Humanizing Your Workplace

The construction industry has long suffered from a qualified worker shortage, but the effects of the pandemic have further exacerbated the issue. It’s no wonder that hiring new workers while retaining current employees is top of mind for many construction businesses.

However, in the current business environment, traditional incentives such as competitive pay and benefits packages are not always enough to attract and retain workers. Many are seeking something more; they want an environment that fosters their personal and professional growth, cares about their wellbeing, and contributes to a greater purpose — a more humanized workplace.

The following are three steps your business can take to set you on the path to humanizing your workplace.

Break Down Silos

As a construction financial professional, you have insight into what is happening across the business, but what about the rest of your organization? It’s common for individuals or teams to remain so focused on their particular job duties that they lack awareness of what is happening in other business areas.

It is important to break down silos and encourage teams to interact and understand what their coworkers do. Regardless of role, all employees should know that they’re working toward a shared goal. Change has to start at the top — have clear organizational goals and let everyone know how they can work together and contribute.

Offer Flexibility

The pandemic helped many employees show that they could effectively do their jobs from anywhere. While some companies have now moved to fully remote work environments, others have begun requiring employees to be back in the office at least part time.

Of course, in some industries like construction, many jobs cannot be done remotely, which can be a source of tension for some workers. However, whether you are dealing with remote, onsite, or hybrid positions, you can offer some degree of flexibility.

For example, if you require office staff to be in the office at least part time, then consider whether they could choose which days they would like to be in the office. Similarly, while many workers will have to be on the jobsite, perhaps they could have some input when it comes to hours.

Workers value autonomy and want to feel trusted; workplaces that are too rigid and unaccommodating will have a hard time attracting and keeping employees.

Instill a Sense of Purpose

While it is essential to have core values, simply having them written down somewhere isn’t enough. Your values must be clearly communicated and integral to everything you do. Living your values as an organization can help workers feel more engaged and instill a sense of purpose.

Another important component of this is to ensure that each employee has a career path with room to grow and plenty of learning opportunities. Laying this strong foundation will go a long way toward overall employee wellbeing and satisfaction, which can also positively impact job performance.


Construction has a hiring crisis, and the industry needs to look beyond the same old recruitment methods. When it comes to humanizing your workplace, you can’t fake it. You must put in the work to truly transform your organization into the type of supportive and successful environment that puts people first.

About the Author

Dustin Stephens

Dustin Stephens is Vice President of Sage Construction and Real Estate (

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