Tips for Construction Succession Planning

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tips for construction successionOne shortcoming that many smaller construction companies have is that they rarely think about succession planning as a management function. Such companies end up handling issues of succession in an ad hoc way by just hiring or promoting anyone that they think will fit the roles available. This can be a recipe for disaster, especially given how sensitive construction work is. Rather than take a reactive approach to succession, Headwaters Construction, Inc., a commercial construction company, suggests that you systemize succession by considering the following factors.

Keep Your Eye on Job Requirements Rather Than Personalities

Succession isn’t about replacing someone who has died, retired, or quit. It is about finding someone that can perform the job available to the highest standard possible. For this reason, commercial construction companies should devote time and effort to writing down a detailed job description outlining what exactly they’re looking for.

As you write those job descriptions, be reasonable, and avoid expecting too much from a given role or employee. If you demand too much, it will be hard for you to find someone that succeeds in that role. It is, therefore, better for you to stick to just the tasks logically expected from someone holding a given position.

For example, tilt-up contractors may be going overboard if they expect project managers to be able to fill the role of every position, i.e. operating construction equipment.

Match Current Staff to Your Future Needs

You can also make succession planning at your retail renovation company or any other commercial construction company, more systematic by assessing your staff and matching each of them to one or more roles that could need filling in the future.

As you perform this matching exercise, keep in mind the skills, aptitudes, and preferences of your existing employees so that you can help them to grow into the positions that will need to be filled in the future. It is helpful to interact with your staff and learn what their career goals and aspirations are so that you can help them to grow in the direction that suits both their preferences and those of the tilt-up construction company.

Train and Avail Opportunities for Hands-On Experience

Once you have matched your current staff to your future needs, the next step is to train those employees and create opportunities for them to get hands-on experience in performing the roles for which you are preparing them.

A good starting point is by outlining the knowledge and skills that each employee needs to possess to excel at the role you wish to prepare them for.

Secondly, Headwaters Construction, Inc., the best commercial builder in Northern California, suggests that you give that person the credentials that they need to access software and information related to the role.

When you give the employee access to the tools required to perform a given role, and you train them, the transition from the employee who is retiring or is no longer available for any other reason will be seamless.

Design a Staffing and Retention Plan

A staffing plan outlines the different positions that you have as a commercial builder, together with a detailed description of each job. This plan lets you know your staffing needs so you can hire accordingly. 

The staffing plan needs to paint a picture of when each employee is expected to grow into another position. For example, moving from an entry-level role to a management role. 

Once you know what external hires you need to make, get to work filling those positions as and when resources become available.

If there is an urgent need to fill a role, but resources aren’t available to hire someone, make do with the staff you currently have. You simply pick an employee in a similar role and ask them to take on the role available while you wait to hire someone substantive for the position. For example, your project superintendent could act as a project manager until you can fill the role. 

As you can see, the measures above will make succession planning a logical and systematic process at your commercial construction company. At Headwaters Construction, Inc., our management systems have nailed succession planning, and we deliver the same high-quality work regardless of which specific employees are handling a given project. If you are planning a commercial construction,  retail renovation, or general contracting project in Northern California, get in touch with us today so that we can discuss your needs and plan the most cost-effective way to execute the project.

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