The Next Generation: How Housing Recruits Tomorrow’s Workers
by Troy Schrenk
It’s called “the great crew change” in the oil and gas industries, but it affects construction, mining, and other sectors as well. Baby Boomers are retiring and the pool of skilled workers is shrinking. Companies face a new set of challenges when it comes to recruiting and retaining Generation X and Millennial workers, who have different skillsets and different expectations. What’s the best strategy to recruit the best younger workers and retain them for the long haul? The answer lies in workforce housing that not only attracts workers, but keeps them safe, happy and healthy.
Today’s reality is that younger workers are less willing to sacrifice their free time to succeed in their jobs. They are more likely to quit than to put up with substandard housing or food.
At the same time, positive leisure time options appeal to these younger workers: big-screen TVs, pool tables, exercise equipment, and even luxuries such as saunas. Access to the Internet in an isolated location is a necessity to the technically connected Gen X and Millennial generations as well. Investing in a higher quality of life for these remote workforces means more workers will stay on the job.
Risks for Younger Workers
Another aspect to keeping younger workers is focusing on health and safety issues. The Great Crew Change: Managing Generational Differences in Oil, Gas, Mining and Construction Workforces, our white paper, discusses the risks faced by younger workers at isolated sites:
- On the job injuries: Younger workers may take risks that workers with more training or experience avoid.
- Poor diet: Overreliance on junk food and fast food chains in remote location impacts health.
- Mental health problems: Low morale and even depression can become a factor with younger workers in an unfamiliar environment away from friends or family.
- Substance abuse: In turn, these younger workers may turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with depression or loneliness.
These risks hurt workers, and the resulting high turnover and lack of productivity hurt the companies and the projects that hire them.
In It for the Long Haul
Companies need to attract younger workers, and invest in their training and experience so they can retain them for the long haul. How? Superior housing accommodations that offer a better quality of life can help attract workers and alleviate risk. Target Lodging specializes in solving problems through workforce accommodations. Here’s how we do it:
- Positive recreation options including Internet access and exercise facilities.
- Zero tolerance for drugs, alcohol, firearms and cohabitation.
- On-site security services.
- Comfortable beds and nutritious, tasty food around the clock, helping workers stay well-rested and well-fed.
Addressing the well-being and health of younger workers make them less likely to quit, and more likely that companies will recoup the investment in their training and experience.
Attracting the most skilled younger workers, and retaining them so they can build skills and careers, is a challenge that companies must address. The key is superior housing that attracts Millennial and Gen X workers, helps them stay healthy and productive, and reduces risks. When it comes to the next generation of skilled remote workers, high quality accommodations is a necessary strategy.