We should just come right out and say it: When you ask most employees what they are looking for in a position, the chances are that they will first list out monetary rewards (e.g., salary, bonuses, etc.) However, most construction companies are running a tight ship, meaning that there is not really the option to boost each worker’s salary by 20% each year. And many construction companies are not set up to offer stock options or profit-sharing.

That said, there is plenty of other reward and incentive options that are non-monetary. These still can make a tremendous difference in things like boosting employee engagement, increasing retention, and improving overall efficiency and performance. We will look at some of those options in this article.

Work-life balance

This is one of the things that employees state as being most important to them (after some of these aforementioned monetary benefits, of course). In addition to work, everyone is dealing with a personal life. Some need to pick up children from school or extracurricular activities. Others are caring for an ailing loved one. The point is, being more flexible in the hours that people spend on the site can make a huge difference. Of course, depending on the nature of the project, working from home or completely different hours might not always be possible; make an effort to find flexibility where you can.

Employee recognition

This is the big reason why employees decide to stay at a company for the long run: they actually enjoy being there. Gratitude is a big piece of the pie, and it does not have to cost your construction company a dime. You can show your employees gratitude with a shout-out at the next team meeting or one-on-one. Employee recognition can go a long way. It is also self-perpetuating. The more likely you are to show your employee’s support and appreciation, the more likely your team is to show loyalty to the company.

Psychological safety

This one might sound a little strange but stick with me. Google did an extensive study a few years ago, and they discovered that the teams that were happiest and performed the best were the ones where people felt as though they were able to talk through issues without fear of judgment or reprisal. Communication is key. Make sure that you keep an open dialogue with your employees. Ask open-ended questions to determine how your team members feel, and then inquire further to help clarify. After that, it is all about following through to make sure that they actually see that you are listening to them and that change is possible.


Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash