Focus aims high on employee opportunities and career growth

02 March 2022

Hiring new employees can be a time consuming, expensive process. In a tight labor market where hiring takes longer, costs more and is generally more competitive, it’s important for firms to reduce the amount of redundant recruitment that takes place when employees leave. According to research done by AEC Business Solutions, losing an employee can cost on average 6-9 months of that employee’s salary, and that cost only increases when the firm loses an executive level leader. That sort of separation costs upwards of 200% of their salary. Consider the impacts beyond cost. When a member of the team leaves, there are rippling effects like decreased client satisfaction, project oversights, and team discontinuity.

It is clear that there is a cost for businesses to replace employees, and with the added context of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on the labor market, like record employee separations and wage growth, firms should double down on their investment to keep their high performing team members in place.

So, let’s talk about retention

In 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the overall national, voluntary turnover rate is 29%, and even lower when considering high performers (3%). Further, as you consider generational differences retention can be even more of a challenge. Consider, millennials self-report an increased willingness to “keep the door open” or an openness to consider new opportunities. A recent survey by Gallup suggests that 21% of millennials reported having changed jobs in the past year, nearly 3x the rate of their non-millennial counterparts and an even higher 55% of the generation reports a lack of engagement in the workplace.

So, what makes the difference when retaining employees? In a 2018 report by tinypulse, two of the biggest factors to keep employees engaged and on the payroll are communication and career progression. Consider these stats, employees who don’t feel comfortable giving upward feedback are 16% less likely to stay and those who are not recognized for their work are twice as likely to be on the hunt for a new job. The impacts are even more dramatic when considering career opportunities. In the same study, tinypulse reported that employees who don’t feel supported in their goals are 3x more likely to look for a new position. Take for instance data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics, one-third of new employees will quit after 6-months on the job, but if a firm were to invest in the long term learning, training and ultimate career progression of those team members, 94% say that they would stay with their employer.

Providing long term opportunities for growth and learning

At Focus, leaders have studied these trends and understand the desire of the modern employee. A need for a certain level of return investment made in their long-term growth. That understanding is reflected first in the company’s culture.

Our mission is to create a culture where our people live out the Focus Values and have the communication tools to build strong relationships so they can perform at their best.

By creating an environment when everyone, no matter their seniority or role, feels confident communicating feedback leads to more open and honest conversations about everything from construction schedules to long term career goals.

Additionally, Focus invests in developing its people. All employees at Focus have the opportunity to explore continued education opportunities, seek out new responsibilities and work with their managers to craft their own career paths. Managers at Focus average 13 years of industry experience which helps them to guide their team members as they explore dynamic careers in commercial real estate. Additionally, a review process that requires upward as well as traditional feedback provides space for those conversations to happen consistently.

This culture of communication pays off. Consider, Focus’ 2021 turnover rate was only 11%, well below the average for the construction industry (21%) and the national average (29%). That retention remains when considering millennials at Focus as well, where the average tenure of employees of the generation is 3.5 years, compared to the median tenure reported by Career Builder of 2.75 years. Not only do employees chose to stay with Focus, but Focus chooses to invest in it’s employees. In 2021, Focus promoted 21% of it’s workforce, compared the national average of 8.9% (2012).

Focus also provides resources for employees to invest in continued education, provides opportunities for team members to get involved in local charities and supports community building events.

“Focus has invested in my professional growth in ways no other organization has,” says Focus Project Manager Bhavin Pardiwala. Joining the company in 2017 as a Project Engineer, Bhavin is a great example of the career development Focus aims to provide for all it’s employees. As a high-performer, Bhavin has climbed the ranks as an entry level hire to a project leader in the organization, responsible for managing some of Focus’ larger construction projects. Additionally, Focus has sponsored Bhavin through Project REAP, an organization which aims to raise up minority professional in commercial real estate. “Not only do I feel supported to perform and grow within my current role on the construction side, but Focus has created new paths for success in the larger commercial real estate industry, providing mentoring on real estate development and continued education opportunities,” added Bhavin.

While it is true that no organization is perfect, Focus aims high when it comes to retaining team members, growing their careers, nurturing their interests, and striving to adapt the organization as time goes on.

To learn more about Focus’ approach to corporate culture, career development or to learn more about career opportunities, please reach out today.

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