KELOWNA — With the B.C. construction industry reporting a shortage of skilled workers, a Kelowna renovation company is being recognized for its retention of long-time skilled employees.
“It has been proven that trusted and challenged employees are happier, and that happier employees are more productive, better communicators and are dedicated to their craft, which translates to a consistently positive experience for all involved,” Rafter 4K Contracting general contractor Norm Kneller says.
Rafter 4K Contracting is about to celebrate its 28th year of providing quality home renovation and construction services as well as pool design and construction.
“We have always valued our employees, but understanding how they uniquely contribute to the team has helped us enhance employee engagement and maintain a positive environment internally,” Kneller says.
A recent British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) industry survey reported that 68 per cent of employers—regardless of labour affiliation—say finding skilled workers is their biggest challenge. According to a September 2018 report from Buildforce Canada, B.C.’s projected skilled trades gap shrunk to approximately 50 per cent in the last five years to a projected shortage of 11,700 workers.
Kneller reports that, in the past year, he has had a permanent employee turnover rate of 13.5 per cent compared to the average turnover rate of 25 per cent for small home construction businesses.
“This is a statistic we take pride in and attribute to the individual connections we foster within Rafter 4K,” says Kneller, who has more than 38 years experience himself as a general contractor in the construction industry.
The core of Rafter 4K’s team has been with the Kelowna construction company for more than five years, with two team members returning to the company after time away.
“Employment retention results in a deeper knowledge of what it takes to ensure both high- quality project management and customer service. In addition, greater employee retention and engagement allows us to keep the costs of our renovation services down, as we spend less time and money on recruitment, interviewing, training, etcetera,” Kneller says.
Besides Kneller, Rafter 4K’s team includes foreman and estimator Curtis MacMaster, who has been with the company for seven years and is a certified drywall technician, accomplished carpenter, and tile layer.
William Grant has been with the Rafter4K team for six years and brings a diverse skill set, including finishing carpentry, framing and swimming pool construction, along with being one of the company’s experienced painters.
Ky Cardinal has been employed with Rafter 4K the past five years, and is an experienced painter and pool builder, while Devon Maiden, who has worked for the company for the past three years, has more than 20 years of carpentry experience and is knowledgeable in both concrete and wood-focused structural building techniques.
Rafter 4K’s team also includes Andrew Occleshaw and Jason Krushel, who have both been with the company for more than two years, offering extensive framing and renovation experience.
“Considering our time in the Okanagan Valley is nearing three decades, we couldn’t provide the services we do without this hard-working and experienced team of construction and renovation specialists,” Kneller says. “Our team has made us what we are today, and is the reason why we have been able to thrive as one of Kelowna’s most trusted and reliable home renovation contractors.”
Founded in 1991 by Kneller, Rafter 4K Contracting has won numerous awards for swimming pool design, renovations, and construction as well as marketing and customer service. More recently, the company has been nominated in two categories for Best Home Renovations (kitchen renovation and not kitchen) from Kelowna Now’s Best of Kelowna 2019 awards.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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