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Generational Differences:

Phase I

In 2017 the GLCM team conducted a comprehensive literature review on the Difference in Generations in the Construction Industry. During this study the GLCM team focused on the following: trends in construction industry, Millennial's and Generation Z engagement, and concluded with industry analysis. The research question was targeting toward: “Millennials and Gen-Z are replacing the workforce, how are we dealing with the change?” The team began with a literature review, followed by critical analysis and insights, interviews and surveys within the construction industry and concluded with developing and understanding strategies for dealing with the ongoing changes in the industry. The industry interview analysis included several industry professionals from around 20 construction firms.

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During the literature review, many interesting results were achieved. For example, millennial's in particular, recruitment and engagement are major points of importance for their careers. The support of educational and entrepreneurial goals, meaningful work, and opportunities for advancement as well as constant feedback being some of the major categories in which the industry needs to focus its efforts to maintain the current and upcoming workforce. The gig employment movement is also a trend which the industry needs to begin integrating to allow for more opportunities for growth and skills to be used outside of the traditional roles an employee may have in their role within an organization. This type of employment offers instant gratification as well as flexible and mobile work.


At the end of the study in this year, a quick survey was conducted. One example of the results of the survey highlighted that one of the ways the industry can capture the loss of age and experience with the influx of Millennial's and Gen-Z in the industry is through reverse mentoring and 360 review/feedback. Additionally, over 60% of individuals were more likely to work for at-will employers rather than for companies that offered formal contract employment. Appealing financial benefits were a 401k plan as well as stock options within a company and over 55% of individuals expected to be in a managerial role within 5 years. This expectation is important in understanding how to retain the next generation and in structuring roles within an organization as well as promotion and review cycles. Millennial's and Gen-Z do not conform to the traditional roles and time frames that previous generations expected. Moreover, almost 60% of respondents preferred to work for a horizontally structured organization which is in line with the level of collaboration the upcoming workforce expects. Feedback was also wanted on a monthly or weekly basis for over 55% of respondents.

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Michael Adwan
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Pascale ​Dugue
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Shiva Lukka
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Deborah Owolabi
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