Across Australia, be it Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, the construction industry is seeing a rapid boom. The industry already produces about $400 billion in revenue and is still expected to rise as demand for homes and buildings continues to rise.
The rise in demand has also led to many new trade businesses to emerge and grow to take on the increased amount of work available.
So while the industry sees rapid growth increased demand, it is also dealing with a severe skills shortage, exacerbated by the closing of borders due to the pandemic.
With so many trade businesses operating throughout Australia, the question all trade business owners need to ask themselves is why both employees and customers should choose them. Trade business owners are competing for not just customers and for work, but also for employees.
Read below on our strategies on what you can do to help your trade business survive and grow amidst the construction industry boom.
Understanding your Value Proposition
In order to stand out and encourage both employees and customers to look at your business, it’s important to understand your business’s value proposition.
A business’s value proposition communicates the number one reason why a product or service is best suited for a customer segment.
Therefore, it should always be displayed prominently on a company’s website and in other consumer touch points.
Most companies focus on their business value proposition and how they can attract customers but fail to focus on increasing their value proposition to employees.
Trade businesses must ask themselves why employees, especially in an increasingly competitive industry, choose to work for them and to grow their career. You should have marketing material that focuses on both employees and customers, highlighting the value of working both with and for your company.
The Tangible Factor
Tangible items are the more easily identifiable and obvious value propositions your company offers to both customers and employees.
These items can include salary, pricing, proposals and other items which can be assigned a tangible number representing its value. Tangible items are some of the first things that both employees and customers look at when looking to choose a company.
One of the first things that employees look for when choosing a company is the salary that the company provides. In addition to the salary, annual bonuses, raises and other monetary benefits such as car leases and supplied phone are also evaluated.
When deciding how much to pay employees, it’s important to be paying at least the market rate and go above what’s required by paying a little more to high-achieving A-grade employees.
Employees are more likely to stay in a company where they can see their career progress and grow in a direction where they see themselves contributing and benefiting.
Training and development
On top of opportunities and advancements, employees look to get higher pay as they develop their skills and gain more experience. Trade business owners should ensure that a system is set up to monitor and reward employees’ work and skills as they develop in their career.
Similarly for clients and customers, one of the first items they look for is the cost. However, as you’ll read below, it’s often the intangible items that make the difference when making a decision.
Intangible items are just as important and tangible items. Intangible items are often what makes customers and employees stick with your company and develop long relationships.
These items can include a healthy work culture, good work-life balance for employees, empathy for staff and clients and much more.
Intangible items are often the things that employees and customers point towards when asked why they choose a certain company over others.
Many customers look for good communication, work being completed on time, reliable workers and most importantly good quality of work. These are the types of things that help to develop long-term and lasting relationships with clients and customers.
Many employees look at the culture and environment of the team the will be working with. They look for teams who show respect to one another and towards clients, how they are able to share and learn from eachother’s experience, if they show empathy for family-first attitudes and respect the responsibilities and decisions of their coworkers.
All this points towards a healthy work environment where the voice of each employee is heard and each of them are respected.
One of things employees value most is a healthy work-life balance.
This includes working standard hours in line with their contract, and not having to spend long hours in the evening or during the weekend with work. They also appreciate having flexible work hours when required, and any overtime work will be paid or repaid in-kind with time off.
It’s important for trade business owners to remember that they have a reciprocal relationship with their employees. Treating them with respect and understanding, having their voices heard and given opportunities to grow and develop with a good work-life balance will much more likely make your company a place both A-grade employees and A-grade clients want to be assosicated with and help grow.