A recent blog by Al Levi in Plumbing Perspective asked what contractors could do to stop timewasters from eating into a company’s profitability? Levi’s response was to take the time to invest in sound management practices. Work with your people rather than spy on your people. We agree.
Like us, he advocated engaging management. Rather than training cameras on your teams, inside the office and out, pay attention to your people. People, wrote Levi, “actually like when you pay attention,” so long as it’s not just to criticize or complain.
Levi recommended encouraging interaction between managers and their direct reports. It’s not to spy, but to be in touch with what’s going on, “lending support when necessary, seeing how time is being spent, and trying to catch them doing something good and making a big deal about it.” Creating a positive environment. We agree again!
Treat your people like grownups
Levi advocates treating your people like grownups. We say, go a step further and give your grownups the right grown up tools.
He cited an example of employees loading up for a job early, and then moving up the block to the coffee shop rather than heading straight to the jobsite. He said, I could have run down the block screaming, “Hey! I’m watching you. Why aren’t you working?” But instead, he gave them the opportunity to manage their own schedule, saying: “You can stop for coffee…but you need to be at the jobsite or first service call within 30 minutes of the start of the day.” That way, he said, they managed their time so long as they called in their arrival within the correct timeframe. We say, don’t call…click!
Just give ’em the right tools
Being profitable is all about having the right people, the right tools, the right materials, in the right place, at the right time. Right?
Rather than make your teams call in, use the right technology. Replace the whiteboard: create and maintain your schedules in online and accessible from any smart device so that everyone can see what needs to be worked on while they are in the field.
And as your teams deliver materials or work on work orders, they can punch in time and reimbursements right from the field. Knowify, for one, makes it possible via our mobile app. As your people put in time, Knowify tracks how you are performing (and profiting) on each job compared to your budgets and estimated costs.
So what can you do to help your business from going down the tubes due to time-wasters in the office and in the field?
Be a good boss, of course. Hire great manager, of course. Motivate workers…it goes without saying.
Make sure you have the right technology
As the contracting business evolves in all sectors, those who survive and thrive are contractors who pay attention to running their businesses…who monitor jobs and profitability…who keep the lines of communication open between their GCs, subs, field teams, and clients.
You still need to have the processes and procedures in place to run your business. If you have any questions or wish to share your feedback, you can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask us about how we’ve helped other contractors like you get a handle on their business . Or…you could keep running your business on Excel spreadsheets.
Knowify. Built for the real contracting world.