Common Sense Ways to Lower the Onboarding Cost of New Team Members for Your Construction Business
As a construction business owner, you must always find ways to be the most productive with the people you have. When you attract new talent to fill vital roles, onboarding those new team members needs to be as fast and effective as possible.
By most accounts, the skilled labor shortage won’t be leaving the construction industry any time soon. According to a recent Commercial Observer article, the worker shortage may only worsen, especially if any infrastructure projects kick off any time soon. The labor deficit in construction has been building over many years, and it will take time to mitigate. On top of the spiraling labor challenges, burnout is a real consideration for the people you already have in place.
So, as a construction business owner, you must always find ways to be the most productive with the people you have. And if you do manage to attract new talent to fill vital roles, those new team members need to be effective as rapidly as possible. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to make onboarding new workers less time-consuming and reduce training costs.
Arguably, the best first step is documenting, simplifying, and streamlining your work processes. We covered this topic in our recent article on technology hesitancy in the construction industry. By having your Management Operating System (MOS) documented, even if only in a simple diagram or spreadsheet, you can more clearly communicate it to others, including new team members. Having a newly hired team member struggle with simple day-to-day job site or office communication and processes can detract from everyone’s productivity. In addition, the more unclear and undocumented your work processes are, the harder they are to learn, communicate, and master.
Second, have their technology resources ready to go. If, for example, your newly hired project manager requires issuing and setting up a laptop, email, smartphone, radio, camera, or whatever technology you use to manage your construction projects, have it ready to go on day one. It’s hard enough to walk into a new job situation, especially in construction management, where there can be many rapidly moving projects without the technology to be productive right away. Something as simple as not having access to a laptop and email on day one can create delays in the work product and give the new employee the wrong perception of your business.
Third, establish clear expectations. Again, put yourself in your new team member’s boots. They want to do well. You want them to do well. But how long do you think it should take for them to understand your systems and processes? For example, how should they introduce a new vendor, supplier, or sub-contractor to your company’s system? Are their responsibilities surrounding job-site reporting or updating the project in the project management software clearly understood? Do they know how to request or complete a purchase order or check-in and audit a material delivery to the job site? Establishing clear expectations around employee productivity, work performance, conduct, safety, and communication can make the onboarding process less stressful for employers and employees. It can ultimately save you time and lead to greater productivity and employee longevity.
This brings us to our last point: communication. Put simply, communicate clearly and often. The new employee onboarding process requires a tremendous effort from everyone on the team, especially in the critical first few weeks of employment. Leaving a newly hired person alone to fend for themselves is not a great way to manage any business. In construction, on the job site, it can create chaos and cost you time and money. Establish communication channels and expectations quickly—connect with them often on their progress in understanding your systems and processes. Be open to questions. Explain yourself until they comprehend. These early vital conversations will go a long way to setting the tone of your business and getting the new team member up to speed and productive. Poor communication during onboarding can create a poor first impression of your organization and lead to higher-than-average turnover.
If you’re looking for a simple and cost-effective construction management software solution, look no further than CMPRO.™
We come from decades of construction management experience. We have focused that expertise on the product features your construction and project managers need to lower costs and increase productivity. As a result, CMPRO is simple to learn and master, increasing the likelihood your team will use it every day to document and report on all critical aspects of the project.
And because CMPRO is so easy to learn and use, it reduces the cost of the training required to bring new people on board.
CMPRO helps your on-site and in-office construction management teams manage mission-critical elements of every construction project, including:
- Pay Applications
- Pay Periods
- Change Orders
- Vendor Contracts
For your job-site team specifically, CMPRO has equally robust construction project management features, including:
- Daily Logs
- Punch Lists
- RFIs (Requests for Information)
- Purchase Orders (Coming Soon!)
Find out how CMPRO™ can help lower your team member onboarding costs and improve productivity by simplifying your construction project documentation, reporting, tracking, and communication. To find out more and schedule a demo, visit us online, or contact us at [email protected].