Despite its designation as an essential service during the lockdown period, the Australian construction industry is predicted to contract by 5.7% in 2020, mostly due to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices.
At this time, contractors will benefit more than ever by finding effective ways to maintain productivity among their workers. With that in mind, we’ll discuss three tips on how managers and leaders in the construction industry can maintain and even improve the productivity of their employees.
Steer Clear of Micro-Managing
In times of stress, a lot of business leaders and managers can sometimes overstep their bounds. However, doing so can be detrimental to employee productivity. Managers should learn how to take a step back, see the bigger picture, and let their employees have autonomy over their day-to-day tasks. This doesn’t exactly mean that managers have to be less direct, but rather implies that they should have more confidence in how their team carries out a project.
Your relationship with your employees is one that should be built on trust, and micro-managing can easily impact that relationship as it undermines your team’s efforts, thereby only increasing frustration and stress. So, try to give your employees control over how they perform their tasks and help them develop healthy work practices.
One way to coach them is to teach them healthy time-efficient habits to practice on their own. There are five healthy work habits you can pass on to your employees: plan, prioritise, track, organise, and break. Put simply, these mean having a structured approach to their day-to-day work lives — starting with planning out their days with a clear goal, learning to prioritise which of their tasks need to be done first, tracking their own progress, organising their files, and knowing when to take breaks. This way, you can make sure that they can do their tasks independently and with minimal supervision — something that is essential in all construction companies.
Keep Company Morale High
Construction business leaders should prioritise keeping company morale at optimal levels, especially during these trying times. This means making workplace and management adjustments that make it easier for employees to do their jobs. Employees who aren’t happy with their work, management, and workplace will become disengaged and perform poorly — leading to financial implications that could cost your business.
Moreover, Painfree Working emphasizes that workplace wellness must go beyond the physical and into the emotional. Managers in the construction industry should also actively try to help their employees achieve psychological and emotional wellness in order to keep morale high.
Below, we’ve listed three proven methods of raising company morale.
1. Create a Safe Workplace
One way to improve company morale is by making sure that your workers have a safe working environment, especially since positions in the construction industry are known to hold more physical risks than other jobs. Making your employees feel safe and comfortable in the workplace can reduce the rate of absenteeism due to demotivation or injuries.
2. Praise When Appropriate
Furthermore, keeping your workers engaged by providing positive reinforcement and feedback will lift their spirits and encourage them to be more productive. Make your feedback specific and only give praise when your employee actually deserves it. Explain how much of an impact your employee has on a particular project and on the company as a whole. By showing gratitude, you can further motivate your employee to strive for better quality in their work.
3. Provide Incentives
Finally, going the extra mile by offering incentives and rewards can make your workers feel more fulfilled and inspired to perform their tasks. Business News Daily notes that rewards don’t always have to be in the form of a bonus — you can also choose wellness, development, and learning programs as an incentive for your team’s hard work.
Invest in Better Tools
It’s a must for company owners to provide their workers with the correct tools and modern technologies. If you invest in better tools, you can motivate your employees to perform better, help them meet deadlines, and improve their efficiency.
Other than making sure that your workers are using modern equipment and programs, investing in upgrades like construction-based cloud solutions can also make a huge difference. Our very own Rick Brisse states that the collaboration and management tools provided by cloud technology can make tasks significantly easier to execute — subsequently increasing your worker’s productivity rate.