Productivity and efficiency are the backbone of running any successful company. Regardless of your industry, if you are wasting time and resources, chances are you will be hemorrhaging funds and ruining your reputation in one fell swoop.
It is estimated that employees can lose up to 3 hours per working day due to inefficient processes, negatively impacting their efficiency. Chances are, if this sounds familiar, things will have gradually snowballed to a point where you are fighting fires to combat these effects, and work is becoming somewhat of a battleground.
A lack of efficiency and productivity can affect your ability to get the job done, which in turn impacts the level of service you can provide, your company reputation, and your culture. After all, no one wants to work for a disorganized business, as customers don't want to partner with a company that can deliver on its promises.
This is true for contractors who need to be on the ball and able to meet the demands set to them to complete the job they are hired to do, whether in the office or on-site.
This post delves deeper into how you can improve productivity and, in turn, efficiency within your business and manage your workload while still getting the best form from your employees.
Table of Contents
Map Out The Workflow
One of the most overlooked aspects in construction, or contractors and pretty much any business that involves managing projects, is the workflow involved in getting from A to Z without missing anything in between; you need to be fully clear on the steps and parts of the workflow for every single job you take on.
Project management is an essential part of any job, and you need to map out who is doing what, when all of your deadlines are, and your availability for getting the work done. Before you start, this way, you can be sure you know exactly how things need to run to avoid mismanagement and poor communication and give yourself the best chance of success before you even start.
Know Your Inventory
One major factor for a loss of productivity is not having adequate supplies and equipment on hand. This applies to every single industry. You cannot complete your job if you do not have the tools to do so.
Make sure you know exactly what you have on-site, how long it will last, and what you need going forward on a case-by-case basis. Running out of supplies can grind your workflow to a halt and result in wasted time and wasted productivity, as you can't move forward until you get that all-important delivery in.
This is why proper forecasting comes in before any work starts. Knowing what you will need can allow you to put measures in the palace and organize supplies to ensure you have a full rotation when needed, so you can get on with things and remain productive.
If your team isn't trained or qualified for the job, they won't be able to perform at the speed or standard you need. Most workers will often come with specific training and expertise, such as electricians, plumbers, and architects. However, everyone needs to ensure they are not only physically able to do the job they are brought in to do and have the skills to do so.
It can be our investing in ongoing training, health and safety support, and skills updates regularly to ensure everyone knows what they are doing, you do not lose productivity, and you can stick to your schedule as much as possible.
Did you know that nearly 95% of data in construction and contracting is not utilized correctly or even collected? This can massively hamper your work and put you on the back foot. You should use the data collected for previous jobs by similar clients, experts in the field, and your workforce to help you improve what you do and ensure you aren't wasting time or wasting it due to not looking at the bigger picture.
There is a wealth of software available such as BuildOps, that can help you look at the data in more detail to provide a better level of customer service, track and deploy the right employees on time, and ensure you are staying on top of invoicing and forecasts to enable you to work smarter, not harder and not overlook any of the small details that can impact what you do.
Use these analytics to set goals and meet metrics to make sure you meet your deadlines and ensure things move long as you need them to. Continually readdress your goals and timelines using the data you collect on the job to help you work better at all times and constantly strive for better results and standards without missing a beat.
An unspoken culture in the American workplace eschews the notion of proper breaks and rest and encourages people to commit fully every day. However, burnout is a real thing, with over 89% of people saying they felt burnt out from work in the past 12 months, and in the construction industry, this figure is around 75%. And when you look at what is at stake and what can go wrong should employees be pushed past their limits, the consequences can be deadly.
With this in mind, you need to be implementing proper breaks, not allowing people the chance to step back and recharge. They need to be physically and mentally rested, allowing them plenty of time off between shifts, enforcing clear start and end times, and making sure people take their breaks to avoid burnout.
Poor communication leads to lower productivity. Why? Because people will not be clear on what needs to be done and when as they won't have the tools or information to access what they need to do the job. If no one is on the same page, chances are you will not only be missing details, but you will find people lose the passion or desire to get things done. After all, if no one is communicating correctly, no one will be able to figure out precisely what is needed.
As an employer, you must improve your communications in all formats. Be it direct face-to-face communications, emails, phone calls, and more. On top of this, you must ensure you communicate with your clients, too, as poor client communications will also impact your ability to carry out the work required and stay on schedule. Involve them in all significant decisions and inform them of changes or issues. Be clear and follow up with written communication to reinforce verbal discussion and ensure everyone knows exactly where they stand.
Ask For Feedback and Use It
One easy way to find out what is and isn't working and identify bottlenecks in your processes is to ask for feedback from everyone and act on it. There will likely be many cogs in your machine that help you get from start to finish, and finding out how well everyone is working together and how effective your processes are cna invaluable. Talk to contractors, employees, and clients and ask them what you did well, what didn't work for them, and any suggestions they might have. From here, you can address major issues impacting your productivity and pit meares in the palace to improve things.
Improve Employee Culture
Lastly, you need to ensure you are working to improve employee culture. Employees leave people, not jobs, and this thought should always be in your mind. Employees are likely to do more and go the extra mile for good employees with their best interests at heart.
Be a compassionate employer, take the time to listen, and desire you are offering your employees a competitive wage and benefits, and you are working to expect they are taken care of when working for you. Make sure you are hiring the right people and being firm but fair. Employees need to know precisely where they stand, what to expect when working for them, and be open to guidance and encouragement to strive for the best every day.
Productivity is vital in all aspects of business, and a loss of productivity cna attributed to many different things and be a significant source of concern for employers. Many various factors can influence your ability to improve productivity. Still, you need to take proactive measures to help you get things under control and ensure you are working to the highest standards at all times, and avoid wasting time, resources, and finances to overcome obstacles in place due to mismanagement and poor communication.
Once you address your issues and what is affecting your ability to be productive, you can enjoy the benefits and improve what you do.