Accurate Time Tracking Is So Much Easier With Workyard
To get the job done, you need your employees there on time and ready to work. But you can’t be everywhere at once. Use construction crew management techniques to get the most out of your employees—even when you can’t physically be on-site.
Successful construction crew management combines scheduling, tracking, and conflict management strategies. Inspire your employees to work harder, achieve more, and get the job done with the right management techniques.
Let’s take a deeper look at how you can start managing your crew more effectively, starting today.
One person is never enough. If you’re trying to manage your construction crews with a small office, you’re probably finding gaps in your process. Workers aren’t scheduled correctly, jobs aren’t completed on time, and hours don’t add up.
Construction companies grow, often at a surprising rate. One year you’re taking on five jobs a month, but the following year, you realize you’re taking on two dozen. But your processes haven’t changed. You’re still using paper timesheets, still scheduling employees through text, and still struggling.
You need a new strategy.
That doesn’t mean that you have to create organizational flow charts or buy an expensive software platform—but it does mean that you need to reconsider what is and isn’t working for you. You need better ways to schedule, monitor, and manage your employees. You need to analyze and optimize your job costs and improve your working efficiency.
In construction, the most important factor for success is manpower. Managing your workforce is like managing any other resource. Before making any decisions, ask yourself the following questions:
Optimizing schedules, managing job costs, and improving communication—all these things are critical parts of workforce management.
In construction, projects may require many workers with different sets of skills. Teams may be required to work either in tandem or one after the other, requiring complex scheduling that ensures that everyone can coordinate their way through multiple projects.
The more information you have about where your workforce is and how your workforce is performing, the better you will be able to estimate and predict your work in the future. Better estimates mean better returns.
You get a call at 9 AM. The job was supposed to start two hours ago.
Where’s your team?
If you’re still managing a construction schedule by verbally telling your employees where to go, things will get missed. You’re only one person—you can’t be everywhere at once. And managing a team of three is fundamentally a different process from managing a team of 30.
You need to improve your construction crew scheduling through consolidation, prediction, and real-time deployment.
Scheduling is everything. You can’t effectively use your labor if it’s not there. As you take on more projects and hire more employees, you will need the right technology—otherwise, things will fall through the cracks.
You can track your crew time through paper timesheets, digital timesheets, apps, and GPS time clock technology. Some small contractors are still receiving employee timesheets in text messages—but that’s not the best solution.
Paper timesheets, digital timesheets, and apps can all be inaccurate. When employees are in charge of logging their hours, hours are frequently rounded or estimated. And, of course, they may just make mistakes—especially if they’re entering their time weekly instead of daily. Employee time theft is another unfortunate occurrence if you do not have a robust tracking system in place.
GPS time clock apps accurately log employee hours by tracking where employees are. Not only are employee hours recorded down to the minute, but they’re allocated on a project-by-project basis—making it easier to estimate project time and expenses. These apps also help you implement consistent time clock rules for your hourly employees to ensure compliance.
Management styles matter. There are three main management styles: micromanagement, hands-off, and strategic. Most contractors have a management style that’s a blend of these three.
Some people naturally lend themselves to one management style over the other—and that’s okay. If you prefer, for instance, to be a more “hands-off” manager, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be more strategic. It just means that you need to hire the right people and use the right tools.
There will always be conflict in the workplace. What’s important is how you deal with that conflict when it arises.
Some managers prefer to solve all conflicts themselves, dictating how to resolve each issue. Others believe that if they step back and allow their workers to solve problems independently, it will create a more autonomous and cohesive work environment.
In leadership, there are four main conflict management styles:
Example: An employee consistently comes to work late but clocks in on time. Different conflict management styles would address this problem differently:
In this scenario with a collaborative conflict management style, the manager talks to the employee. The employee had no idea they were coming in to work late; they were just getting there, doing their job, and estimating their hours. So better timekeeping is the answer.
Gift cards, bonuses, paid time off, and flex time are all things that can reward construction crew productivity. When they do a good job, you make money. You have a vested interest in making sure that your employees make money too.
It’s important to celebrate wins, even when things don’t go perfectly. This can be something as simple as providing lunch or taking the crew out for beers after work on a Friday.
The more valued a team feels the more they will be willing to go the extra mile for their company. But if a team feels as though their compensation doesn’t change even if they do an exceptional job, they may cease to care.
Know when it’s better to employ better equipment or contract out your labor. If your crew can’t put a roof on for less than $15,000, hire someone who can. If your crew’s concrete finisher isn’t available, contract it out. Often, you lose money trying to do jobs that you’re ill-suited for when cheaper resources are already there.
If you find that a particular task is too difficult or time-consuming for your crew, it may be time to outsource it. Contract with another company or hire an individual skilled in that area. You can preserve your bottom line while moving on to the next project.
Keep these best practices in mind when you’re scheduling your construction crews:
With the right crew management tools and practices, you can streamline your construction process, improve communication, and maximize your workforce’s efficiency.
You know how to manage a construction crew. But sometimes, a company just grows too fast. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem. When managing five people turns into managing 50, you need an entirely different set of processes, tools, and strategies.
Construction crew management is about clear, consistent communication. Employees must understand your ultimate goals and what’s expected of them—once that’s handled, everything else should just fall into place.
Workyard can help you improve your workforce management in a few critical ways:
Accurately track employee hours, keep schedules consistent, and get a better handle on your workers’ productivity and efficiency with optimized construction crew management. It’s just a click away. Check out a free trial of Workyard today.
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