FINDING AND GROWING TALENT – Crain’s Excellence in HR Awards 2022

June 20, 2022 Crain’s Detroit Business
By: Leslie D. Green
Read the full article HERE.

“Throughout the pandemic, we faced a labor shortage because the demand for skilled trades grew exponentially. As a leadership team, we recognized the talented group of employees we had and took actions to ensure we could retain them,” Fish said.”

Those actions increased their headcount by 12 percent in the past three years.
Efforts have included enhancing benefits, such as adding short-term disability, life insurance and an employer contributed HSA account, overhauling the PTO policy, expanding opportunities for remote work and providing more incentives for “good work practices.”

“Every employee, after working 1,000 hours and one year, gets shares of stock in the company. This gives them an opportunity to affect the share price, valuation and how we run,” Fish said.
Lee also implemented educational components, including Department of Labor-approved apprenticeships for electrical and pipe-fitting careers in partnership with Macomb Community College.
Partnerships have helped with recruitment, Fish said. In 2021, the company became a corporate partner of the Talent Development Coalition, which trains and provides experience for people in under-represented populations to break the cycle of poverty, and works with the Michigan Works Association and Habitat for Humanity to get the word out about training opportunities.

Lee also received a grant from the Michigan Department of Labor’s Going PRO Talent Fund to provide enhanced training and continuing education internally.
In the last three years, Lee’s apprentices earned 60 percent of the company’s entry-level trades positions, and the company filled 63 percent of its cost estimator and project management positions internally.
“As we start 2022, we are committed to 25 new training classes to upskill our current employees.

We have also undertaken a six-month operations project that will deliver process training to our management and construction professionals,” Fish said. “To help with that initiative, we have recently hired a director of Training and Development. We are now in an excellent position to solve the talent shortages and develop our current workforce.”