The Factory Worker vs. The Construction Worker

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The Factory Worker shows up to work every day ready to put in a hard day’s work.

The Construction Worker shows up to work every day ready to put in a hard day’s work.

The Factory Worker reports to the same building every day. That is unless his job has been outsourced to some far away land where the same job can be done at a fraction of the cost.

The Construction Worker reports to a job site or a union hall or a day labor center every day. His job can’t be outsourced, but he does depend on a growing economy to provide the finances that enable new development.

The Factory Worker has a relationship with his employer that continues on for multiple product cycles. Their relationship is stable enough to encourage the employer to invest in training and systems that make the worker and his team more productive, which contribute to profitability which can then be re-invested.

The Construction Worker has a relationship with his employer that continues on for no longer than the length of one construction project. The employer invests in individual skills (sometimes) but rarely invests in job site systems because it’s impossible for an employer realize any return on his investment.

The Factory Worker is proud of his work and does his job to the best of his ability. If he notices a defect he is empowered to correct that defect and initiate a process that will prevent similar defects in the future.

The Construction Worker is proud of his work and does his job to the best of his ability. If he notices a defect outside his trade he keeps it to himself. After all, it wasn’t from one of his guys and he doesn’t want to be the one who gets chewed out by his foreman for slowing the job down. And when some manager eventually notices the defect, he might even get paid overtime to get it fixed before the concrete pour that is scheduled for next week.

The Factory Worker is motivated to work hard so that he can provide for his family and keep his company competitive in the marketplace. He identifies with the company and is proud of its products. He can advance and prosper by continuously improving his company’s productivity.

The Construction Worker is motivated to work hard so that he can provide for his family. His allegiance is to his trade first and his union after that. His allegiance to the company that he works for falls someplace behind the guy who delivers coffee and donuts to the job site. He can advance by putting in more time and he will get paid whether or not this building succeeds. As a matter of face, he will probably make more money in overtime if the schedule slips. If things don’t workout at this particular job site, the worker will head to the one down the block, in the next town or state.

The Factory Worker goes home at the end of the day, exhausted from a hard day’s work. He cracks a beer, complains about his boss, but knows in his heart that he helped to make things a little better today than they were yesterday.

The Construction Worker goes home at the end of the day, exhausted from a hard day’s work. He cracks a beer, complains about his boss, but knows in his heart that he’s perpetuating the same practices and traditions that have been in place for the last hundred years.

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One Response to “The Factory Worker vs. The Construction Worker”

  1. Overspray Rx Says:

    Paying employees by hour is not the best way to motivate employees. Why not pay the construction worker both by hour as well as a bonuses for completing the work on time or ahead of schedule.

    To prevent shoddy workmanship, withhold part of the bonus for a preset period of time. The balance of the bonus would go toward any negligent errors discovered.

    I would be curious as to why such compensation packages are not offered in the construction industry.

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