Built to Build: Blog


Most of your employees are not engaged in the work they do. Sure, they show up and put in their time, but they have little to no passion about the job itself. 

They also suck the energy out of your business.

If you’ve ever wanted to increase productivity, decrease turnover, and attract better customers, then you must create engaged employees.

According to this 2019 Gallup report, only 35% of workers in the U.S are “engaged.”

Gallup defines “engaged” employees as:

Highly involved, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.



Although this metric reached a new high in 2019, the flip side of this statistic shows that 65% of the U.S. workforce doesn’t care (my words…not Gallup’s) about their jobs.

The Gallup report further segments this majority into two groups: Not Engaged and Actively Disengaged.

Here’s how Gallup defines those terms:

Not Engaged:

Those who are psychologically unattached to their work and company and who put time, but not energy or passion, into their work.

Actively Disengaged:

Those who have miserable work experiences and spread their unhappiness to their colleagues.

If you’re thinking of a specific employee or employees after reading the definitions above, then you have a problem.



Not Engaged and Disengaged employees are 63% more likely to call in sick, get injured at work, and 2.6 times more likely to leave their employer for another opportunity.

Studies show that it can cost you up to $5,000 every time an employee leaves your company when you factor in the additional cost of hiring and onboarding a new employee.

Contrast this with companies with high employee engagement. These companies are 21% more profitable.

You can’t afford employees who are not engaged.



If you want to create engaged employees for your construction company, then you must answer the three questions every employee wants to know.


1. What is my job?

Many construction business owners don’t have written job descriptions for their employees. The only written documentation of the position is located in the job ad that got the person to apply.

That’s what a job ad is supposed to do – get candidates in the door.

But that’s where the formalities end.

You hire employees based on interviews, based on perceived experiences, and based on their responses to an advertisement. You give them a job title, and then they start doing the work.

What work are they doing?

They are doing the jobs as they understand them based on an ad, an interview, and the job title.

But your Project Manager’s overall job responsibilities and day-to-day tasks are specific to your company’s needs and not the needs of some other construction company.

If you want to have engaged employees, then they need to know what is required of them. And a job title is not enough. 

Create a written job description for each position that includes the technical, communication, and leadership skills you require.

If your employees don’t have clear definitions of what their jobs are, then they will make them up.

When people make stuff up, they usually get it wrong.

Write down job descriptions for the positions within your construction business, and use these to define the work they will do.

With a clear job description, you can now answer the second question every employee wants to know.


2. How am I being measured?

Your best employees want to know how to win the game and how you are keeping score.

That’s another reason why written job descriptions are so important.

Written job descriptions not only define what the job is and what it requires, but it also serves as an evaluation for your employees.

Whether you have your employees self-evaluate or you perform regular employee evaluations, written job descriptions give them a scorecard by which to measure their performance.

The quickest way to create disengagement with an employee is to keep their performance a mystery to them and limit his/her ability to improve.

When your employees do improve, then it’s time to answer to the final question every employee wants to know.

3. What’s next?

According to a 2017 report:

51% of currently employed adults in the U.S. say they are searching for new jobs or watching for new job opportunities.

One of the contributing factors to employee disengagement is that your current employees do not see a path for advancement within your organization.

I’ll put it this way:

If you don’t know where your employees will be twelve months from now, then they will go to work for someone who does.

The way you show them what’s next is to list it on the job description.

After you have listed the job title, the responsibilities and duties the position requires, and you show them how you are measuring success, then create a “What’s Next” section.

The “What’s Next” section lists the other job that your employee may advance toward or be interviewed for when they successfully complete the current position.

People want to know where they can go.

Don’t keep it a mystery.



Construction businesses with engaged employees are more efficient, attract better customers, and have lower turnover rates. All these factors add to the bottom line.

The simplest way to create engaged employees and a culture of engagement at your construction company is to write out job descriptions for each position, evaluate employee performance based on the job descriptions, and make sure each employee knows what’s next.



If you want a system to recruit, hire and train your next great employee and develop a culture of engagement with your current employees, then apply for a program in the Built to Build Academy®. 

You’re going to struggle until you have these systems in place.


Wish you could connect with like-minded business owners, ask questions, get feedback, and receive a ton of free resources to manage the “business side” of your construction business?

Then click here, join the System Builders™ online community for free, and get access to a ton of free trainings, resources, and your new peer group of professional contractors.

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