Building People and Their Careers

I recently received a client survey on one of our projects. It was glowing and scored very high. In the comments section, it talked about some specifics of how our Field Leaders had performed, worked with others, and “overcame an almost unrealistic schedule.” This, of course, made me feel great. It went on in the “what should we continue to do?” comment box with “Keep hiring great people.” Although I agree, I wondered if our client had missed our people strategy. While it’s true we work hard to hire good people, I would say we put ten times more effort into building people and teams. We have come to know that to win the talent war in the current environment, we must recruit, retain, and develop people. We need to engage them, provide them with a career (not just a job), and help them grow every day.

Over the last 4 or 5 years, we have really supercharged this effort with many initiatives from bolstering training and teaching about leadership/management, to providing an ongoing career conversation through our talent card system. I have missed many other initiatives and there are more to come due to our committed Human Resources and Organizational Development teams who drive this forward. We want people to know, and especially feel, how much we want to build each of them. We all love building projects, but we have found building people to be equally, if not more, rewarding.

Given the challenge in staffing the construction industry, it’s important to think about what we need to do to change the people paradigm in our industry. Hiring people is the start. Building people and their careers in our industry the secret sauce to winning the long-term talent war. Let’s build – people, careers, teams, engagement and projects!


Dave Crumrine, Interstates Construction President