Author Topic: Multiskilling Increases Employee Satisfaction, Reduces Turnover  (Read 97 times)


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To keep employee job satisfaction high, employers need to know about multiskilling and a non-mobile workforce.

Construction workers report higher levels of job satisfaction than all other industries combined ó not just today, but through four distinct economic cycles since 1974. The data comes from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. As little as 86% and up to 89% of people working in the construction trades like their jobs.

One reason for that may be the combination of pay and flexibility that this career path offers. While just over 9% of craft professionals are trained in more than one skill area, the availability of a multiskilled craft workforce has steadily increased since 2005, and the trend is expected to continue into 2030.

The top 10 dual-skill pairings among craft professional populations between 2005 and 2019 are:

  • Rigger and pipefitter
    Rigger and boilermaker
    Boilermaker and pipefitter
    Pipefitter and ironworker
    Pipefitter and instrumentation electrician
    Ironworker and carpenter
    Pipefitter and crane operator
    Scaffold and insulation
    Ironworker and crane operator
    Pipefitter and millwright

This increase in multiskilling has been driven organically by workers, not by employers. Key reasons cited include seeking more consistent employment, higher wages, more challenging work and interest in learning a new trade or to obtain easier physical work. Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) are currently working to further understand the factors and impacts of multiskilling.

As craft worker preferences change, employers need to be prepared to meet those needs. High job satisfaction is generally acknowledged as having a direct correlation to low turnover. This means that the industry may need to rethink the way projects are designed to take advantage of the increasingly multiskilled, less mobile workforce.

Employers would be wise to acknowledge the desire of workers to learn new skills and provide the opportunity for doing so by:

Providing opportunities for new industry entrants to explore different trades to identify an area of interest.
Communicating defined career path options within your organization.
Giving employees credit for related knowledge, skills and abilities that contribute to competency in the new skill area.
Providing resources for adult learners, such as training that is flexible and self-paced.

According to research conducted by the Construction Industry Institute, the most important workforce development element is a firmís formal policy for, or commitment to, providing a formal craft skills training program. Interestingly, the contractors, owners and other training professional that participated in the study had the same perception towards the relative importance of workforce development elements.

In relation to this, the growing preference by an increasing percentage of craft professionals is to remain in one geographic location versus traveling for work. At the same time, spousal employment within the industry has grown to above 80%. Together, these factors point to reduced mobility among the craft workforce ó a trend that is likely to intensify in coming years.

NCCER is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) edu- cation foundation created in 1996. NCCER exists to build a safe, productive and sustainable workforce of craft professionals by providing universally recognized training, assessment, certification and career development for construction and maintenance craft professionals. Among its workforce development initiatives are Build Your Future at, Construction Career Pathways, and Hard Hat Heroes.

« Last Edit: March 11, 2023, 04:17:19 PM by dipti »