Why is it that one job can go so smoothly but another can feel like a disaster? In the UK, an analysis of construction productivity discovered that the productivity of two teams doing identical jobs on different sites varied by up to 500%.
In this article, we’ll cover five steps toward improving construction crew productivity:
- Find Out Where Your Time Is Going
- Estimate Your Man-Hour Productivity
- Improve Your Scheduling Processes
- Provide Performance-Based Incentives
- Keep Your Overtime to a Minimum
Construction crew productivity can be negatively affected by poor planning, spotty communication, and continuous overtime. But the good news is that there’s a lot of room for improvement.
Let’s take a look at five steps you can use to improve your construction crew productivity before your next job.
1. Find Out Where Your Time Is Going
Begin by figuring out how much of your time is “productive” time. According to an AutoDesk report, 45% of construction professionals believe that they spend more time than expected on non-optimal activities. They spend 35% of their time on non-productive activities—hunting down information, dealing with mistakes, and organizing reworks.
Across all your employees, how much time is being spent on administrative tasks and meetings rather than on-site labor? Work toward the goal of reducing the time spent on activities that don’t generate revenue.
2. Estimate Your Man-Hour Productivity
As a more detailed version of labor burden, man-hour productivity can be used to identify your most productive employees and teams. Man-hour productivity is an analysis of every cost involved in a project, including supplies, and broken down by the total hours worked.
One team may take 10 hours to complete a project but use up to $2,000 in supplies. Another team may take 20 hours to complete a project but use only $1,000 in supplies. Man-hour productivity tells you not only which teams are faster but which teams are more precise.
3. Improve Your Scheduling Processes
In Autodesk’s construction report, 68% of trades cited scheduling as a major reason for poor productivity. About 60% of general contractors say that they encounter issues with communication and coordination that they believe lead to decreased productivity.
In the construction industry, scheduling is frequently completed through phone calls, text messages, and emails. Not only can this be confusing for team members, but it can make it hard for a business to scale. With the right technology, everyone in the organization has access to the same real-time schedule.
4. Provide Performance-Based Incentives
Hourly employees are not always incentivized to work faster. If you want your company to have a “culture of productivity,” you may need to provide performance-based incentives.
A persistent issue in construction is that employees will frequently make more if projects experience delays. Not only do the projects themselves take longer but employees increase the chances of running into overtime.
Provide performance-based incentives to foster a culture of productivity and ensure that employees see the benefits of completing jobs faster.
5. Keep Your Overtime to a Minimum
Overtime immediately increases the cost of a project and reduces productivity—more money is being spent on the same labor. Construction overtime can be successfully managed through more accurate labor calculations, real-time tracking of employees’ hours, and employee cross-training.
When employee time is accurately tracked, it’s easier to provide accurate estimates and identify potential overtime before it occurs. When employees are appropriately cross-trained, it is easier to deploy labor that isn’t at risk of running into overtime.
Better Construction Crew Productivity With Workyard
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 70% of contractors believe that the right technology can be used to improve productivity and scheduling.
Workyard makes it easy to improve productivity:
- Gain a better understanding of where your employee hours are being spent.
- Identify and reward workers and teams with higher levels of productivity.
- Improve your scheduling processes and your communication.
- Reduce and control your overtime costs.