A Message from the ABC Keystone Chair of the Board

By: Steve Conway, Pyramid Construction Services, LLC, A Quandel Company, ABC Keystone 2023 Chair of the Board

Back in April, I wrote of the importance of safety in our industry, one aspect of which is the Total Human Health of our workforce. As we enter the summer vacation season, I encourage you all to consider the value vacation time has on our employees’ mental and physical health. Vacation can be challenging in our industry because we’re all wired to “make hay while the sun shines,” and there’s no better time to do this than the summer when the days are long, and the weather is generally favorable. Our office and field workforce is crucial to putting work in place. Are we better off having an entire workforce that is feeling overworked and unengaged or working through the challenges of temporary manpower shortages and benefiting from employees that are recharged due to their employer encouraging time to focus on themselves? Time off is integral to well-being, sustained productivity, and high performance.

Americans, called the “No Vacation Nation” by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, are notorious workaholics. In contrast, other thriving nations have embraced the value of employee downtime, with documented health benefits and high productivity levels.

The following are two reasons why we should all support the idea of recharging:

Vacation time increases mindfulness. As we work through our daily routine, we unintentionally operate on autopilot due to the repetitive nature of our jobs. Taking time off and doing something different breaks that cycle, allowing us to feel more present and stimulated. Burnout significantly impacts our employees, as it causes a lack of enthusiasm, reduces creativity and productivity, and sometimes results in turnover.
Vacation time improves your physical health and reduces stress. Work-related stress takes a toll on our bodies. Studies are abundant, showing the same results – high blood pressure, lack of sleep, poor heart health, headaches, etc. Our field staff has the added physical stress of their work-related activities. Taking a break from the daily grind allows our bodies time to regenerate and heal. Stress and physical toll are hard to avoid in an industry that is productivity and timeline-dependent, therefore making downtime crucial.

The number one asset of every construction company is its employees. Therefore, the total human health of our employees (body, mind, heart, and soul) must be a top priority. Encourage your employees to use their vacation time. Please encourage them to use the time to disconnect and recharge completely. Lead by example and do the same. Promoting a temporary reduction in your workforce seems counterproductive, but the studies all show that the benefits exist for both the employee and employer.

Enjoy your summer. Get out there and do something fun and unique. Then, recharge before it’s too late.

Steve Conway
Steve Conway,
Pyramid Construction Services, LLC,
A Quandel Company
2023 Chair of the Board
ABC Keystone sconway@pyramidconstruction.us
(717) 278-5582

Posted May 9, 2023