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Renewed focus on people development

People make the difference for customers. This is a well-understood principle and is why businesses, such as retailers and consultants, invest significant time and effort to develop their people. It’s perhaps less understood in the world of construction but one company does seem to understand the link between engaged and valued employees and the quality of work and service they provide.

“It’s very clear to us that if we look after our people, they look after our customers. That’s why people development and career opportunities are so important to us.” Florentina Dita joined PiLON as Head of People and Culture last December, bringing with her experience from the luxury hospitality and paints & coatings sectors. What attracted her to PiLON is that she could see this is a company that invests in the growth of its people and that will go from strength to strength.

“There are very few companies where someone rises through the ranks to the top position but our MD did just that, he started out as an electrical testing engineer and has now led three years of growth. That’s inspiring for everyone else here. It shows there are no limits to what you can achieve. The job of my team is to ensure that we support people and help them to create opportunities for themselves.”

According to the latest data from the ONS, there is a skills shortage of 38,000 people across the construction sector, meaning that employers are having to focus on points of difference to attract workers from a decreasing talent pool.

We operate a direct labour model, which means that we can also offer career progression and invest in the personal and professional development of all our staff. Degrees, Diplomas and professional certifications are among the long list of achievements for PiLON staff and tradespeople continue to rise through the ranks.

Employee retention is important for every business but is particularly important for the construction sector right now and any initiatives that attract, develop and retain people will benefit the business and our clients.

For Florentina the objective is to define career and learning pathways, “We have great staff retention figures, people are very loyal to this business, and we never want people to feel that they have to leave in order to progress their career. Therefore the priority for us this year is to ensure that everyone has a personal development plan and is working to improve themselves. That means everyone from the kitchen fitter to the call centre operator and the senior management team.”

There isn’t a single construction company within LinkedIn’s top 25 UK Companies to work for but that’s not surprising. Those that do make the list are client-facing and known for their training, culture, leadership programmes and investment in people. Everything that PiLON is focused on, so who knows, maybe next year we will be on the list.