Members of our leadership team took time out from cheering on Tyler and Tony in the PHCC CONNECT Apprenticeship Contest to explore industry-related topics during conference sessions. “You Only Get What You Put In,” a keynote by Eric Chester, particularly struck a chord with our Director of Field Operations, John Fitzgerald. As anybody in the construction industry knows, there is a shortage of skilled labor. Chester talked about this putting the onus on employers to offer training and create a culture that helps firms to recruit and retain a talented team. (See highlights from this and other presentations at PHCC CONNECT. )
John recognized that we are ahead of the curve in this area. BION has always believed in treating our team like family and giving them the tools they need to succeed, both in the form of ongoing professional development and quality equipment.
We are also big on employee recognition and reminding people that we value them as individuals and professionals. At the same time, if a performance issue arises, we deal with the problem head-on: A member of our leadership team works directly with that employee to give them every opportunity to learn and improve. Many executives may think they do not have the time to deal with these types of issues. We view it differently: We do not have the time not to deal with it.
In the 10 years since BION’s founding, we have grown from a scrappy crew of 11, to a team of over 90. We have added–and retained–20 new employees since last year. This has not always been easy. To get the right fit in terms of our supportive company culture and dedicated work ethic sometimes means we have to go through a couple of candidates to get one that will become part of #TeamBION.
Even in an age where skilled HVAC technicians, plumbers and welders are difficult to come by, we still believe in finding the right people for the job. Sometimes this means moving on from a candidate, or it could mean recognizing somebody with potential and sponsoring their apprenticeship. It may take a little longer this way, but we believe the result is worth the extra time and effort.