Construction crew management is about precise, consistent communication – employees need to know what you want from them and your ultimate goals for the success of your project and the company. Once that is clear, everything else should fall into place.
However, crew management is more than just making your team show up and monitoring how well they work and complete their tasks. It also includes improving the efficiency of your construction crew, making your schedules work better, and keeping track of the time. Since there are times when you can not be there in person and keep a close eye on every project detail, you can utilize many different techniques for managing construction crews to get the most out of your workers. Employee scheduling, time tracking, and dealing with conflicts are essential to managing a construction crew well and making sure they are being productive on site. Using proper management strategies can help your employees stay motivated to work harder, do more, and do the job.
An Overview of Construction Crew Management
When it comes to managing construction, your crew is a critical factor in the project’s success. As stated earlier, crew management ensures schedules work well, keeps track of job costs, and improves communication. Since construction projects often require a lot of people with different skills, various teams need to work together or one after the other, requiring a complicated schedule to ensure that everyone can work together on multiple projects. This can also directly impact your project’s productivity and completion.
Three Types of Crew Management Styles
In any industry, management styles matter – they can directly affect how your crew’s work attitude. There are three main ways to manage: micromanagement, hands-off, and strategic management. While some project managers are better at one style than the other, most contractors use a mix of these three ways to run their business.
This type of manager is involved in their employees’ schedules, activities, and day-to-day tasks and is called a “micromanager.” In this management style, you are interested in every part of the job – even the smallest detail. This management style can be seen as authoritarian or dictatorial, but it depends on how you approach the employee.
A micromanager is the opposite of a manager who stays out of the way. They do not help their workers with daily tasks because they would give them freedom and independence. This can sometimes lead to better ideas. Other times, workers get lost, confused, or don’t know where to go. This is better to implement if you have an employee who is experienced and familiar with the processes.
A strategic manager strikes a balance between the other two types of managers. They are involved in some parts of their employees’ jobs but let them do further details independently. Strategic managers know their employees’ strengths and weaknesses and learn when to trust them and when to help them. This way, they can let their employees grow and improve in their tasks while keeping themselves available for any questions or guidance.
Ten Tips to Implementing an Efficient and Effective Crew Management Strategy
In construction, the most crucial cost in running the business is the cost of labor, and that s why keeping track of labor costs is essential. Here are ten ways to help you improve how you manage and pay your employees and, hopefully, save money wherever you can.
Optimize Your Scheduling Process
When you add up your labor costs, you probably lose a lot of money because your weekly work schedules are not clear and error-free. Schedules full of errors can result in activities being completed longer than expected, directly impacting your milestone dates. Also, when you make accurate schedules, you can better predict your labor costs and plan your budget. You can use construction employee scheduling software to change shifts and get a clear overview of each crew member’s work hours.
Forecast Your Labor Costs
Maintain accurate records of your expenditures to identify and correct any errors and improve your ability to estimate your labor prices. If you look at the data you have collected on work and make an educated guess as to how much it might cost, you will have a fantastic starting point from which to plan and optimize your budget for labor. It can point out areas in which you have frittered away money and areas in which you might cut costs.
Place The Right Number of People For The Specific Job
Having too few or too many people on staff can drain your money quickly. If you have more people working a shift than you need, your labor costs to sales ratio will not be as reasonable as it could be. The same thing goes for not scheduling enough staff. Optimizing your team is a business process that leads to better crew management and allows you to use your budget more efficiently.
Understand Your Employees’ Skills
During the hiring process, look for people with the right skills that fit your project’s specific requirements. They will be able to move quickly and finish the staff with high-quality craftsmanship since they already have the experience and expertise to go with it.
If you are working with a subcontractor, like a concrete contractor, you should hire one with an impressive portfolio and a solid track record for completing the specific scope of work. You can use construction management software for subcontractors to collaborate and ensure every project detail is adequately communicated.
Streamline Your Workflow Processes
Every project manager wants to get things done faster and easier. To achieve this, your activity flowcharts should be clear and easy to keep up to date. Work with your crew leaders to determine which workers fit best in each subgroup. Specify the time it takes to finish tasks – you can consult with your teams if they can provide any valuable insights or suggestions to improve the processes.
Provide Workshops or Training
This is an excellent idea for you and your staff as a whole. As an employer, you can get more tasks done with fewer people if they have multiple skills that fit into various job descriptions. Employees who get this training learn something new and add to their list of professional skills. This also makes them feel more appreciated since they can see the company investing in their growth and development.
Utilize a Construction Time Tracking Software
Even if you have a perfect schedule, people who show up late or leave early will cost you money. Time trackers can help improve your employee’s accountability and motivate them to show up on time. It is also a great way to do reviews and audits of employees.
For example, you may notice that one employee is always late in the morning but can arrive on time during an afternoon shift. You can talk to them and try to switch their shifts with someone else.
Prevent Employee Burnout
Almost any task done over and over on a computer can be done automatically. Employees who keep doing the same laborious tasks can be burned out and feel that their career is not taking off. For example, you can use inventory management software to automate your resource monitoring, such as getting alerts to which materials are low in levels.
Increase Employee Retention and Reduce Turnovers
Provide perks comparable to those offered by other employers to recruit qualified personnel. Keeping current workers on staff is more efficient than wasting time recruiting new ones and instructing them from square one. You may reward your long-term staff with paid vacation time or cash bonuses, depending on how well they do their jobs. You could schedule meetings with your team to chat with them and find out if they have anything important that they need to go through.
Get Rid of Paperwork
Getting rid of paper on the job site will save you money on labor and make you more efficient. You can keep track of things from your office instead of going to the site. You will not have to deal with time-consuming paperwork – having access to updated information with a few simple clicks.
A project management software for the construction industry can help you track what is happening on site, who is on lunch, and who is late in the morning, which cuts down on mistakes with the time clock. You can track the budget daily and check your workflow charts and employee attendance without wasting time looking at spreadsheets.
The people on your team are an essential part of the success of your project. Without them, your project may not move forward, affecting your budget and schedule. With an optimized construction crew management system, Pro Crew Schedule can help you improve how you manage your staff. This system will allow you to keep better track of your workers’ hours, make sure their schedules are always the same, and get a better idea of how productive and efficient they are.