As a construction manager, you’re charged with running a smooth ship. This means that a number of fundamental responsibilities regarding your staff must not only be overseen by you, but also implemented by you. It’s a sizeable task, that’s for sure. It’s no wonder, then, that many construction managers find themselves overwhelmed or burned out by just how many things they need to stay on top of.
This is why improving your staff workflow is vital. Ensuring that your staff workflow is efficient, manageable, and responsive to new challenges is entirely possible if you have the right processes in place. So, what processes should you be implementing as a construction manager? Here are three that will make all the difference in boosting your staff workflow.
1. Ask for Feedback
The effectiveness of your staff workflow not only influences your job, but also that of your staff. A poor staff workflow can cause stress, anxiety, and even resentment. The thing is, many managers have little to no idea when there are major problems. Others are aware of them, but do little about them.
One major component to a healthy staff workflow is thus your relationship with your staff. Studies have found that retention rates are directly affected by manager-staff relationships. It’s no wonder why there are no shortage of examples of staff quitting once they become overly disgruntled with their manager’s performance in regards to organizing the staff workflow.
So how do you know if the staff workflow you have implemented is successful…or a failure? Ask your staff. As the saying goes, if you want to find something out, make sure you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Your staff, after all, are the ones who intimately understand the ins and outs of the staff workflow and are most impacted by it. So it’s essential that you give them the opportunity to voice their opinions.
This can be achieved in three main ways:
You can provide an anonymous feedback form for your staff to fill out. It may be tempting to go the old-fashioned route and provide the form on a piece of paper. But you’ll find people won’t be as truthful as they wish to be for fear you may recognize their writing. Instead, you can provide them with an anonymous online survey with relevant questions regarding their experiences, using a tool like Google Forms.
If it’s employee review season, you may wish to incorporate a component that directly addresses the issue of the staff workflow. Yes, that’s right—for your staff to review your performance. Needless to say, if handled clumsily this can be uncomfortable for all parties. That’s why it’s important that you adequately notify your staff beforehand so they can prepare.
Open Door Policy
Whatever route you choose to take with gathering feedback, it’s always a good idea to have an open door policy so that your employees can provide you with feedback at any time. This can either be a literal open door where you allow your employees to come up to you directly to share their thoughts. Or, it can be an anonymous feedback box, so that at any time they can leave you a note simply by dropping it in the provided box.
2. Create a Staffing Plan
Once you have evaluated your staff feedback, it’s time to put it into action. This is the step many construction managers stumble on. They simply read what their employees have said, but don’t actually act on it. So if you genuinely want to improve your staff workflow, you need to be responsive to the honest feedback your staff provides you.
A useful means of responding to their feedback is to create a comprehensive staffing plan based off of it. If you’re unfamiliar with what a staffing plan is, Angela Stringfellow describes it as, “a series of steps that are taken to confirm that an organization has two very important things determined: 1) the exact number of roles and positions within the company and 2) workers with the right skill sets filling these positions.”
Doing so has a multitude of benefits including being able to not only organize human resources in a way that supports workflow improvement, but also ensuring that the right staff is brought on in the first place. What results is a more streamlined and intuitive staff workflow that is tailor-made to the particular needs and demands of your company and its staff.
Creating a staffing plan isn’t as complicated as it may first seem. So long as you base it off actual data and evaluations (such as through the staff feedback), it should be relatively straightforward to put one together.
3. Streamline Your Processes
Last but not least, it’s time to look at what processes (if any) you have in place to enhance your staff workflow. This is a particularly important consideration because if your processes are all over the place, your staff workflow is going to suffer. Fortunately, streamlining your processes doesn’t need to be a headache. You just need to make sure you have the right resources to help you out. One of these is Handle.
Handle is a platform specifically designed to assist construction companies in managing tasks involved in prompting delayed payments for services or materials delivered. For example, Handle will help construction managers to:
- Efficiently create and mail pre-liens
- Apply for credit or credit evaluation
- Automate the process of managing lien-related documents and deadlines
- Help ensure payments are received for services or materials delivered
Instead of wasting time rushing around trying to find the right resources and tools for each of these tasks, construction managers can use a platform like Handle to perform them.
This has a considerable impact on staff workflow. Needless to say, no contractor wants to work for a company with a haphazard workflow, where the construction manager is too preoccupied or stressed to actually manage the site.
By using the service, a construction manager can ensure a variety of staff needs are attended to so that they have the support to work to the best of their abilities. For instance, contractors will be far more likely to work to their optimal capacity if they know that the construction manager is on top of such tasks as pre-liens and payments.
Organizing your staff workflow is one of the most important tasks you can do as a construction manager. It’s easy to put it off, but your staff and subsequently, their work, will pay the price. The good news is that by implementing the three processes above, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a healthy and effective workplace environment. The results will be evident when you see an improvement not only in your staff’s work, but also in their improved attitude.
This is a guest post from our friends at Wonolo.