TZL 1438 (web)



H uman resources departments are still caught between a rock and a hard place trying to recruit and retain staff while continuously adapting to the work landscape that was altered two years ago with the onset of COVID-19. The pandemic has been a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine how we do our jobs and how we run our companies. Challenges in the reimagined workplace

The biggest challenge for AEC industry leaders today is having employees return safely to the workplace in a way that does not cause a mass exodus of our workforce. The pandemic changed everyone’s way of doing business in March of 2020, sending most employees home to work remotely in the short-term. It also changed every company’s vocabulary. Words like quarantining, isolating, masking, and social distancing overshadowed discussions on proposals, project deliverables, productivity, staff development, and team building. Employers also had added responsibilities managing time for employees to quarantine or care for family members home from school/daycare. Most employers had to create policies and processes to address vaccinations, testing, and masking requirements in the workplace.

Employers have been trying to stay the course, but managing shared expectations, productivity, employee stress, staying connected, and striking a balance when it comes to how and where work is done has redefined the AEC workplace. Why? There are several reasons. We’re in one of the tightest labor markets in years. Firms need to retain great talent and find more, but there are more jobs than people and team members are getting multiple weekly calls from recruiters trying to entice them away. To top that off, we’ve had to deal with the “great resignation,” with baby boomers retiring in record numbers. In my 25-year career in human resources management, recruiting has always been a challenge, especially in a strong economy. However, it is usually

Paul David, PHR, SHRM-CP

See PAUL DAVID, page 10


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