Construction’s Worker Shortage Solution

We are embarking on a short blog series focusing on the worker shortage and how it is a challenge that is impacting nearly every construction business. Last week, we dug into how we got here and some solutions like work flexibility and mentorship. This week let’s dig into other potential solutions—specifically technology—and how this might help in myriad ways.
Here is one way technology can help. Advanced solutions can aid in attracting a younger generation of workers, thus bringing more talent into the fold of a business. Research from Citrix Systems shows today’s young employees are primed to deliver an extra $1.9 trillion in corporate profits, but they need some help to pull it off.
It suggests those born digital—Millennials and Generation Z—are the first generation to grow up in an entirely digital work and now account for most of the global workforce. Citrix conducted a study called The Born Digital Effect to learn more.
The survey found young workers value job stability and work-life balance and that leaders often overestimate appeal of an office. More than anything they want flexibility and choice, and they want to be given freedom and be recognized for their performance.
The study also shows there is a strong disconnect between young workers and leaders when it comes to technology. Quite simply, they inhabit different digital works. Only 21% of business leaders use instant messaging apps like Slack or WhatsApp for work purposes, compared to 81% of born digital employees. And only 26% of business leaders like using these apps for work, compared to 82% of born digital workers. Quite the contrast.
This is something Peggy Smedley talks about in her book, Sustainable in a Circular World. We are only going to make change happen in our organizations if we bring in these digital natives and one way to do that is to appeal to their tech-savvy ways.
There is another value technology can bring to construction businesses: it enables contractors to do more with less, which is often created through automation and a bit of intelligence—something we have been talking about for years—and now we see this technology is on the rise.
Next week, let’s dig into the topic of automation and AI (artificial intelligence) and how machines are becoming more intelligent and humanlike. There are opportunities for innovation all around.