On-Site Magazine

Construction workers are amongst Canada’s happiest employees

By Corinne Lynds   

Construction Labour Skills Development fit retention top contractors workforce

©Roger-Yip-0913After months of poring over survey results and talking to construction leaders, we have uncovered exactly what it takes to be one of Canada’s Top Contractors.

The answer, as always, is great people.

Innovative business strategies, technologies, materials and partnerships are key, but they mean very little if not managed by passionate, engaged, and happy leaders.

Happy might seem like an odd descriptor to throw in the mix, but indeed happy workers=productive workers.


Before you run off to Disneyland on a recruiting spree, consider the results of Hays Canada’s “Fit Report”, the comprehensive workforce study reveals that 47 per cent of Canadian professionals are unhappy in their current job. A majority (86 per cent) of employee respondents from multiple regions and industries believe their “fit” with a company and its people is essential to contentment and success; however, when considering a new job, fit invariably takes a back seat to money. Hays experts believe the tendency to disregard the importance of workplace culture has brought about costly retention issues, counter-productive attitudes about work and widespread levels of unhappiness that likely extend into people’s personal lives.

So, how does this relate to our Top Contractors? Well, it turns out construction workers were one of the exceptions in this report, with more than half of them reporting that they feel somewhat to very happy.

“This correlates with the fact that two-thirds of construction professionals say they are somewhat or very much a fit in their current working environment,” explains Rowan O’Grady, president, Hays Canada. “Construction professionals are more likely to be a ‘fit’ in their organizations, and they are more likely to be happy in their current roles.”

Construction is known for teamwork, comradery and collaboration, as well as a less corporate environment, so construction workers are more likely to have social commonalities and be part of like-minded teams. The construction industry is one of the strongest sectors in Canada, with most cities still seeing high activity and continued growth. “When we talk to construction professionals, they tell us they’re optimistic about their career options thanks to a stable or growing industry, variety of projects, and good earning potential,” adds O’Grady.

There’s no doubt that experience and certifications are key when hiring new recruits, but don’t be dazzled by those qualifications and underestimate the importance of fit.

If your employees feel like they are part of a team, are confident about the role they have to play in both the short and long-term, they will be happier and more productive. A win-win for everyone.


Corinne Lynds


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