It’s no secret: Construction is tough work.
Crew members aren’t sitting in cushy offices where the greatest daily risk to their health is a paper cut. The trades are toughing it out, putting in back-breaking labor (sometimes literally) to build up the communities that surround us. Without their efforts, there would be no houses to call homes, no spaces for us to work and play.
So, it makes sense that after hours of sweat and labor, the last thing many construction employees want to do is hit the gym. Or track their macros. Or put in the mental energy to focus on their mental health. That’s why it’s so important construction business owners do all they can to make health and wellness a priority for their teams. It’s not only good for their crew members – it’s good for the bottom line.
Adding a layer of complexity to maintaining health and wellness in the construction industry, is the risk-heavy nature of building.
For construction companies to have a successful health and wellness program, they can’t just address physical activity or provide basic benefits. Construction safety must also be top of mind.
This article breaks down…
- 4 ways to improve employee wellness in construction
- How to identify what “wellness” means to your team
- Approaching workplace wellness as a team
- How to design a program with solutions that fit the unique needs of your people
- Key takeaways
How do you improve employee wellness in construction?
Building a home of any size is a difficult, demanding job. Having employees at the top of their game both mentally and physically is the only way it gets done.
Find out what wellness means to your team.
Traditionally seen as a rough and tumble profession, construction isn’t the first industry we often think of when it comes to prioritizing wellness, in or outside of the workplace. It’s time to reverse the stigma – and that starts with a conversation.
Construction business owners should directly ask their employees: How many are interested in a program that goes beyond basic healthcare? What would they like to see? What risks are you most worried about Even if you already have a program in place, you may had to assess and address the success of it. What you think might be working is a broken system benefiting almost nobody. Luckily, it’s an easy fix. All it takes is some good old-fashioned communication.
Make it a group effort.
When employees are well, construction businesses do well. The entire company benefits together, so you might as well tackle health and wellness initiatives as a group.
There is strength in numbers. And the best way to drive up the number of participating team members is by fitting wellness opportunities into the workday or adding a social aspect to them. Ideas for this can include:
- Taking the team out to eat somewhere with healthier choices
- Hosting a lunch and learn focused of financial fitness or stress management
- Encouraging a group 5K walk/run
- Offering a smoke cessation program
Pick solutions that fit your employee’s lifestyle
The construction workforce is one that’s aging. Many have been in the industry for years, and the wellness solutions that work for a 22-year-old probably aren’t the same as someone in their mid 50s. Promoting preventive care is especially important for this demographic.
That can often include:
- Nutrition counseling
- Cancer screenings
- Blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests
This might all sound costly, but the rewards are sure to outweigh the risks. The price of these regular check-ups are typically much lower than skyrocketing insurance claims.
If you’re trying to gauge the growing construction labor gap by attracting younger talent — your wellness program should also include benefits that would appeal to them.
Don’t leave safety to chance
Protecting the wellbeing of employees should be at the heart of every construction business owner’s mission. So how do you promote a culture of safety?
It’s first important to remember that each job site is unique. That means each one needs to be assessed separately for particular problems and challenges. Create clear procedures, guidelines and actively communicate them to any and everybody who comes into the field.
The business owner isn’t the only one promoting job site safety either. It’s the responsibility of the entire team. Technology can often help solve some of today’s most challenging workplace problems, so it’s always a good idea to take some time to research different software solutions for your team’s daily operational and wellness needs.
Some software solutions offer communication tools like daily logs that make it easy to draft up safety regulations then easily share them with the entire team. From a digital system, every crew member, sub and even the clients have access job site dos and don’ts. From the Daily Logs tool, project managers can also document safety concerns in real-time, so they’re easily resolved and liability doesn’t fall back on the business.
A healthier, stronger and better construction workforce starts from the bottom down. And when your construction company encourages employee wellness programs, it increases the chances of workers caring about their personal wellness.
Industrywide, it’s everyone’s job to take care of one another. Because what’s good for employees is good for construction businesses.
Sean Robinson is a content writer who’s made a career out of being a self-proclaimed “word-nerd”.
Currently, Sean serves as the content marketing manager at Buildertrend, the leading construction project management software for residential home builders and remodelers. Previously, he’s worked in public relations and produced copy for national retailers, healthcare institutions, nonprofits and Fortune 500s.