There just isn’t enough time in the day. This is a common phrase used by business owners and project managers in the construction industry. Time is a commodity that cannot be extended or duplicated, so it is imperative that we find ways to better utilize the time we do have. By implementing some of the tips below, a business owner can be more efficient and in more control of their time.
Invest in the Right People
People are the most important asset to any successful business. It is impossible for business owners to handle every aspect of the business making it imperative to hire employees. The key, however is to hire the right employees. What steps can you take to hire and retain quality employees?
Hiring Process: Take the time to implement a consistent hiring process that will help filter potential employees. Develop a multi-step interview process to determine the candidates that are dedicated to attaining a position in your company. Perform background checks and require explanations of any issues revealed. The professionalism of your hiring process sets the foundation for what you expect from your employees.
Performance Reviews: It is important for your employees to know how you perceive their performance and where they stand in your company. Reviews are a great way to give your team members positive feedback when they are performing well and constructive criticism when they need improvements. Consistency is key when developing your review process.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): It is important to give your employees tangible and realistic goals to reach and incentivize them accordingly when they reach those goals. For example, you can set a quality control KPI. If an employee receives less than two workmanship complaints over a three month period, he would receive a bonus. If he has no complaints over that period, his bonus would be higher. These KPIs are a great way to motivate your employees to perform better.
Compensation: The construction job market is strong right now giving skilled employees a lot of options. Your compensation package must be competitive to attract quality employees. It can be tempting to go with cheaper labor, but if they don’t perform well, it could cost you more in the long run.
Invest in the Right Tools & Equipment
Even with top notch employees, they still need the right tools to perform their job efficiently. If employees don’t have the right tools for the job it hurts not only production, but also the quality of workmanship. Purchasing the right tools and equipment is the first step, but you must also implement tool maintenance procedures so equipment is always ready when you need it.
Build Relationships with Quality Subcontractors
Building a list of quality subcontractors expands your workforce without expanding your overhead. Maintaining these relationships is important if you hope to leverage their assets to help you increase your production. Keep in mind that most subcontractors as limited on time as you are. Avoid constantly requesting bids just to give the work to someone cheaper or negotiating their price down. If you typically accept the original bids, they may be more likely to help you on projects you really need a break on. Paying subcontractors promptly is also a key to maintaining a good working relationship.
Leverage Technology to Help Manage Time
There are tons of technology based products and services available that can help you manage and save time. Many of these products are free or very inexpensive to use.
Google Workspace: This is an incredible cloud based platform that provides many options for real time collaboration between your entire team. Inexpensive and mobile capabilities make it the perfect tool when your out in the field.
Calendly: This platform helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth saving you time. Let customers see your available meeting times and schedule an appointment for when it works for them. Calendly has the ability to sync with your Google Calendar so you always keep up with what you have going on.
On The Clock: This is a mobile application that lets employees clock in and out from their mobile device. Eliminate the need to have your employees come to the office in the morning to clock in and increase production by giving them the ability to go straight to the jobsite.
Fetch: Fetch is an on demand delivery service for building materials founded by contractors who understand the challenges of running an efficient and profitable project. Fetch utilizes an easy to use mobile platform and a large network of drivers and vendors to provide fast and affordable jobsite delivery.