Retaining The Best Subcontractors & Employees | 2-10 Blog

How to retain your best subcontractors and employees to help your business grow

Finding Great Help is a Major Contributor to Business Growth

It’s not easy to find reliable help, but once you do, it pays to keep them loyal. So how do you keep good employees and subcontractors coming back to work for you again and again? The following tips will make your best employees want to stick around for the long haul.

Creating Trust

When it comes to satisfying construction workers and subs, it’s all about trust. To gain this trust, you must be able to provide regular work, regular pay and a work environment that’s fair, safe and reasonable. Among the best ways to do this include:

  • Keep them busy. You can cultivate loyalty from your subs by promising a long-term work relationship. If at all possible, guarantee a continuous line of work from project to project, so they won’t go looking for other gigs.
  • Set reasonable expectations. Don’t push your employees or contractors to agree to unreasonable expectations. Set clear, achievable standards before the work starts.
  • Create a safe work environment. Don’t ask your workers or subs to take unnecessary risks or work unreasonable schedules. If they dread coming to the job site, you can bet they will start looking for other opportunities.
  • Provide timely responses. Make sure you have a responsible point person on staff that can provide client input. While good contractors are able to work with minimal supervision, most can’t afford to wait days for materials and feedback.
  • Understand the relationship. Be conscious of the fact that your subs have other clients. Don’t treat your contractors like employees, especially if you are only providing temporary work.
  • Don’t treat your employees like contractors. If you want unpoachable workers, you have to provide job security. This means at least 40 hours per week, every week. If you can’t line up enough work to keep your employees busy, expect them to be looking for better alternatives.
  • Pay on-time, every time. Subcontractors usually have pre-defined payment terms and agreements. Be sure to meet these requirements to alleviate any concerns. Most subs have been shorted or outright stiffed in the past. Expect them to be leery if your payment methods seem inconsistent.
  • Be open and honest. Are you running out of work? Don’t wait until the last second to tell your employees and subs. Give them enough time to start lining up more work, or resentment may prevent them from returning when you get busy again.

Don’t Burn Bridges

When it comes time to part ways, it pays to do so equitably. Even if you have strong reason to believe you will never work with a person again, you cannot predict whether future circumstances might force you to give them a call. Maybe you will acquire an unmanageable amount of work. Perhaps you will lose multiple employees all at once. Whatever the case, it’s smart to maintain good relationships even after negative outcomes.

If you’ve run out of work or decided to terminate a contract, give as much notice as possible, so the worker or contractor can start making other arrangements. Always pay what’s owed and never let frustration or anger dictate your behavior. In dire circumstances, builders can’t always be too choosy about who they employ. Make sure to always keep your options open, especially during labor shortages.

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