A typical day in the life of a construction company manager is anything but dull. Between training inexperienced workers, competing for new projects, and keeping track of a workforce that is spread across multiple job sites, it can sometimes seem as if the days come to a close before you have a chance to accomplish key goals for the day. Below are the top 5 challenges construction companies face and some surefire ways to overcome them.
1) Managing multiple work sites
If your construction company is similar to most, you may find yourself managing several key projects at once – especially during peak season. Some managers end up splitting up their teams or hiring extra workers to handle the increased scope of work. Providing training, support, and direction to employees across several different sites can prove to be difficult.
2) Not knowing the whereabouts of employees
“Some workers may stay for several months on a given construction site, whereas others only stay for a few days or weeks, being reassigned to new construction sites where their specific skills are needed next.” – American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Knowing exactly where every worker is at all times becomes an increasingly difficult task as construction companies expand. With employees regularly migrating from one site to another to deliver specialty expertise or ensure that deadlines are met, it can sometimes take multiple calls to track down a key employee.
3) Accurately tracking employee time
Not knowing the location of employees is closely linked to another top challenge in the field of construction: tracking employee time. Many construction companies still depend on paper time cards, manual data entry, and spreadsheets to keep track of time. In addition to being inconvenient and inefficient, these methods are often inaccurate.
4) A shortage of experienced workers
“When it comes to skilled workers in the industry — people who lay brick, frame structures or work with metal — younger generations are nowhere near filling in the need of those who are retiring or leaving the industry. For every four workers to leave the industry, only one person is replacing them, according to the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute.” – Jarred Schenke, Bisnow Atlanta
Older, experienced employees are retiring and leaving the construction industry in droves. In addition to causing an overall labor shortage in the field of construction, this exodus leaves behind a void of experience that today’s younger workers are unable to fill.
5) Safety violations
Despite tightening regulations in the construction industry, safety violations remain a constant threat to the well-being of construction workers and anyone who ventures near a job site. Some of the most common safety violations in construction include the following:
- Fall protection violations
- Insufficient training
- Working without the proper protective gear
- Improper use or selection of ladders
What are some effective ways to overcome these challenges?
Fortunately, there are some simple, cost-effective ways to prevent the challenges above from hindering your construction company’s success. With a little bit of planning and investment in some user-friendly tools, you can keep a watchful eye on your employees while maximizing efficiency across multiple job sites.
Four ways to overcome the construction challenges above are as follows:
1) Inspect each job site at least once per day
The path to smooth construction operations begins with a safe, efficient job site. Daily inspections are listed as a requirement in many construction contracts, and are the cornerstone of a successful project outcome. Daily inspections should be undertaken by an owner, manager, or trained supervisor and should feature the following elements:
- Safety checks: Ensure that all workers are following safety protocol and wearing the proper personal protective gear
- Progress updates: Review progress to date to confirm that the project is on track to meet scheduled deadlines
- Employee monitoring: Make a note of star performers as well as any employees who exhibit inefficient or unprofessional behavior
2) Consider GPS tracking for employees
A robust employee GPS tracking system is one of the most effective means of confirming an employee’s physical location. Time Tracker offers a GPS tracking platform that is perfect for busy construction professionals who need an accurate means of seeing the real-time status of their employees.
- Improve efficiencies: view detailed summaries of your employees days to determine where you may be able to improve efficiency.
- Improve accountability: as employees are aware you are tracking their whereabouts, they become more accountable for time spent on breaks, taking the fastest route to another location, and ensuring they get to work on time.
- Respond to emergency calls: quickly see where the closest employee is so you can send them to the emergency call the fastest.
3) Introduce time tracking software
Time tracking software addresses nearly all of the challenges above. It is an especially effective means of confirming the location of construction employees and boosting employee accountability. Here are just a few of the many benefits of Time Tracker:
- Free time clock App: Employees use a 4-digit pin to clock-in on a tablet device and confirm job site arrival, facial.recognition confirms the employees identity.
- Managing projects: if you’re managing multiple sites your employees and contractors can easily switch between projects, clients and activities.
- Managing employee time: time is money know which employees are getting to the job site late or leaving early, or even taking long lunch breaks.
- Job cost reporting: tracking time on a job site will help you to determine if the job is going over budget. It will also allow you to figure out what a future job of similar scope actually cost so you can accurately bid on the next project.
4) Consider retention bonuses
Retention bonuses have gained traction across industries as an effective means of keeping key employees on the job. They are typically well-received by experienced, top performing employees while also helping to reduce turnover by motivating seasoned employees to remain with your company. If your budget is tight, you may also wish to consider incentives such as gift cards, extra paid time off, or special recognition.
The Bottom Line
Overcoming the challenges facing the construction industry can seem like a daunting task. But by following the tips above, you can organize your employee management processes, boost efficiency, and know where your employees are at all times. To learn more about boosting efficiency in the construction industry, we invite you to contact us at eBillity. We look forward to helping you improve operations!