The effects of COVID-19 have been felt in every industry. But despite brief supply shortages and temporary pauses to work, the construction sector has, for the most part, maintained a level of normalcy.
Yet when it comes to digital transformation, the sector is lagging behind. COVID-19 has accelerated years of progress and most industries have transitioned to digital solutions in some way or another to streamline operational processes. However, when it comes to the construction sector, only 4-11% of digital transformations succeed.
Human resource management in construction is complex. Many construction firms still rely on paper-based timesheets, manual payrolling and time-consuming employee management processes which keep many firms from embarking on the digital transformation process.
Managing diverse employees in construction
The construction sector faces unique challenges when it comes to creating a positive end-to-end employee experience. Construction firms are heavily reliant on independent contractors or temporary workers who often work off-site.
Balancing on-site versus off-site work arrangements with temporary and full-time employees adds complexities to processes such as payroll, project costing, onboarding and workplace health and safety compliance.
To further complicate this, many construction firms still rely on outdated, manual processes such as spreadsheets, SMS text ‘clocks ins’ and paper filing which can create siloed communication between managers and on-the-move workers.
There is a desperate need for cohesive and streamlined human resource processes within the construction sector to achieve a more positive end-to-end employee experience.
“The construction industry cannot thrive if its sought-after skilled professionals continue to leave after a few years in the industry; employers can no longer continue to ignore the low retention rates in their organisations. The culture of the industry itself needs to be more conducive to the inclusivity and wellbeing of construction workers.” – Australian Institute of Project Management
The true cost of poor employee experience
Complicated, disorganised human resource processes are directly responsible for negative employee experiences. Scheduling delays or slow rostering can lead employees to become frustrated and even lose out on work.
They may even demand additional compensation or entitlements. If these demands aren’t sufficiently responded to, the construction firm may experience high staff turnover and inevitably, a shortage of skilled staff.
Likewise, compromised worker safety due to neglected onboarding and training puts the firm at risk of hefty worker compensation costs and lawsuits. When construction firms fail to invest in the employee experience, they pay the cost of consequences in the form of derailed projects, legal ramifications and a damaged industry reputation.
How a digital employee experience can reshape
Moving away from traditional, manual processes and towards cloud-based, automated solutions will be crucial for the survival of construction firms in the digital era. Now is the time for construction managers and Chief Human Resources Officers to work together to invest in a digital-first strategy to streamline and improve the end-to-end employee experience.
- Cloud-based apps could be used to improve communication between mobile workers and office managers.
- Digital payroll services could automate pay rates by experience, role, location and trade.
- Online records of training, qualifications and compliance documents ensure critical legal and safety information is accurate and accessible.
Rizing has deep human capital experience and provides best-practice HR technology to boost both the employee experience and your bottom line.
Rizing supports construction firms as they learn to better understand and respond to the demands and needs of their employees.
Contact us to learn more about how SAP SuccessFactors solution can help you and your team.