Couple de personnes âgées, retraités ou proche de la retraite_La conciliation travail-famille: un enjeu pour la rétention des travailleurs de la construction et rénovation?_Soumission Rénovation

Life is short; take advantage of all the time you have with your loved ones. 

Where Does the Boss Fit In? 

As a business owner, admittedly, balancing work and family life is tough as it is. Being an entrepreneur—in any industry—is demanding, yet rewarding, but it also requires a lot of planning to reconcile the other areas of your life. With all the developments that have occurred in the construction industry in recent years, the challenge is even more daunting.

Maintaining one’s wellbeing is an essential part of all of this too as a lack of balance will eventually catch up to you. So, how do you go about it?

The answer is not that straightforward, and unfortunately, there are no silver bullets in this situation. Moreover, it is not likely that all solutions are appropriate for all cases. Still, here are a few time-tested tips to help contractors better manage their own work-life balance, as well as that of their team:

  • Surround yourself with positive energy: Cherish the employees and collaborators you value! Nurture the relationship at hand and stress the importance you place on them. When you need their help or time for yourself, they will be happy to oblige.
  • Realistically manage the growth of your company: Many contractors dream of having their company reach prominence within their industry. This objective is interesting and highly motivating; however, one must realize that during certain periods, this goal is not always manageable. For instance, when it is done to the detriment of employee and employer work-life balance. 
  • Be organized: Knowing how to shape your schedule, and factor in the purchase of material, along with every step of the project, is a legitimate art form! If you are a particularly gifted time manager, more power to you! If not, you might consider bringing someone on to help you with that. 
  • Know when to delegate: Delegating is easier said than done, especially when it is your company. Even when you have a trusted team, letting go is the hardest task of all. To keep up your strength and energy, and manage family time, you might have to delegate a little bit. Start off by assigning the easiest tasks to someone else. And, little by little, you will see how it goes. 
  • Take advantage of valuable tools and services: There are various tools, phone apps, and dedicated services in place to help contractors maximize their schedules. For instance, you can use a quote software, subscribe to a platform that will link you to clients, or try out phone apps designed to simplify business management.
  • Quantify your priorities: When you are overwhelmed with work, sitting down, and working through your priorities, whether for work or family, is demanding. Pro tip: To ensure that you are making the best of your time, take a moment a few times a year, with your family or on your own, to survey the past few months of your life. That way, it will become obvious which areas are lacking, family- or workwise. Considering your life this way will enable you to quantify your priorities during a certain period and re-evaluate from there.  

Repas en famille_La conciliation travail-famille: un enjeu pour la rétention des travailleurs de la construction et rénovation?_Soumission Rénovation

Family dinners are a time during which family can gather after a long day at work or school. 

How to Make Your Employees Happy with Your Business

In conclusion, this article paints a picture that many would qualify as discouraging (others might see it as a motivating challenge!), so here are a few tips that could be beneficial when it comes to retaining your employees, establishing a good reputation as an employer, and enticing other workers to join your crew. The tips below will enable employees to achieve a better work-life balance. 

  • Establish an open-door policy: From day one, be upfront regarding your vision for your employees within the company. Speak to them about their potential for personal and professional growth within the company. Set forth the advantages of working for the company, especially if you are thinking of offering a quality work-life balance
  • Offer continuing education and personal growth activities: Overall, people enjoy learning, and they will feel extra motivated during work hours if they know there is a chance for them to grow within the walls of the company. You can obviously offer work-related training to refine their skills. Oftentimes, these training seminars can be developed around the personal interests they wish to fine-tune (language, knowledge, personal growth). 
  • Organize group activities and get to know your people: Foster the feeling of belonging by making people feel like they are on a team. You can also include their family members when it comes to company activities such as BBQs, nature walks, etc. Communicating in favour of family life will help build team spirit.

For more tips like these, check out our article: Renovation Company: 6 Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover

Travail d'équipe_La conciliation travail-famille: un enjeu pour la rétention des travailleurs de la construction et rénovation?_Soumission Rénovation

A team who works well together is more likely to stick together! 

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