A huge part of the reason behind a construction project’s success is the construction crew. Sure, the project manager is responsible for the smooth operation, thanks to his ability to write the perfect plan, schedule, and budget as well as his excellent construction crew management. However, without the skills and efforts of the laborers to put the plan in action, then there won’t be any construction going on in the first place.
But even with this fact, the project manager still needs to be active in leading his crew members and see to it that they are doing their job properly at the site. Like we always mention in a lot of our previous blogs, timing is very important in construction. Just a day of delay can cost thousands of dollars and the general contractor doesn’t want that to happen because that means thousands of dollars deduction from his profit. It also means hurting the company’s credibility. The worst part is when one day of delay extends to a week more or a month more. This can already put the company in legal problems with the client.
That said, project managers should prioritize construction crew management and be keener in tracking daily accomplishments. But with a workplace as big as a construction site, activity tracking can be very challenging most especially when it’s done manually.
Fortunately, the construction industry has now become tech-savvier. The birth of mobile applications designed specifically for construction is making crew activity tracking easier and more efficient. Compared to visiting the site, a project manager can have a clearer view of everything that’s happening at the site even when he’s at his office. Besides, measuring productivity is more accurate through construction project management software than estimating with the eyes.
Furthermore, using a project management software allows a construction manager to know the responsibilities of everyone in his team, which will help him balance the workflow to achieve optimum efficiency at the site. With this simple tool, he can avoid overworking the people, which is important in achieving harmony and productivity at the same time.
As we already discussed in a blog, researchers show that productivity at the site has been flat-lining for a long time now. And one of the reasons they’re looking at is overworking people which makes them inefficient for days. If you come to think of it, a tired crew member can’t function so well the following day and could even get sick, leading him to skip work for several days. This then affects the overall productivity of the team.
This is why the project manager needs to perfect the art of writing a balanced crew schedule and better construction crew management. And he can do so with the right construction project management software.
But even with the right technology, construction crew management still can go wrong. That is why we made this list of tips for better crew activity trucking.
8 Tips for Improving Crew Activity Tracking
See more successful construction projects when you follow these tips on construction crew management:
- Use the Right Construction Project Management Tool
Let’s face it. Technology changed the way project managers run the construction site in the form of a simple construction project management software. This easy-to-use application is effective at keeping everyone in the team connected and project managers are taking advantage of this technology to find out about everything that’s going on at the site.
You might think that it’s easy to cheat a software since you can declare any accomplishments and the only way for the project manager to confirm the truth in an employee’s report is by visiting the site every day. This beats the purpose of the software so employees may think they are safe. However, remember that there can be weekly visits or surprise visits to confirm all the reports. Foremen are also mainstays at the site and they can send photo evidence via the software so the project manager can confirm that the reports are correct. Ultimately, the project manager will still find out who isn’t doing his job.
So apart from using the right construction project management software, you should keep your members accountable for their own tasks. Clearly define their daily activities and see to it that the daily goals you set for them are achievable. Create an open line of communication with your crew member so they can consult you immediately when issues arise. This will keep them from slacking off when they no longer know what to do with a problem they encounter.
- Daily Check In with Crew Members
Since you are establishing remote construction crew management, it will help if you let your employees know that you care and you are actively monitoring them. So have your daily check ins though the software.
In your communication channel, ask the team what has been accomplished for the day and measure their productivity rate with them. Find out what obstacles they may have encountered that kept them from achieving their daily goal. And don’t forget to ask what you can do to support them in enhancing their productivity level. This way, you can help boost their morale and make them realize that you are a supportive leader.
- Focus on Results
Instead of tracking the work hours, it will be better to track the results. Some crew members are thinking of cheating their time logs but when you inspect, their accomplishments for the day are so few compared with their goals. Killing time is how they call it.
Doing so will tell you whether the crew members are putting their time on the right use at the site.
But on the other hand, don’t let them waste time doing nothing when they finished their tasks earlier. Look a day or two ahead so that the crew schedule has backups should they finish earlier or later.
Another tip we have for this point is to give incentives to crew members with the most accomplishments. This will motivate them to put their full focus on their tasks, but also see to it that they are doing their job with quality.
- Set Clear Goals for Each Crew Member
Save yourself from disappointment when you see your members not finishing their tasks by setting clear goals. Let them know what they should accomplish in a day by giving them their detailed list of tasks. But be sure that the goals you set are realistic.
Also discuss the project goal with the crew members so that they’ll also know how to work as a team not just individually. By doing this, everyone can check with each other that their individual goals are aligned in achieving the overall project objective, hence minimizing risks of errors.
- Transparent Communication
Like we always say, communication is the key to everything in construction. Don’t just read daily reports at the end of the day and assume the productivity rate. Communicate with the members and confirm that they understood their daily goals or ask them after work what hindered them from completing their tasks.
This makes your employees sure that you care for their job and their performance and that you want them to progress in their roles.
Furthermore, communication, as you already know, will help prevent costly mistakes. When issues are traced early, you can come up with immediate solutions that will save the team from low productivity rate.
- Reward Quality Work
Productivity measures the number of accomplishments of your crew members but not the quality. In construction, both are important, but when you have to choose between the two, always prioritize quality.
The quality of the work done by your crew members dictates the safety of the building. It’s useless to accomplish so much in a day when the structure isn’t built to last. Mistakes also always happen when crew members focus on quantity alone, resulting to more delays in the work. So encourage your team to work at the right pace but keeping quality in their goals too.
- Set Short-Term Goals
Finishing the project on time, within the budget, and with high quality are probably your long term goals. However, you can set short-term goals too so that it will be easier for you to measure the team’s productivity rate. This will give you a more solid outlook whether you are really going to achieve your long-term goals.
Having short-term goals also allows you to adjust your plan and schedule should you realize that you won’t make it on time or within the budget. Hence, before delays could happen, you will already be able to come up with alternative plans to put your project back on track.
- Reduce Stress in the Workplace
And for our bonus tip: Make your workplace as less stressful as you can. Stress can affect he performance of both the project manager and the crew members, which often leads to diminished productivity rate.
For project managers, stress won’t help you handle the project efficiently. You can read about our tips on how to make your life as a construction project manager less stressful so you can lead your people properly
As for workers, stress can mean misunderstandings, errors, and worse – accidents.
To help lessen the stress of everyone, set goals that are achievable. Overworking is one of the main sources of stress s so write a more flexible crew schedule that will work on the set deadline.
Tracking crew activity at the site is more effective with a digital tool like Pro Crew Schedule task tracking software. It ensures consistency in employee time tracking and saves dramatic amount of time in construction crew management. It even increases accuracy in your progress monitoring. So help yourself and start using a construction software. And don’t forget to try our tips so you can improve your crew tracking strategies.