Builder boosts loyalty by developing all employees

The construction industry needs to promote people issues up its agenda, and
offer development for all its staff if retention rates are to be improved,
claims the HR manager of Kier Build.

Frank Maybin, personnel manager at Kier Build, said it is a mistake to
solely focus on graduates.

The construction firm has introduced employee development plans for all
staff in a bid to boost retention and believes workers must feel they have a
future within the organisation if they are to be retained.

Maybin told delegates at a conference: "We are a high graduate
recruiter and there is a danger that you can focus on just developing them. But
we have good people in all areas. As a company it is important to support all
levels of staff."

The company has introduced training programmes for middle and senior
management as well as an annual performance review.

Staff can also study for professional qualifications including an NVQ in
site management.

Kier Build delivers most of its training via a centralised training centre.
Maybin said he is aware of the cost and loss of productivity through travelling
to the centre but believes there are far more advantages.

"I think there is a measurable benefit to this approach. Staff from all
over the country are able to get together, network and build
relationships," he said.

Maybin also believes HR should be mainstreamed and that line managers must
have solid people management skills. "We must get the people issues right.
Our industry is task focused and people can be last issue on the agenda. I find
that if you look after the people, the bottom line will look after
itself," he said at the conference organised by Contract Journal.

By Paul Nelson

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