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Study: Millennials Key in Construction

Monday, November 30, 2015

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A new study suggests that millennials might help close the gap on the shortage of available construction workers.

Millennials in Construction—Learning to Engage a New Workforce, by market research firm FMI Corp., seeks to answer questions about what the research company says are common myths about the millennial workforce.

“While the stigma exists that millennials are entitled, disloyal and lazy, it appears that this is not true,” said Sabine Hoover, content director at FMI, in a recent statement.

Study Results

Researchers took a survey of 369 workers in the construction industry across the U.S. About half—261—of the people who responded were millennials: Those who were born between 1980 and 2000.

©iStock.com / rappensuncle

Millennials might help close the gap on the shortage of U.S. construction workers, a recent study suggests.

According to the study, millennials in construction are dedicated and loyal to their companies. They also share similar values with other generations, including baby boomers and Generation Xers when it comes to career aspirations, attitudes and goals, the statement said.

Among the findings, researchers said that millennials need to have a defined and well-communicated vision in order to be engaged. When a company lacks a vision, millennials—much like other generations—are 25 percent less likely to stick around, the study suggests.

Millennials are eager to be challenged and will go “above and beyond” to help their companies succeed, according to the study. Because younger people make contributions in technical skills; have an inquisitive nature; possess knowledge of the market; and have “drive;” 85 percent of firms have changed their policies to adapt.

Almost 70 percent of millennial participants expressed their willingness to work beyond what is required of them to succeed, and more than 50 percent were interested in accepting challenging work assignments, according to the study. Those numbers are almost 10 percent higher than non-millennial responses to the survey.

©iStock.com / GregorBister

Among the findings, researchers said that millennials need to have a defined and well-communicated vision in order to be engaging.

Having clear advancement opportunities also is important to millennials. According to the study, this is particularly important in the construction industry because the industry often does not have well-defined career tracks. The study suggests that employers will have to find solutions to change that.

Participation Counts

“The young people in this industry are eager to contribute and participate,” said Barbara Jackson, director at the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management at the University of Denver.

“Oftentimes, standard job descriptions and policies stand in the way of them contributing at a level that would bring real value to the companies that they work for. This can result in frustrations, and ultimately people move on to more progressive firms and industries.”

Workplace Suggestions

Other findings that millennials say makes a difference in how they feel about their workplace include:

  • Making sure company leaders are equally as engaging as others in a company;
  • Ensuring they are paid competitively;
  • Allowing them to drive innovation; and
  • Letting older and younger workers learn from each other.
©iStock.com / PeopleImages

The study also suggests that millennials and workers from other generations can learn from each other when working together.

The survey was collected from mid-March through early April 2015, according to FMI. Most of the participants worked in a variety of positions in leading constructions firms in the industry, and therefore, the results may not be for the entire industry, the study’s authors cautioned.

Most of those who responded were male, and the majority were in project management/project engineering roles or management positions, FMI said.

   

Tagged categories: Construction; Industry surveys; Market research; Research; Research and development; Research and Markets; Workers

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