Survey Explores Engagement & Priorities of Tradespeople

Washington, DC, February 15, 2022-Building Talent Foundation (BTF) announced the main findings of a residential construction workforce engagement study, designed to probe into tradespeople’s opinions about their career plans. To improve industry strategies for building talent retention, BTF launched the survey with the support of Leading Builders of America (LBA).

Amid increasing competition for frontline workers due to the Covid-19 pandemic, BTF and LBA sought to better understand the current levels of engagement and priorities among tradespeople working on residential construction job sites. The levels of engagement of this group as measured in this study are comparable with the average engagement levels for all U.S. companies in all industries and were higher than those in the healthcare and manufacturing industries, according to 2021 data from Perceptyx. BTF and LBA will use this data to address the concerns illuminated by the study, create resources to disseminate throughout the industry, and work with trade partners who employ these tradespeople so that levels of engagement and retention can be improved at this critical time and into the future.

The results of the inaugural Homebuilding Workforce Engagement Survey are as follows:

* Among tradespeople on residential construction job sites, 42% are engaged (“promoters”), 28% are not engaged (“detractors”), and 30% are neither engaged nor disengaged (“passives”). Therefore, the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), calculated by subtracting detractors from promoters, is 14, the same as the average for all US industries.

 * Out of all tradespeople working on residential construction job sites, 51% are planning to stay in their jobs, 35% are thinking about another job, and 14% are disengaged, but not yet thinking of leaving their job.

 * Of those thinking of another job, more than half (51%) are considering leaving residential construction for other sectors, and more than 1 out of 3 (34%) are thinking of leaving construction for opportunities in other industries.

 * The group most likely to be thinking of another job is those tradespeople with one to five years of experience. By the time they have been trained, invested in, and add real value to employers, over two out of five (43%) of this group are thinking of another job.

The top reason survey respondents gave for staying in their jobs was that they had opportunities for career advancement, training, and learning new skills. The next most cited reason was their boss treating them well and feeling valued and respected at work. On the other hand, a lack of career advancement, training, and development was the top reason people wanted to leave their job. Therefore, while compensation does matter, this study reveals that it is not the most important factor in employee engagement.

“This survey is a strong warning signal and an opportunity for employers to make sure their people see a clear future for themselves and are well-led. There are well-founded, relatively simple solutions to both these issues (to be outlined in the Final Report) so that even the smallest trades firms can better retain, develop and maximize the value of their people,” stated Professor Scott-Jackson.