How to win the Talent Game

sweat equity Mar 17, 2024

"It is an Enterprise Problem"

I heard this statement at a conference and it helped me understand why some of us feel like we are hollering into an empty chasm. Those of us that see & feel the pain of not having enough people on the jobsite or worse, having enough people but the experience level is so low it makes the pain bigger.

There is no question that this is a problem, open up your favorite social media platform and you will see a post about the labor shortage. And still a teeny tiny percentage of Construction Management firms and Specialty trade contractors are making systemic change to address the issue. It is my assertion that the majority has not done anything about it because they see it as a "field problem" meaning: its up to the project manager and field leadership to deal with the problem. Translation:

Executives are saying "Its not my problem"

It is their lack of action that communicates zero ownership of the situation.

So back to "It is an Enterprise Problem" a forward thinking COO said this and shared some of the strategies they have put in place to address the talent gap. He wasnt just talking about the labor shortage in the field, he was talking about the smaller number of construction management candidates that are coming through the doors. Which is what triggered my "Aha" moment. 

The reduced number of candidates coupled with the folks that are exiting the workforce are constraining an organizations capacity to build revenue. And if the business aint growing its dying. 

Which is why it can now be seen as an "Enterprise Problem". I may be wrong, so Id like to get your perspective on this. Think about the executives in your organization. What is their focus? How much of their messaging, time, and energy is focused on: client management, business development, financial reports, and managing risk? 

VS

The amount of time & energy they invest in retaining staff, recruiting talent, knowledge transfer, and capability building.

So whats the point?

 

Well part of the point is there are Leaders out there that are taking significant steps to address the situation, and they are open to innovative solutions. So we should seek them out and contribute to their efforts. Another way to think about it is stop spinning your wheels with the folks that still behave as if "its just a field problem"

The other part of the point is what I got from reading between the lines of the COO's message. The red thread that came through from his presentation was "APPRECIATION". They are putting things in place that will help the people in the organization systematically demonstrate appreciation. 

And just in case you didnt know: I believe the Leaders who figure out how to systematically demonstrate appreciation for the men and women doing the work are going to win the talent game. They will create the conditions where people in their space give them preferred performance and preferred pricing.

If you know leaders that roll this way, help a brother out and give me an intro cuz these are the leaders that I am best equipped to serve😎

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