While all businesses face challenges in attracting and retaining their best employees, the labor-intensive construction sector often confronts even greater obstacles in staffing.

Although establishing a welcoming and rewarding corporate culture is not a challenge that’s unique to construction, as an industry that’s heavily reliant on skilled labor, a strong corporate culture can significantly benefit a construction company’s recruiting efforts. The demand for employees to feel appreciated and a valued member of an organization is an integral ingredient in the recipe for corporate success in all organizations, but none more so than the construction businesses.

By 2031, 41 percent of the current construction workforce will retire. In 2023, there were 385,000 job openings in the industry, up from 2022. Unemployment in the industry sits at 3.9 percent, the lowest in 34 years. Our industry is facing a crisis, and we must adapt to it. What we have found is that the salary alone will not get it done. Although we must be at the top of the market when it comes to wages, it is critical that we also provide great benefits such as a very competitive 401(k) match; annual profit sharing based on company and individual performance; 100 percent paid health insurance for the employee, spouse and dependents; life insurance; disability insurance; and an Employee Assistance Program for mental health, grief counseling, financial resources, marital resources, and more. Even with top of the market wages and competitive benefits, it is imperative to establish a company culture to drive a thriving workforce at your company. As an example of this, we offer our employees a flexible and family-centric work environment. This is accomplished through our culture committee which is responsible for creating annual events for our employees, employees and spouses/significant others, and their families. It is my belief that if the spouses and the employees’ families believe in the company, so will the employees.


When establishing a company’s corporate culture, it’s important to have input from those who will be impacted most: the employees. Understanding the values and priorities of your staff and utilizing the best and most practical ideas/themes where possible, can prove invaluable in establishing a welcoming corporate culture that’s representative of your organization.

In the construction sector, the top priority among all stakeholders is, of course, the safety and well-being of employees. A robust safety program that fully complies with all regulations is the starting point for the corporate culture of any construction business. Valuing employees’ safety – the hallmark of any successful company – should manifest itself in both words and deeds. For example, at Metcalf Builders, safety is our number one core value. Every decision we make begins with how this decision will impact the safety of our employees, trade partners and other stakeholders. To this end, we’ve established an in-house safety committee to regularly review our safety practices, suggest areas for improvement, and provide employees with a platform to ensure their voices are heard. We also employ third party safety consultants, who work alongside our in-house safety team, to provide an unbiased, neutral perspective on our best practices ensuring workers’ safety throughout our company. Safety is a top priority, and we are proud that it plays a significant role in our corporate culture.


Another important element in developing a positive corporate culture is recognizing and documenting success stories within your organization. In today’s hectic business world, all too often individual success stories — incidents where staff go above and beyond their duties in order to make a positive impact on the company or their community — can go unrecognized. A company whose culture takes the time to acknowledge an individual’s positive efforts, whether they be within the organization or within the local community, will benefit in their efforts to attract and retain the highest quality of employees.

The time and cost required to document individual successes is vastly overshadowed by the benefits of doing so, for both the employees and the organization. Having a corporate culture that is both positive and welcoming helps establish the company as an employer of choice.


When considering how to establish a corporate culture that will ultimately benefit all stakeholders, it’s important to consider the”Four Cs”: cooperation, collaboration, contribution, and community.

In the ongoing effort to attract and retain skilled and dedicated construction employees, company leaders need to promote a collaborative, cooperative work environment, wherein varied departments work together and share their respective information and efforts. While it’s important to recognize individual success stories, it’s also vital that an organization’s corporate culture acknowledges and encourages collective success; the adage of “a high tide lifts all boats” is very often a foundation upon which employees band together to help to make their workplace better for everyone.

In keeping with that concept, the other two “C’s” — contribution and community — are important factors in building a positive corporate culture. Employees can contribute to their company’s success and culture in a wide variety of ways, from raising funds for worthy nonprofit organizations to donating their time to community-sponsored events. Studies show that giving back to the community is a high priority for many employees, particularly those whose construction skills are in demand and who often have a choice of potential employers.

Employee involvement in the establishment of a company’s culture is another important measure that contributes to an open, welcoming environment, especially within the construction sector. This is of even greater importance given the nature of the industry, wherein many construction employees spend most of their working hours outdoors and away from the physical office. That’s why our company established a Culture Committee, consisting of dedicated volunteers whose time and efforts help improve both their workplace and community. Culture Committees act as a bridge between management and employees, seeking input and ideas, and addressing staff concerns. Valuing and acting upon employee feedback helps ensure that a company has a culture that reflects the priorities of all stakeholders and can play an important role in retaining your best people.

There’s a wide range of community-focused programs in which employees can participate that positively engage staff as well as benefit the broader community. Partnering with nonprofit, community organizations accomplishes two goals: uniting construction employees with a worthy mission and giving back to the community in which an organization operates.

The bottom line: when construction employees feel valued and united behind a positive corporate culture, all involved benefit — staff members, their employer and the community at large.