Creating a Rewarding Work Environment

The construction industry continues to experience hiring issues. In fact, over the summer, Associated Builders and Contractors predicted that the construction labor shortage was set to intensify over the next six months.[1] Additionally, one of the major findings from the Building Talent Foundation’s latest Homebuilding Workforce Engagement Study[2] was that the talent shortage in the residential construction sector will continue to be a challenge for builders and contractors as they try to meet significant demand.

With employee retention rates consistently dropping and the need to acquire talent more difficult than ever, it is important that employers create a rewarding work experience for their employees. And it should come as no surprise that companies with high worker satisfaction outperform companies with low worker satisfaction by 202 percent.[3]

For business owners that are struggling to hire and retain talent, there are several items worth considering that would help to create a more satisfying work environment:

1) Check in with employees: Workplace benefits are constantly changing, and the pace of change is quickening. If you haven’t surveyed employees in the last two years, consider doing so now. Find out what they need and where you can help.

2) Focus on benefits that matter: When it comes to attracting and retaining talent, certain workplace benefits are at the top of employees’ wish list: base salary, health care benefits and retirement plans. If you already provide access to a retirement plan, consider automating enrollment. If you don’t, consider offering retirement plan access in the future.

3) Get noticed for what you offer: To attract the right talent for your company, consider including benefits in new job postings. This could help you further distinguish yourself in the marketplace.

4) Increase awareness of new benefits: Most employers have added new benefits in the last two years—yet fewer than half of all employees say they are aware of any new benefits. Examine the communications of your benefits to see where you can make changes. You could also survey your employees on their preferred method of communication.

5) Publicize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts:
Almost half of employers have increased their DE&I efforts, which is valued by employees, especially the younger generations who make up the majority of today’s workforce. Yet fewer than half of all employees are aware of what their companies are doing in this area.

Sixty-three percent of companies feel their employees are highly aware of such efforts, yet only 45 percent of employees agree. Half of employees wish their companies would do more to promote DE&I efforts. This is another opportunity for you to review your employee communications and their frequency.

6) Help ease the student loan burden: The Biden administration has recently taken steps to erase up to $20,000 in federal student loans. While this may be welcome news for many, it comes with the caveat that the moratorium on payments will end at the end of the year. Owing student debt remains one of the biggest financial challenges facing American workers today. Eighty-four percent of employees across all ages say it’s the number one reason they don’t participate in workplace retirement savings programs.[4] Do you know if your employees need assistance with student loan debt? What solutions do you already have in place to assist? What solutions could you add?

7) Engage employees with equity: Equity plans are now being used in unique ways to engage and retain talent. What more could you do with equity awards? If you don’t already offer them to all your employees, could you expand the benefit? Do you want to make adjustments to your vesting periods for equity awards?

Today’s hiring issues can’t be explained by one simple reason. But by taking the time to figure out the particular reasons why organizations are facing labor shortages and examine potential solutions, business owners gain the best opportunity to bring in the right workers to fill the right jobs at the perfect time.

Bart Gibson is a Managing Director-Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services Inc. He can be reached at

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[1] The Construction Labor Shortage Is Set To Intensify Over Next 6 Months, BisNow

[2] Employee Engagement is Foundational to Creating a Sustainable Workforce, Building Talent Foundation


[4] 1 Employee attitudes and behaviors survey, Issue 3, June 2022, presented by UBS Workplace Wealth Solutions

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