3 Ways Construction Leaders Maximize Talent

There are 3 types of people you should concern yourself with:

  1. Workhorses
  2. Superstar
  3. Misfits

Workhorses excel at doing one thing. They may be excellent in the field. They may be excellent in administration.

Some of my clients combine the estimating and project management role because they’re not quite at a volume where they need those things separated. And sometimes what happens is you get someone who’s extremely comfortable in one position, but not in the other.

And that’s when you need to do some hard thinking. If this person is a workhorse as an estimator, make sure that you put them in a position to succeed as much as possible. And as soon as possible, bring on a project manager or a project engineer that can help them with their duties and responsibilities or can completely separate them from those responsibilities and let them focus on the one thing that they do really well.

The big danger with superstars is that your competition knows they’re superstars and they’re probably knocking on their door in one way or another.

You have to make sure that your superstars are happy. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Recognize them for the work that they’re doing whether publicly or privately. Make sure that you’re looking them
    in the eye on a regular basis and thanking them for the work they do.
  2. Compensate them well. So, make sure that you’re not too cheap and losing talent because of that.
  3. Challenge them. Don’t let them get bored in the position that they’re in. Give them new opportunities to grow and
    show them that there’s a path with your company to greater responsibility and greater fulfillment.

Misfits are those people that not doing as well as you hoped that they would. Here’s how to handle misfits:

  1. Ask: “Is it a moral issue?” Perhaps this person is just not a character fit for your organization. Perhaps you
    thought that they were going to be really great, but they turned out to be lazy, or irresponsible, or not just a fit for your culture.
  2. Ask: “Is it a morale issue?” They could be the right person for your organization but on the wrong team. Perhaps
    the person they report to is not bringing out the best in them and they’re getting discouraged. In that situation, you can move them or reposition them on another team, and have them report to somebody else.
  3. Give a 90-day window. When you reposition and move someone, make sure that you give them a 90-day window
    on that new team to prove themselves and to perform either a workhorse or a superstar level because one thing you want to avoid is moving a person from one team to another team to another team trying desperately to fit them in.

That’s 3 ways that you can maximize the talent in your construction company.

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