5 Common Pennsylvania Construction Challenges (& 5 Ways To Overcome Them)

construction industry

Every industry deals with challenges that require specific solutions to overcome and become profitable. This guide covers a few of the most common industrial challenges. We’ll also review a few tips to overcome each challenge.

Problem # 1 – High Employee Turnover Rates

A business is only as successful as its employees. In a time where labor shortage is a real problem that many companies are dealing with, it can be difficult to hold onto crew members, especially in a position as laborious and risky as construction or industrial. Without sufficient crew numbers, you’ll find it difficult to keep up with customer demand.

Prioritizing safety and employee training is one method of overcoming high employee turnover rates in the construction industry. Employees who feel unsafe at work are more likely to seek other employment. Additionally, an unsafe work environment can lead to more workers calling out, which leaves the other workers with extra work, often leading to burnout. Understanding why workers seek alternative employment is also important in reducing high turnover rates. Employee feedback is also essential in reducing high turnover rates.

Problem # 2 – High Employee Injury Rates

The National Safety Council (NSC) recognizes the construction industry as the most dangerous career, which can make it difficult to attract new workers. Construction workers commonly work with heavy machinery and power tools. They also spend the majority of their workdays in tight quarters with harmful air particles.

The best way to overcome this challenge is to implement strict safety protocols. Ensure you and your staff are up-to-date on the latest Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) rules and guidelines. Ensuring employees have access to the tools and training they need to stay safe is also important. Implementing certain safety practices, like an industrial dust collector, at job sites can help reduce injury rates among workers. Other safety protocols include ensuring enough protective equipment and implementing strict fall protection guidelines.

Problem # 3 – Lack of Skilled Workers

Many industrial and construction roles require specialized skills and training. A lack of employees with these skills can make it difficult to complete certain jobs. In fact, a lack of skilled workers can even affect your construction company’s ability to scale or take on new clients. It’s not always easy to track down or hire employees with specific skills.

So, instead, it’s important to be ahead of the hiring of skilled workers. Be aware of which employees plan to retire or move industries in the near future. Bring on motivated workers willing to train and learn specialized skills. Even investing in ongoing training can help you maintain a staff of skilled laborers. 

Of course, taking care of your current crew members is also important. The crew members who have been there the longest often set the overall tone and morale of the company. Relying on them to express hiring issues or training needs can help crew leaders and supervisors maintain a staff of skilled workers. Maintaining an ongoing search or recruitment for skilled workers in your industry can also ensure you always have a strong team ready to work. Regularly evaluate and reevaluate your compensation package to ensure it’s competitive for the industry and your local Pennsylvania market.

Problem # 4 – Scaling Your Construction Business

Many construction business owners share that they find it difficult to scale their businesses. You can’t seek new work without staff available to take on the extra projects. You also can’t hire new crew members without enough work available to fill their schedules. This dilemma creates a standstill for many business owners.

Research is an important part of scaling any business, including construction. Identify specific market areas where you can expand with your current crew. Potentially offer extra hours to those willing to work overtime while you build your client base. You can also bring on team members part-time or contractual until you have more business and then transition them to a full-time position. Some companies may even consider bringing on a chief revenue officer or recruiting professional.

Problem # 5 – Expensive On-Site Costs

Costly maintenance and excess costs can quickly cut into your profits. Failing to be aware of these expenses as you attempt to expand your business can lead to negative sales. Eventually, you may find that you’re spending more on your business than you’re bringing in. Regularly reviewing your expenses and income is an important part of owning any business. Investing in certain tools can also help you reduce other costs. For example, a comprehensive dust collector on-site may reduce the housekeeping hours required during each project.

Some of the most common challenges that construction businesses deal with today include high employee turnover rates and high injury rates. Getting ahead of these problems and putting solutions in place can help you overcome them before they threaten the success of your construction business.

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