“Work-Life Balance” in the Construction Industry: How Crain Prioritizes Employee Well-being

Smiling roofers in construction vests and hard hats.

Work-life balance and employee well-being are essential in any industry, but they are particularly important in commercial construction. The nature of our work often requires long hours and irregular schedules, which can lead to stress, fatigue, and burnout. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of work-life balance. At Crain, we believe prioritizing work-life balance is a foundational component of a healthy work environment in the construction industry. How we treat employees, and the culture we create directly impacts our project outcomes. Four generations of families have built Crain Construction on a foundation of doing business differently. How we support, empower, and invest in our employees is just one factor that makes us unique. 


Embracing “Work-Life Harmony”

A few years ago, renowned author, speaker, and leadership consultant Simon Sinek introduced the concept of work-life harmony. He makes the case that “balance” is based on comparing two opposing forces. Sinek encourages us to shift our mindset from striving for perfect balance to seeking work-life harmony. Rather than compartmentalizing our lives, we should aim for a harmonious integration of work and personal commitments.

At Crain, we don’t want our team to see work as a responsibility competing against their other life priorities. Embracing work-life harmony looks like finding meaning and purpose in our work, establishing clear boundaries, and nurturing relationships. We want everyone who works at Crain to experience this kind of work-life harmony in a way that creates a deeper sense of satisfaction and purpose in both their professional and personal lives. 

Work-Life Harmony is a Top Priority at Crain Construction 

At Crain, work-life harmony isn’t just a platitude — it’s a strategic priority for our entire firm. As we enter our tenth decade as a construction firm in Nashville, our leadership has made work-life harmony a specific focus area in our planning efforts for the next ten years. We are committed to spending time and resources to invest in the overall well-being of our employees. 

Creating this kind of harmony doesn’t always mean easy weeks. But we do what we can to help bring balance to both work and our home lives because we genuinely care about our employees. While long hours might be needed at times, we recognize there are other times when you need to take some time to handle the essential issues for your family or yourself. 

4 Ways We Invest in Employee Well-being

Here are four specific ways we invest in the well-being of our employees and prioritize their work-life harmony: 

1. We hire adequate staff for each project.

One of the most fundamental actions we take to care for our employees is to staff our jobs well. When there are not enough employees to do the work, it can lead to long hours, overtime, and missed breaks. It’s not uncommon in the construction industry for workers to take on 60+ hours every single week, especially when firms don’t have enough staff. This can take a toll on employees’ physical and mental health and make work-life harmony impossible. 

At Crain, we staff our projects so that there is always someone there to help when needed. For example, even if you are on a project as the only Superintendent, we work to shift resources around to allow you to take a vacation with your family. 

2. We have a dedicated chaplain who is on call 24/7. 

Several years ago, we decided to add a chaplain to our team because everyone needs someone to talk to about their personal or professional issues. Chaplains are trained to listen without judgment and to offer support and guidance. 

Our chaplain is on call 24/7 for our team members. He also comes to the office weekly and builds relationships with our staff. If anyone needs to speak confidentially about what they’re going through, they have an established relationship with someone who cares. Our chaplain also periodically visits job sites to connect with our field staff and let them know he is an available resource. 

3. We promote and invest in our employees’ physical health.

Physical health is another important part of our emphasis on employee well-being. When employees are physically healthy, they can better cope with stress, stay focused and productive, and have more energy in their personal lives.

At Crain, we incentivize everyone in the company to stay healthy. We offer gift cards for annual physicals and pay for virtual healthcare services for all employees to address routine illnesses. We also host fun contests during the year to encourage people to be healthy, such as our “Maintain, Don’t Gain” program throughout those holidays to encourage people not to over-indulge. 

4. Our leaders genuinely care about team members.

At Crain, we believe that strong connections are essential for employee well-being. That’s why we make it a priority to get to know our team members on a personal level. We ask about their families, their hobbies, and their interests. We genuinely care about them as people, and we want our team members to feel supported, valued, and empowered.

No amount of wellness programs can replace the personal touch. When employees know they are cared for by their colleagues and leaders, they are more likely to thrive. We are lucky to have a team at Crain committed to each other’s well-being.


At Crain, Our Culture Makes a Difference

In an industry known for its demanding nature, we are proud to set an example of how embracing work-life balance can lead to a more sustainable and prosperous future for our employees and commercial construction endeavors.

We have a few employees who have come from firms much different than ours, and they all say our culture is the best thing about working for Crain. We’re grateful for how our employees continue to cultivate our culture and are proud of how we’re known in the industry.

For example, we recently offered a job to a potential employee, but he declined to accept for personal reasons. However, he was so impressed by Crain’s culture and the people he met during the interview that he called back a week later to refer someone else. He said this new candidate would be the perfect fit, and he was!  This is just another anecdotal example of the difference our culture makes — even in the interview process. 

Interested in Joining Crain?

Because of our commitment to culture, we take our hiring process seriously. You can explore what it’s like to work at Crain or learn more about our core values. If you’re looking for a new job in construction and are interested in joining our team, you can reach out to our team to learn more about our available positions.

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