If you're the owner or manager of a construction company, you're probably used to a high-stress environment. During the construction or repair of a home or other building, logistics alone can be a nightmare. Setbacks such as unexpected increases in material costs, or the complicated paperwork involved in the process of construction, can add to the headaches of being the person in charge. Another perennial area of concern is labor. Managing the time spent by a workforce is something that business owners and foremen alike have to deal with as part of any project. Thankfully, there are a few simple strategies to remember which will help manage the human side of the construction industry.
Time Card Calculators
Perhaps the most pertinent issue in regards to how your employees spend their hours is calculating those hours. Traditionally, businesses have used physical time cards to clock in. Nowadays that's all computerized, and nothing is a better showcase for that phenomenon than the availability of free, online time card calculators. These handy digital tools can be used to record work hours, including lunch breaks, right down to the minute, thus giving owners an accurate addition to their construction daily report. After the card has been filled out, it can be downloaded, printed and emailed to either yourself or others. Digital records-keeping gives owners the advantage of having records made electronically and automatically, which cuts down on the paper and increases peace of mind.
Keep Phones Handy
It's worth noting that a great deal of the construction-related software available on the market is usable at the touch of a button thanks to smartphones and their related technologies. Simply put, almost anything that you can do on a computer you can also do on a phone through the use of an app. Don't forget the value of text messaging in the fast-paced construction world either. A recent study concluded that over four-fifths of people surveyed use text messaging in their business lives. That's a staggering number and it gives an indication of just how normal it has become for texts to be sent between employers and employees. Don't think that it's unprofessional to give out your personal number to workers. You're all part of the same team, and the speed and ease of communication offered by text messaging will be quite worth it.
Make Expectations Clear
Be sure to communicate clear time-use expectations to your workforce. After all, the average construction worker is an intelligent and skilled professional, but their efficiency is only as good as their plan for allocating their time. This can (and probably should) be handled as a team at the beginning of the day. You need to spell out to the workers exactly what has to be done, as well as the time framework in which the task must be completed. These instructions should always be straightforward and to the point. Exact expectations simplify the process of accountability.
Delegate Responsibility Effectively
Speaking of accountability, the best project managers and business owners are experts at not only using authority but delegating it. Empowered workers will feel more responsible for the outcome of a project and this in turn will cause them to take more responsibility for getting a job done well and on time. It's a snowball effect. Choose the right person for each specific task you want completed. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of each individual on your team. Don't just delegate either; explain why you're delegating. That way everyone feels like they're on board the project for the same reasons and with the same desired outcomes.
It's no secret that construction company owners and managers have a lot on their plates. With high expectations from clients, the stakes for successfully bringing a project to completion hinges on managing the people involved. It may not seem intuitive to think that the Internet could play a valuable role in accomplishing that task, but new tools and methods are emerging all the time with the goal of keeping everyone involved in a project making the most of their valuable time.