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November 2, 2017 - 10:33am

FMI Corporation, the leading provider of management consulting and investment banking services to engineering and construction, infrastructure and the built environment, recently released its 2017 Talent Development report. The publication reveals emerging trends around talent development in the construction industry and paints a mixed picture of how firms are retaining and developing their people.

Key statistics from the study include:

  • 89% of participants reported talent shortages in this year’s survey.
  • 75% of participants have made changes to their training programs in the last two years, with mixed results.
  • 43% of survey participants reported that their firms don’t prepare a formal annual training and development budget.
  • Training and development programs aren’t very effective (score of 5.8 out of 10).
  • Effectiveness of performance management among construction firms is low (score of 5 out of 10).
  • Organizations with the highest employee retention have committed to rich professional development cultures and have effective performance management processes.
  • 55% of survey respondents don’t have any formal processes in place for identifying and developing high-potential employees.

Specific to employee engagement in the U.S. workforce:

  • 21% of employees are managed in a motivating way
  • 33% are engaged in the workplace
  • 51% are looking for a new job
  • In the construction industry, only 39% of firms measure employee engagement

Key findings from the study include:

  • Key Finding 1: Despite rising talent shortages and high levels of recruiting difficulty, many firms don’t see talent development as a strategic priority.
  • Key Finding 2: Many firms acknowledge the power of an attractive corporate culture, but few intentionally measure and build such cultures.
  • Key Finding 3: Organizations with the highest employee retention have committed to rich professional development cultures and have effective performance
    management processes. But for most firms, performance management isn’t always used effectively.
  • Key Finding 4: Most respondents are not identifying and developing high-potential employees—a missed opportunity to push young people into leadership roles and create a sustainable leadership pipeline.

"The fact that 43% of survey participants report that their firms don’t prepare a formal annual budget for training and development underscores the stark reality that talent development is still not treated as a top strategic priority in our industry. Unfortunately, many HR departments are underfunded and tasked with mostly administrative functions—running decades-old operations and processes that haven’t been updated and that are rarely linked to strategic business goals."


Andy Patron, principal with FMI, added, “Our industry is telling us where we should focus our efforts, and these indicators should be a catalyst for action. While these are not new ideas, the current market and industry demographics are making them more important than ever.”

Review the full 2017 FMI Talent Development report.

Read the press release from FMI


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