Chuck Petersheim is the founder of Catskill Farms contractor in Sullivan County, New York. Opinions are those of the author.
The wood prices have gone through the roof and then fallen again. Devices are hard to find. Water heaters, electrical cables and PVC are in short supply. There is no work.
Almost all we need as builders is a disturbed mess due to COVID-19, but little did I know that pandemic-related problem solving would be the least of my worries out of this crisis.
I did not expect the problem of the “black swan”: Construction workers have one of the lowest group vaccination rates in Germany. Smart people. Demanding people. Caring people. Everything not vaccinated.
Builders are naturally doers, and this is a clear call to action. Client influence – that’s what we do in a wide range of professions and trades. The encouragement of our unvaccinated team members to take the recordings corresponds to our diverse communication strengths.
Builders communicate seamlessly across socio-economic worlds every day. We talk to architects and engineers with a doctorate, surveying engineers and builders with a bachelor’s degree as well as to the workers of painters, framers, bricklayers and plumbers.
I work with smart men and women, old and young, with different degrees of education. Why is this vaccine hesitation permeating them all at a higher rate than other industries?
At its core, they are a robust, idiosyncratic, self-sufficient group. But as valuable as these traits are in the performance of their jobs, they can also be an obstacle to safe behavior in workers who routinely interact with more people than in many other professions.
Across the country, construction workers leave their homes every day, travel considerable distances, carpooling and carpooling. They stop at delis, wood stores, and homeware stores. You enter the offices of clients and customers. Many of these workers are likely to be unvaccinated – and are likely to ignore important health and safety warnings.
Site managers and site managers are responsible for more than securing documents and foundations. We are uniquely suited to serve as influencers when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines. We can – and must – influence our employee and subcontractor network intelligently, consistently and directly by promoting the benefits of these shots in the arm.
Builders have deep credibility and experience in influencing their teams. I do it all the time and I’m very interested in my teams. I help staff with basic dentist and health visits. I support their financial literacy efforts with 401,000 contribution formation and personal debt management. I encourage regular attendance and trainer safety in the workplace. I advise you on family questions and challenges. The benefits of vaccinations should be part of this regimen.
While every construction company is unique, they all share the same hierarchical structure and all successful companies benefit from strong leadership at the top. As managers, we know how to motivate with free time, bonuses and recognition. We know how to influence with smart communication strategies.
These vaccination efforts must be carried out before your hesitation affects our operations, profitability, and hard-earned reputation. Builders always serve their communities – we build Little League shelters and be the first to volunteer. Put simply, this is just another way for us to serve and protect our community.