The recession has pitted employee against employer in an increasingly nasty fight. That’s the finding of the Hays Construction 2010 contractors’ salary guide, compiled for Building. About 96% of firms have frozen pay, for example, and staff are fighting back in the only way they can: last year, their number one concern when changing job was “finding engaging work”; this year it’s “basic salary”.
The survey shows an overall drop in pay, with typical salaries increasing in only a handful of disciplines. Pension cuts are looming, too. Meanwhile, workers are widely expected to flee their current employer at the first sign of an upturn in the jobs market, as Building has reported previously.
So the whole tone of labour relations has changed. But before it deteriorates further, it’s worth considering how to make a truce.
Read the full article including the survey in Hays 2010 salary guide: Do we have to fight about it?, published in Building magazine, where we look at how things got so bad and how you can develop your career, and the careers of your staff in a climate where pay rises aren’t an option and changing jobs won’t necessarily get you more money.
How to boost your career without changing job
- Work out where you want to be. Kate Tilley, HR director of WSP, says you should first identify where you want to go in your career and then find out the routes to your goal.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. Tilley says: “In tough times people tend to put their heads down as they think it’s dangerous to do otherwise, but it’s good to ask how you can develop your career or your staff as it shows enthusiasm.”
- Be flexible and mobile. Tilley says: “In this downturn, the people who have put their hands up for roles around the country have tended to be those who’ve already been through a recession. Follow their lead and have a ’try anything’ attitude.”
- Seek people who need help. Judith Bufton , head of leadership and development at Wates, says: “See if you can help busy teams. You could get involved with a bid, which could broaden your experience of customers and types of buildings.”
- Identify a business improvement. Bufton says if you can work out a way to improve something at work, you could make it your project to implement it, which could boost your CV.
Get a mentor. Bufton says: “Seek out someone you admire or respect and ask for monthly or quarterly meetings to learn about the business, their job and what’s happening in your industry. Most people will be flattered if approached.”
- Make a business case for your development. Bufton says: “Demonstrate that the training you want will help the business. For example, attending a course on sustainable technology might bring fresh ideas into the company.”