It’s one thing to have to manage workers when they’re all in one place at the one time. However, when you run a construction business with field workers, things can become a lot more challenging. Not only are you usually not on the same job site as them, but you might also have workers scattered over a variety of projects and sites. Managing them isn’t always just scheduling them and making sure they’re progressing on the job, but also knowing how to move people and equipment between worksites to boost productivity.
Here are a few things you can do to manage field workers in your construction business effectively.
Be clear on your expectations
One of the most challenging parts of having field workers is when people don’t understand or know their expectations. They might know what their job is—and be perfectly capable of carrying it out—but less clear on their level of independence.
For example, under what circumstances do they need to consult you before making executive decisions independently? Is there someone on each job site who acts as team leader, or is everyone given the same level of authority? Who is the Manager, if there is one? How often should they communicate with you about the site’s progress, and what information do you require? What are the milestones they have to meet, and when do they have to be completed by? What are your responsibilities to the employees on the job site?
Giving your field workers a transparent idea of your expectations makes it easier for them to react to situations straight away, rather than wondering if they need to call you. It also provides them with a timeframe for carrying out their roles. Finally, it encourages them that there are certain expectations that you’ll meet as well, such as making sure they have the right tools for their jobs.
Upgrade your tools
Many construction companies still use outdated processes, such as phone calls, to share information. These manual processes can require you to review large amounts of paperwork and take up most of your time to keep up-to-date on what’s going on. With several job sites, the task can become unmanageable.
These days, various technologies and platforms can be used to communicate with field workers and share information. You can send tasks to field workers, share virtual paperwork and ask them to capture data in real-time.
The information can be shared much quicker and more efficiently and reduces the risk of losing paperwork and other errors. It also provides you with a thorough audit trail, so you have proof of your company’s activities if there are ever any questions.
One of the best things you can do to manage field workers is to ensure they know they are all part of the team and feel appreciated by you. This means making sure you are clear in your expectations and allowing them the chance to give feedback. Find out how best to support them. Offer group activities where the different teams are brought together to interact with each other and get familiar with one another.
Visit the job sites regularly. You may sometimes want to check in to evaluate how things are going. Its worthwhile to drop in periodically to check in with them without being there to assess their performance. Ask what could use improvement and what’s going well. Listen to your field workers and if their suggestions are sensible, think about implementing them. After all, they’re the ones out in the field.
Managing construction field workers can be tricky, especially if you have several teams at many different locations. Being clear about your expectations, engaging your workers, and using the right tools will help you more effectively manage them. Get in touch with us today and Join the Conversation…