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four Rebuilding the workforce and driving performance


The construction industry is facing tough challenges. Sector players across the board are battling with the sustainability of their supply chain as they deliver on ambitious growth strategies.


It’s imperative that they harness the value in their workforce, ensuring they have the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time.


The construction sector must build and develop a workforce that is fi t for the future, and able to deliver on long-term business strategies. However, this is taking place in the context of a skills shortage throughout the industry. Work needs to be done to attract a younger, more diverse workforce of the highest calibre, including the pick of the nation’s most talented graduates.


This workforce, from offi ce-based staff to on-site manual labour, must be managed, engaged with at all levels, and possibly across a wide geographical area, and retained. They must be fl exible and able to respond effectively to changes in demand, thus an optimal mix of permanent staff against contractors. The highest standards of health and safety must combine with essential training, while technology must be used to optimise all of the above.


Many of these issues are very similar to other industries I work with, such as retail and fi nancial services. One retailer I’m working with is trying hard to link what they are doing with both business and individual employee KPIs.


I think that’s key for all of us. You have to make sure that a goal, such as customer satisfaction, which can lead to increased profi tability and market penetration, is reaching the key people who can make it happen – in other words, the store managers.


We’ve done a lot of work in fi nancial services, too, around branch performance and getting the right employee mix for maximum profi tability and penetration.


How can technology help us in all this? As an industry, we’ve not been the best users of technology over the years. Now, though, we should be profi ting from cloud and mobile


© 2014 KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and a member fi rm of the KPMG network of independent member fi rms affi liated with KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.


technology, helping to deliver solutions to people on the ground.


Through business analytics we can link people performance direct to business performance. Sophisticated workforce planning solutions can help you grow sustainably. Technology helps close the skills gap through e-learning. Portals can help you really engage with your employees. The cost of these technologies has come down dramatically in recent years.


Understanding these workforce issues properly today will affect the sustainability and profi tability of your growth going forward.


Mark Williamson Partner, KPMG in the UK


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