Preparing for the imperfect storm

By Mike Bowes

With the return to a ‘new normal,’ we must address the new fault lines in the project delivery world. The Sancon mission statement to generate “Better Project Outcomes” requires a focus on ensuring we continue to meet the resource requests of our client base – and to continue to develop, maintain, retain, value our greatest asset – our human resources.

The recent pause in activity due to the pandemic and the now expanding project pace have impacted the current paradigm. Departures from the workforce, the loss of skilled tradesmen to retirement, reluctance to travel, alternative employment, combined with pressure on rates and compensation by project owners and declining entry into the technical skilled trades have caused an ‘imperfect’ storm. An environment where the traditional strategies and rules do not meet the business climate. Projects are struggling to staff and resource at most levels and the pool of experienced, quality labor is diminishing.. One of the outcomes to come from an updated, tailored resource management plan is a risk reduction on the resource side.

Sancon is well-positioned to meet these challenges. Recognizing the emerging problem, building a resource plan, and acting with full understanding of the elements that drive ‘Better Project Outcomes’ are important steps in developing the strategy required.

Key elements:

  • Integrated approach to Health, Safety and Wellness – continuing to foster a safety-first environment and building on systems that have allowed Sancon to have a zero lost-time to injury since start-up in 2006. Be known as a safe place to work. And building on that, be known as a ‘healthy’ place to work. Foster on the wellness and health of staff, not just safe practices, and systems.
  • Compensation – make sure your rates and compensation are attractive and value the work performed. Be an employer of choice based on rates and allowances. This will mean tough conversations with clients at times, but you must recognize that to be competitive in the emerging environment you have to pay fairly. Further organization need to adjust and learn to pay to recruit and retain the best talent. Clients may be able to find a cheaper sticker price, but the key to Sancon’s business model is developing trust and partnership with clients that provides a return on investment for our clients.
  • Development – factoring into retention and recruitment both is the competency development and career progression opportunities. Sancon has well-established, ISO-based processes and procedures that support the development of staff. Whether PMI training for leadership or technical cut sheets for field staff, Sancon strives to provide development streams for staff and is known for the resulting quality of its workforce.
  • Retention – Sancon stresses employee retention and the use of preferred subcontractors. Sancon differentiates itself from its competitors by providing consistent and returning staffing to clients – we are not a ‘head shop.’ We provide bonus pools, ability to progress, repeatable client-based assignments, and incentives to retain staff at all levels, from field to leadership.

The changes in resource availability and the disappearance of the long-service trades people are already upon us. Team Sancon recognizes the importance of executing a consistent and coordinated strategy to meet this challenge. We will carry this out in cooperation with our key clients, staff, and stakeholders. We strive to drive “Better Project Outcomes’ – the path here is to build on the outstanding quality we have currently in-house and to recruit, develop and retain the necessary support we see going forward. We want to be an employer of choice – promoting wellness and safety, paying well, providing the opportunities to develop and progress in your career – all while being a fun place to work. We are building out our team – do not be afraid to submit your resume through

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