According to the Home Builders Institute’s Fall 2022 Construction Labor Market Report, 77 percent of builders and 76 percent of remodelers report a shortage of skilled plumbers that has impacted the volume and type of work they take on.
Maybe you’ve felt the sting of that statistic in your own business. Throughout the pandemic, many workers in the construction industry were either laid off or had to resign for various reasons. Now that we’re entering a post-pandemic society, the demand for residential plumbing is going up, but there clearly aren’t enough qualified individuals to keep up.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure you keep your best workers. Provide them with the practical benefits they want and deserve. You undoubtedly already have a benefits plan in place, but it’s time to audit your current package and determine if your employees are actually happy working for you.
Let’s take a look at a few practical benefits you should be providing for your plumbers, why they’re so important, and why they’re crucial to keeping your workers healthy, happy, and loyal to your business.
Better Health Benefits
Even if you currently offer health benefits and insurance plans to your employees, are you really giving them the support and care they need? Are you looking at individuals within your company and considering any conditions or issues they’re facing that might not be covered under your current policies? If you’re not currently providing the following forms of health insurance, it’s time to make some additions:
● Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
● Dental/vision packages
● Disability insurance
● Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
● Life insurance
● Accident insurance
While plumbing isn’t the most dangerous job in the world, it requires a lot of physical labor, and accidents do happen. By ensuring your employees they won’t have to manage thousands of dollars of medical bills on their own if they get hurt, you’ll foster a healthier work environment with less stress.
It’s also important to offer mental health services. Jobs can impact mental health significantly, considering people spend much of their time at work. Plumbing is a demanding profession, and your employees might be overworked and tired thanks to the current labor shortage. Offering comprehensive mental health benefits as part of your employment plan can make a big difference in the overall well-being of your workers.
Increased Time Off
The last thing you want is for your workers to get burnt out, but it can easily happen during a labor shortage. Some of the common signs of employee burnout include:
● Emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion
● Lack of motivation
● Decreased productivity
Giving your workers more time off will help to reduce the risk of burnout and can improve their work-life balance. As a result, you’re more likely to see happy, healthy employees who are excited to come to work and boost their productivity. Advertising things like a flexible schedule, adequate paid time off, and fair parental leave can serve as a great recruitment tool if you’re trying to grow your business, but it will also improve employee retention so you can maintain top talent in your industry.
If you aren’t sure what your workers are looking for in terms of time off, ask them! An employee survey can go a long way in helping you determine what your plumbers really want and why their free time is important to them. You might find that they want things like paid paternal leave, longer holidays, and mental health days. You can work to strike a healthy balance when it comes to PTO, but don’t be afraid to sacrifice a few extra days for the well-being of your team.
Fair pay for employees is obviously a necessity for any business to be successful. However, you must ensure that you are really giving your workers fair compensation for the things they’re doing. Take stock of whether you are educating them on how to be responsible with their money by giving them financial management materials.
Sometimes, you don’t necessarily need to offer large pay increases. Instead, give your workers practical information that will help them handle their money. Millennials and Gen Z workers are new to money management, and they may not have had the opportunity to save in the past. By providing financial literacy courses and the right materials, you can encourage them to save responsibly and grow their financial worth over time.
While teaching financial literacy is important, you’ll also boost the loyalty of your employees by compensating them for things like mileage, especially when they’re taking on multiple jobs in different locations each day. Whether they’re driving a company truck or their own vehicle, they’ll undoubtedly have to stop for gas a few times a week, and with gas prices at an all-time high, that’s not something that should come out of their wallet.
When you look at these practical benefits, they just make sense. However, so many plumbing companies across the country aren’t addressing their workers basic needs and wants. If you want to ensure that your employees are healthy, happy, and loyal to your business, consider adding them to your employee package as soon as possible. Not only will you increase employee retention, but the right benefits package can help you through the current labor shortage by recruiting the best up-and-comers in the industry.
Sam Bowman writes about people, tech, wellness, and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.