5 tips to better manage your team in construction
Whether you’re a project manager, business owner or in the executive team, managing a team in construction can often be a lot to juggle on top of many other responsibilities. As a productivity-focused industry, pressure and expectation can easily start to pile up. However, promoting an efficient and motivating team environment can have positive impacts across not only specific projects, but the entire business. Dissatisfied team members can lead to slower projects, internal conflict and may also affect client relationships.
Check out Nexvia’s handy tips to better manage your construction team:
Create a clear roadmap
Without clear direction, it’s going to be hard for your employees to stay on-track and fully understand expectations for a project. Before a project begins, it’s important to set clear timelines, objectives and goals, both for each team member and the overall project. For example, you may map out weekly timelines that link to the goals defined for the project. Team members are able to keep these goals in mind, with weekly milestones helping to break down efforts into manageable blocks of time.
Using project management software is a great way for both managers and team members to keep track of these timelines. Platforms such as Nexvia, allow you to simply drag and drop resource into a timeline, so each team member can easily reference back to what they need to be working on and when.
Invest in training
With tight turnaround times being commonplace in construction, there may be pressure to skip some aspects of employee training to get a project running. However, without a trained, quality construction team, frustrations begin to form both internally and externally about poor performance and time inefficiency.
Investing in team training can ensure you are ticking off all required skills and fostering employee growth. With proper training, employees aren’t overwhelmed with being expected to perform tasks they aren’t sure how to complete, teams can work more efficiently and be held accountable for their actions on site.
Training also offers a good opportunity to clarify some basic fundamentals of the business such as how they’re expected to interact with other team members (e.g. respectful, helpful) or how to communicate issues and conflict (e.g. avoiding direct confrontation, talking to managers).
Stick to the cloud
Communication and collaboration is key for a positive team culture. With outdated manual processes or legacy systems, these two fundamental aspects of team management can become a nightmare. With cloud-based systems, you can ensure your team has access to project information, anywhere and anytime. This not only helps to reduce employee frustration at not being able to easily access answers, but reduces internal conflict as it acts as a single source of truth for information accuracy.
Support valuable feedback
Actively engaging with your team for feedback and open discussion throughout a project is crucial to diffusing conflict, avoiding project bottlenecks and ensuring the project keeps running smoothly. Creating a team culture which supports feedback allows employees to feel valued, heard, appreciated and respected.
With teams often comprising of a range of different backgrounds, personalities and beliefs, it’s not uncommon for conflicts to arise at both a professional and personal level. When these conflicts are left unresolved, it can result in unnecessarily high tensions and an overall negative work environment. Regular and informal conversations can keep communication casual and open, allowing employees to share team conflicts in a more relaxed environment. More formal meetings might also be a good option to let your team know their issues are being taken seriously.
Recognising team achievements and celebrating wins, big and small, allows your team to feel not only appreciated, but provides a source of encouragement for future projects. Whether you are celebrating an employee milestone, the completion of a project or finishing a project ahead of schedule, employees who feel recognised and valued will often be more motivated and have a better relationship with the business as a whole.
Tangible rewards can be a great way to celebrate success and boost project morale. This may be a financial post-project incentive, gift card, yearly bonus, overtime or even flexible working hours. It’s also important to keep in mind that handing out tangible rewards to every team member often isn’t realistic or logical for a business. You want to recognise team members who went the extra mile and hit their project goals, so employees have an incentive to work towards.
Rewards may also be as simple as treating the team to lunch after a particularly difficult week, or giving a company shoutout to recognise a specific team member’s efforts.
With these tips in mind, it’s important to remember that as a manager, you set the tone for your team’s working environment. While you may be overseeing entire projects, it’s your team who are on the ground, doing the tasks necessary to successfully complete a job. Taking into consideration a couple of these tips will act as a good starting point to fostering a positive team environment, leading to overall better projects and happier employees.